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Dining news: Openings and reopenings; St. Patrick's options
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 2871 times since Tue Mar 8, 2016
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—The Boundary, 1932 W. Division St., is closed to the public and will reopen Friday, March 11, at 11 a.m. as the bar/grill undergoes a renovation. The remodeling includes replacing all booths with rolling high-top tables for customizable seating, and removing the woodwork along the west wall and exposing the original brick. Also, the restaurant is installing massive quad screens on either side of the fireplace, with additional screens flanking the quads.

Executive Chef Noah Sandoval, Pastry Chef Genie Kwon and General Manager Cara Sandoval are debuting Oriole—a 28-seat fine-dining restaurant in Chicago's West Loop neighborhood—on Thursday, March 10. Sample dishes on the menu, priced at $175 per person, include oestra caviar, lamb belly, chicory custard and steelhead trout. See .

—Doodle's Doughnuts is officially open for business in the Old Town neighborhood at 1419 N. Wells St. The independent shop is serving up unique, artisanal doughnuts, specialty bacon and Metropolis espresso drinks as well as brewed coffee.

—Kizuki ( formerly Kukai Ramen & Izakaya ) has opened for lunch and dinner daily at 1482 N. Milwaukee Ave. Kizuki offers customizable, made-to-order ramen dishes featuring a variety of broths, toppings and four different types of noodles ranging in price from $9 to $15. The menu combines fresh, locally sourced ingredients with special ingredients from Japan such as fish flakes, kelp and yuzu ( Japanese citrus ). See .

Another branch of Kanela Breakfast Club will open in Andersonville at 5413 N. Clark St., in mid-May. Kanela is a breakfast, lunch and contemporary brunch concept that features a sweet and savory menu created by Executive Chef Don Penza ( Municipal Bar + Dining Co.; Frontier ). This is the fifth Kanela to open in Chicago with previous locations in Lakeview, Old Town, Wicker Park and Streeterville.

—Traffick Free—a nonprofit fighting human trafficking in the greater Chicago area—will host a brunch 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, at Inspiration Kitchens, 3504 W. Lake St. Event registration is required: For more about Traffick Free, visit .

—DMK cocktail bar Henry's, 18 W. Hubbard St., invites guests Saturday, March 12, with specialty food and drink offerings. The laid-back River North lounge features a corned-beef slider with fries for $5 from opening until 5 p.m. Drinks specials include green Jell-O shots and a specialty cocktail. For more information, visit .

With a view of the annual St. Patrick's Day river-dyeing ceremony, River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St., is offering Irish-themed specials all day on Saturday, March 12. Guests can enjoy Chef John Hogan's braised corned beef cabbage with root vegetables and bacon over a bed of boiled red potatoes ( $17 ); or shepherd's pie with braised lamb, seasonal vegetables and duchess potatoes ( $19 ). Reservations are recommended; call 312-822-0100.

—Travelle Kitchen + Bar, 330 N. Wabash Ave., invites guests to watch from above as the Chicago River gets dyed green for St. Patrick's Day on Saturday, March 12. At 8 a.m., the lounge opens early for guests to reserve bar tables with a $50 minimum per person to take in the festivities. Visit .

—Irish-inspired bar and restaurant GreenRiver ( 259 E. Erie St., 18th floor ) presents a way to celebrate on Parade Day with local brews and bites from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. St. Paddy's Day Beer Fest tickets, priced at $65 per person, include five five-ounce tastings from local breweries such as Chicago-based Half Acre Beer and Moody Tongue Brewing Company. Call 312-337-0101.

—Claudia—a fine-dining underground pop-up restaurant from Chef Trevor Teich ( L20; Acadia )—is hosting two eight-course dinner seatings featuring a brand-new spring menu on Saturday, March 12. Tickets for the Claudia spring dinners must be purchased via . There is a 5 p.m. seating and there's an 8:30 p.m. seating; each can accommodate up to 16 guests. Some of the planned dishes include king-crab roll, salmon, squab and strawberry and chocolate.

—Bar Toma, 110 E. Pearson St., gets into the Irish spirit with "The Lean Green," a wood-fired pizza with spinach and basil pesto, mozzarella and grape tomatoes ( $18 ). The Lean Green is available throughout March as the "Pizza of the Month." For more information, call 312-266-3110 or visit .

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., is offering an all-you-can-eat St. Patrick's Day Brunch ( $6 ) 8-11 a.m. on Saturday, March 12. There will be items such as Belgian waffles with Bailey's syrup, emerald fruit salad, corned beef hash and more. Green beer specials are available at a separate cost. For more information, visit or call 312-266-0400 .

On Sunday, March 13, The Duck Inn, 2701 S. Eleanor St., will host the Second Annual St. Patrick's Day Backyard Pizza Party from 12:00 p.m. 'til dusk. For $25, or $20 for advanced tickets, guests enjoy all-you-can-eat Irish pizza by Chef Kevin Hickey. See .

Gold Coast restaurant Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House will host a Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey Dinner with brand ambassador and educator Andrew Degnan on Wed., March 16, at 6:30 p.m. For $85, not including tax and gratuity, guests can enjoy a special selection of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey and cocktails paired with a menu by Executive Chef Jared Case. Items include bacon toothpicks, Atlantic cod, filet mignon and Irish cream-scented chocolate torte. call 312-888-2499 or email .

Put on by Iceland Naturally immediately following the launch of Icelandair's direct route to Chicago O'Hare International Airport on March 16, Taste of Iceland will take place in restaurants, theaters and music venues across Chicago from Thursday, March 17 through Sunday, March 20. In celebration of bringing the tastes of Iceland to Chicago, Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson—one of three head chefs at LAVA Restaurant in Blue Lagoon—will collaborate with a local restaurant in preparing a limited-time three course pre-fixe menu. See .

—Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar, 3358 N. Paulina Ave., will bring back its famous Guinness Pizza on St. Patrick's Day ( March 17 ). The wood-fire oven pie ( $13 ) is made with a real Guinness stout crust and topped with bechamel sauce, roasted onions, fingerling potatoes, bacon, three cheeses and a signature egg.

For a spin on St. Patrick's Day cuisine, Hyde Park's The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West, offers a house-cured pastrami sandwich ( $15 ) from Chef de Cuisine Matt Swilinski. The sandwich is layered on pumpernickel schmeared with thousand-island pickle mayo, topped with apple-bacon sauerkraut, melted Emmenthaller ( a medium-hard Swiss cheese ) and served with fries. See .

For the second year in a row, Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln Ave., is taking St. Patrick's Day to another level with 17 days of activities and events, up until St. Patrick's Day. New this year to the lineup is an exclusive whiskey dinner consisting of a four-course meal of small plates paired with whiskey cocktails from Tullamore Dew. See .

In honor of March Madness, Zoom Pizza Factory, 2156 N. Clybourn Ave., will be offering 10 percent off to those diners who wear their college gear to the restaurant. The offer is valid March 17-April 4. See .

At Kinfork ( 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg ) guests who dine during March Madness will enter to win a complimentary national-championship watch party on Monday, April 4, for them and 10 friends. The restaurant will also be offering $4 IPL Kinfork beer during the games. See .

—Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., will launch a Final Four special—the Final Four Beers, kicking off April 2. Jake's will offer four Stone Brewing Company beers on special, including the Stone Delicious IPA, Stone Cali-Belgique, Stone Pataskala Red X IPA and the Stone Enjoy 4.20.16. Guests can catch the final games on more than 35 flat-screen TVs at Jake's while indulging in its infamous March Madness Burger, a nine-ounce beef burger topped with pepper jack cheese, bacon and a fried egg stacked between two grilled-cheese sandwiches.

—Rockit Bar & Grill, 22 W. Hubbard St., will offer "Mac Madness" on March 21-25. Items include steakhouse mac ( March 21 ), truffled mac ( March 22 ), lobster mac ( March 23 ), carbonara mac ( March 24 ) and crab cake mac ( March 25 ). Each dish is $16 and will be offered all day long. See .

In celebration of 312 Chicago's 18th Birthday this March, Chef Luca Corazzina will be offering a special "Get Smoked" three-course pre-fixe dinner menu for $18 per person on March 21-31. Items will include smoked caprese salad, spruce-smoked pasta and smoked Italia ( torched chocolate sponge cake, meringue and lemon gelato ). See .

Japanese restaurant Izakaya Mita, 1960 N. Damen Ave., is hosting a "Temple Food" vegan dinner on Tuesday, March 22, at 6 p.m. The six-course event will include dishes such as burokori goma-ae ( steamed broccoli in sweet black sesame saude ), kara-age modoki ( soy ginger garlic marinated deep-fried tofu ) and zukkini-katsu ( katsu-style deep-fried zucchini with tonkatsu sauce ). The dinner is $45 ( including tax, excluding gratuity ), and reservations ( which can be made at any time ) are strongly recommended; call 773-799-8677.

Lent ( which runs through March 24 ) may be the ideal time of year to enjoy one of Chef Ryan McCaskey's signature lobster rolls ( $18 ) at Acadia, which has received two Michelin stars. Packed with lobster meat from Stonington, Maine, and served on classic lobster rolls, this seafood favorite can also be ordered Connecticut-style—warmed in butter. For more information, call 312-360-9500.

Also through Lent, Osteria Langhe, 2824 W. Armitage Ave., has a menu filled with dishes inspired by the Piedmont region of Italy, including the Pesce ( $27 ). Chef Cameron Grant prepares this pan-roasted mahi mahi with grape tomatoes, snap peas, Calabrian peppers, fragile and browned butter vinaigrette. For more information, call 773-661-1582.

For Easter ( March 27 ), Enolo Wine Cafe, 450 N. Clark St., will present a seasonally driven three-course prix fixe menu inspired by French classics on Sunday, March 27, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Items will include salad Nicoise, cassoulet ( with pork belly, merguez sausage, chicken confit, northern beans and crostinis ) and a fromage board. The menu is $35, and an optional wine pairing selected by Sommelier Anthony Rossi is available for an additional $15. Each guest can enter to win a special Easter basket filled with wine, chocolates, cheese and charcuterie that's valued at $200. See .

This Easter, Filini Bar & Restaurant ( 221 N. Columbus Dr. ) will offer a special brunch at 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The contemporary Italian restaurant offers an array of brunch and Italian menu items from espresso bourbon French toast and eggs Benedict to decadent seafood options including oysters on the half shell and seafood pasta. Other dishes include a create-your-own omelet station, carving station with rosemary-crusted leg of lamb, and a dessert station with an assortment of pastries and other sweet treats. Brunch is $65/person; call 312-477-0234.

Easter brunch ( $65 for adults; $25 for children ) at The Tortoise Club, 350 N. State St., will be open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Classic brunch items and signature holiday favorites will feature everything from eggs Benedict florentine and Belgian waffles to bone-in ham and prime rib carving stations in addition to an iced seafood bar. In addition, complimentary family portraits will be taken. See .

This Easter Sunday, March 27, Shaw's Crab House in Chicago is offering a Sunday-brunch buffet priced at $75 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and younger. Items will include a grand hot buffet line, omelet and waffle station, cold seafood bar, a surf-and-turf station and Shaw's Sweet Table. The buffet will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; an a la carte dinner menu will be available 4-9 p.m. Call 312-527-2722.

For Easter Sunday, March 27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Lucille at Drury Lane ( 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace ) is hosting a special brunch. Menu highlights include omelet, savory and carving stations as well as a seafood bar and a dessert table. Mimosas and bellinis are complimentary throughout the meal, and there's a Bloody Mary bar. The cost is $10-$45; call 630-530-8300.

For Easter, March 27, R.J. Grunts will offer brunch at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Enjoy its famous "All U Can Eat Weekend Brunch," with items ranging from Pecan bread pudding french toast and mini belgian waffles to grunts' thick-cut bacon, scrambled eggs, and yogurt and granola for $15.95. Visit or call 773-929-5363 to make reservations .

—The Bristol, 2152 N. Damen Ave., will celebrate Easter Sunday with a pastry board along with a range of pates, terrines and spreads for the table. Diners then choose an entree, from braised pork chilaquiles to French toast with apple compote to the classic Hangover Breakfast. Brunch is $35 per person and includes coffee or tea. To make a reservation, call 773-862-5555 or visit .

—Mon Ami Gabi, 2300 N. Lincoln Park West, is offering a sweet Sunday brunch with dishes like the creme brulee French toast and chocolate waffles with homemade fudge and whipped cream. There will also be savory items such as beef bourguignonne Benedict or the smoked salmon and homemade blinis with chive cream cheese and capers. See .

—Catalan restaurant Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S. Michigan Ave., commemorates National Paella Day on March 27 with specials throughout the week. On March 27-31, guests can order Mercat's paellas at half the price. Visit .

On March 31, White Oak Tavern & Inn, 1200 W. Webster Ave., will launch its Chef in Residence series with Chef Andrew Little of Josephine, a contemporary restaurant featuring American farmhouse cuisine located in Nashville. Chef Tom Van Lente and the White Oak Tavern & Inn team will host a collaborative meal with Little on Saturday, April 2. On April 3, Little will offer a five-course meal with dishes such as Nashville hot scrapple with frisee and pickle vinaigrette; and rabbit dumplings with asparagus, morels and radish. Tickets for Chef in Residence: Andrew Little at White Oak Tavern & Inn are $65 per person; call 773-248-0200.

—Hard Rock Cafe Chicago, 63 W. Ontario St., is offing a Guinness and Jameson bacon cheeseburger, paired with a Guinness stout, through Sunday, April 10. The burger will be served alongside Hard Rock's seasoned fries with the option to add a topping of Guinness cheese sauce and bacon, allowing guests to experience Irish stout flavors with every bite.

—Mezcaleria Las Flores—Chicago's first mezcaleria, created by Rick Bayless' former mixology chief Jay Schroeder and chef/owner of Johnny's Grill, Sarah Jordan—is now open at 3149 W. Logan Blvd. Highlighting a few different Oaxacan mezcales as well as bacanora from Sonora, sotol from Chihuahua and raicilla from the south of Jalisco, guests can navigate Schroeder's seven-cocktail opening menu by each drink's Fresh, Smoky and Adventurous qualities. Mezcaleria Las Flores guests will also be able to dine with menu items from Johnny's Grill.

—Buona: The Original Italian Beef, has announced its first official location within Chicago's city limits. The restaurant group, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, opens its 17th location on March 22 at 10659 S. Western Ave. Also, 100 social-media participants will receive an exclusive invite to be one of the first customers and receive "Free Beef For A Year." For more info, see .

—Brasserie by LM ( in the Essex Inn, 800 S. Michigan Ave. ) will close temporarily for business after service on Sunday, March 20, following dinner service. This is prompted by the planned renovation and repositioning of Chicago's famous Essex Inn as well as the development of the 55-story Essex Tower residential building next door. The extended hiatus is expected to last between 24 and 30 months.

Send items to or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610 .

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