Through Dec. 24, 312 Chicago and Atwood Restaurant are offering a complimentary refill of house-made mulled wine when guests bring their trademark Christkindlmarket mug or boot to dinner ( with entrée purchase ). 312 Chicago's house-made wine, Vin Brule, is an Italian wine punch made by adding lemon peels, orange peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star of anise, sugar and a full bodied red wine to a pot and stirring over heat.
Speaking of The Atwood, 1 W. Washington St., it has launched its holiday tea service. Through Christmas Day, guests of Atwood can sip on their choice of eight loose-leaf tea options sweetened with cumin or chamomile-infused honey, or opt for a flute of bubbly for an additional cost. Afternoon tea is served 2-3:30 p.m. and weekends; the cost is $35 per adult, $20 per child under 12 ( $10-12 extra for bubbly ). Reservations are required; call 312-368-1900 or email email@example.com .
Scott Harris, owner of the Francesca's Restaurant empire, filed a massive lawsuit against Jimmy Bannos Jr., Jimmy Bannos Sr., Tony Mantuano, another partner and a manager at The Purple Pig, Eater Chicago noted. Harris alleges several offenses, including embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars, destroying employee timecards and a kickback scheme. Bannos Jr.'s received a James Beard Award in May.
Gift guide alert: Artizone ( www.Artizone.com ) offers a lot. Consider subscribing someone to a Club of the Month ( e.g., Spice or Tasting Menu of the Month ) or a unique offering such as the Black Dog Gelato Hot Chocolate Kit ( and that gelato is delicious, trust me ). Plus, the company delivers locally and ships nationally.
After 15 years in River North, Bin 36 is reportedly set to leave its space in the Marina City complex along the Chicago River, according to Crain's Chicago Business. Owner Dan Sachs, who opened Bin 36 there in 1999, reportedly plans to move into a smaller space in the West Loop, just east of the Kennedy Expressway. The newer area will feature fewer eateries than the current spot does; nearby restaurants in the West Loop include Blackbird, Avec, Grace, Sepia and Embeya.
Burger Boss ( 3208 N. Southport Ave. and 7512 W. North Ave. ) has teamed with Food Network star and "Sandwich King" Jeff Mauro to create a signature sandwich. Throughout December, Burger Boss will be serving the "Mauro Melt," with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Hepzibah Children's Association. Two Angus beef patties are sandwiched between a fresh pumpernickel bun, topped off with fragrant grilled onions, flash fried crispy cherry peppers, melted American cheese, and the restaurant's signature Boss Sauce.
Guests who visit Lottie's Pub in Bucktown and The Pony in Lakeview this holiday season will enjoy specialty Christmas beers ( while supplies last ) and seasonal cocktails ranging from $7 to $10. Among the cocktails are the Rumpelstiltskin ( $7; Rumple Minze and hot chocolate topped with whipped cream ), Italian cider ( $7; Tuaca Italian liqueur and hot apple cider served with a cinnamon stick ) and Kentucky hot chocolate ( $7; Buffalo Trace and hot chocolate ).
In the world of television, judge Joe Bastianich is leaving the Fox show MasterChef, according to The Wrap. He will take part for the last time in the franchise on the upcoming third season of MasterChef Junior, which premieres Jan. 6 on Fox. The judge said he is leaving to focus on his business interests.
Nick Kokonas ( of Chicago's Alinea, Next and The Aviary ) announced that his restaurant-ticketing company has taken several big steps forward as a challenger to the status quo of online reservations, SFGate.com noted. First of all, it now has a name: Tock. Down the line, Kokonas imagines that Tock can be a tool for any business that conducts a time-slotted charge, from hair salons and spas to private training and non-emergency medicine.
Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., will feature a whole animal meal package on New Year's Eve beginning at 8 p.m. The package ( $85 ) includes whole smoked-animal service ( pig, goat, lamb and boar ), oysters, salads, sides, desserts, a champagne toast at midnight and party favors. Visit www.thefrontierchicago.com .
This New Year's Eve, 437 Rush, 437 N. Rush St., will offer its regular menu along with specials that Executive Chef Christian Fantoni will prepare. New Year's Eve specials include king crab salad, oyster chowder, veal loin, surf and turf, panna cotta and more. Reservations are required; call 312-222-0101.
On Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m., celebrity Chef Jose Garces is inviting up to 60 Chicago gourmands to a holiday cooking demo and four-course dinner in the Barcelona Room of the tapas restaurant Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S. Michigan Ave. Among the slated dishes are serrand ham and fig salad; bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with almonds; garlic shrimp; charred Brussels sprouts; and Calaspara rice with butternut squash, golden raisins, and Brussels sprouts. Tickets are $75, with $50 from each ticket benefitting the Chicago Greater Food Depository; call 312-765-0524.
The Florentine, 151 W. Adams St., is offering all couples who get engaged there on 12/13/14 50 percent off their bills when they dine at the restaurantfor life. In addition, couples who get engaged outside Chicago on 12/13/14 can still benefit, as this offer is valid at all participating ESquared Hospitality restaurants.
On Thursday, Dec. 18, Vie ( 4471 Lawn Ave., Western Springs ) is hosting the Revolution Brewing Beer Dinner, pairing Chef Paul Virant's Midwestern fare with the local brewery's special, seasonal offerings. There will be five courses, an intermezzo and a dessertall involving porters and ales. Courses will include wood-grilled sturgeon, seared duck breast and duck bratwurst, and granola with huckleberry aigre doux. The cost is $125; call 708-246-2082.
The women's board of the Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced that the triennial gala Wine Auction 2015 will take place Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, on the famous stage of the Ardis Krainik Theatre, 20 N. Upper Wacker Dr. Wine Auction 2012 netted a record-breaking $1.7 million, with Wine Spectactor Magazine naming the event one of the "Top Ten Charity Wine Auctions" of that year. Tickets are $1,500 each; call 312-827-5682 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
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