The Travelle "Chef Collab" dinner series kicks off on Thursday, May 25, at 6 p.m. as Travelle Kitchen + Bar's Chef Ricardo Jarquin opens his kitchen to Chef Daniel Espinoza from new taqueria Holy Taco! for a family-style dinner. The five-course event will begin with guests seated at communal tables in Travelle's wine cellar. Admission is $65 per person, excluding tax and gratuity; call 312-923-7705 or call TravelleChicago.com . ( In addition to the "Chef Collab" event, Travelle Kitchen + Bar, 330 N. Wabash Ave., will be open to the public for nightly dinner service. )
There are changes at the meat-centric hideaway The Barn ( Rear 1016 Church St., Evanston, ), including the addition of Chef de Cuisine Amanda Barnes to the all-female management team, an updated menu, al fresco dining and expanded hours to seven nights a week, starting Monday, June 5. New menu offerings include escolar curdo with toasted coriander, chili, spicy greens, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil; crab spaghetti with jumbo lump crab, white wine, shallots, garlic, chili, and parmesan; and spring vegetable salad with raw shaved asparagus, carrots, radish, sunflower seeds, and roasted garlic vinaigrette. See TheBarnEvanston.com .
A Nutella-themed cafe will open in Chicago on Wed., May 31, inside Millennium Park, The Huffington Post reported. A menu that Eater obtained shows the café will offer savory dishes, along with some items not served with Nutella. The cafe will offer everything from muffins to crepes to paninis to fondue.
Evanston Thai restaurant NaKorn, 1622 Orrington St., has new spring/summer items on its menu. New items include, among others, briased chicken breast with thin rice noodle in spicy-lime broth with green beans, carrots, bean sprouts, roasted crushed peanuts, cilantro, roasted Thai chili flakes and garlic oil; grilled octopus with seasonal greens, squid ink tuile, served with red chili-peanut-lime drizzle; and steamed baby lobster tail, with kohlrabi, micro greens, and preserved lime-Thai bird's eye chili broth. See NaKornKitchen.com .
Garrett Popcorn Shops has announced the keepsake Spring Tin design and the Garrett Spring Collection, with 10 percent of sales going to Infant Welfare Society. The spring collection features glazed Garrett Popcorn enrobed in four new Belgian white-chocolate recipes: strawberry, orange, lime and traditional. These items are available in shops and online; visit GarrettPopcorn.com .
Ema, 74 W. Illinois St., has just launched its weekend brunch menu ( 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. ). Chef CJ Jacobson is serving Mediterranean dishes for the morning like lamb ragu and baked egg, with harissa and grilled bread, kefta and eggs; housemade yogurt with granola, dates, berries and pomegranate molasses; and house-cured king salmon with dill, fennel, arak, labneh, caper leaves, and house "everything" bread. See EmaChicago.com .
On Thursday, May 25, at 6:30 p.m., the Low Tide Lounge at Oyster Bah, 1962 N. Halsted St., will offer a taste of spring and rock 'n' roll with a five-course seasonal dinner featuring a menu of food and cocktails all served on the rocks. The dinner will feature tributes to Nirvana, the Rolling Stones, The Go-Go's, The Yardbirds and The Temptations. The cost is $60 each; call 773-248-3000 to RSVP.
Kal'ish Vegan, 1313 W. Wilson Ave., is marking National Hamburger Day on Sunday, May 28. The spot's classic house items include the K Burger ( beefy patty, K sauce, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion ) and the G Burger ( gluten- and nut-free garden patty and bun, G sauce, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion ) for $10.50 each. There are also the Bad ADZ Burger, Avocado Crunch and Pesto V Burger for $11.50 apiece. Visit www.kalishvegan.com .
The Patio at Primehouse, 616 N. Rush St., will relaunch on Memorial Day weekend. Anchored by a new 40-day, dry-aged Prime steak burger ( $16 ) with spinach, black pepper aioli, caramelized onion, bacon and choice of cheese, the updated selection of shareable plates includes kogos ( fried potato-battered hot dogs for $12 ), aged steak flatbread ( $16 ) and housemade charcuterie ( $16 ). See JamesHotels.com/chicago/primehouse.
For Memorial Day weekend, Kanela Breakfast Club ( all locations ) will offer al fresco, dog-friendly dining. Guests can sip on new seasonal cocktails all weekend long including the Cinnamon Toast Brunch ( vodka, Kahlua, Rumchata; $9 ), Ginger Paloma ( tequila, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, ginger syrup; $9 ) and Tony Danza ( Bison Grass Vodka, lemonade, iced tea, Peychaud's bitters, strawberry; $9 ).
Dovetail Brewery, 1800 W. Belle Plaine Ave., and Begyle are joining forces to host "Mayfestiversary," a friendly block party celebrating Dovetail's one-year anniversary and the second anniversary of Begyle Brewing's taproom. The fest will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday-Sunday, May 27-28, outside of Dovetail. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Foundations of Music. See "Mayfestiversary" on Facebook.
Fast-casual spot Portillo's announced the return of an old favorite: the brand's previously discontinued lemon cake. Portillo's credits the menu item's return to one man: Ben, a Reddit user who put up a $300 bounty on the popular website's Chicago page for anyone with information on how to obtain the cake recipe. Originally taken off the menu over a decade ago, the Lemon Cake will be available by the slice and whole cake from June 13 to July 31, while supplies last.
LondonHouse Chicago, 85 E. Wacker Dr., announced that Land & Lake Kitchen, the latest LM Restaurant Group ( LMRG ) concept, is set to open this summer on the ground-floor retail space adjacent to the hotel's main entrance on Wacker Drive. Tim Davidson, the former chef at LMRG's Troquet River North, will be the restaurant's executive chef, offering upscale yet casual American cuisine.
Geja's Cafe, 340 W. Armitage Ave, will be celebrating spring in Chicago with its two-month wine festival, "Tasting the World Through Rosé Colored Glasses," through Friday, June 30. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy nine carefully selected rosés that represent the vastly different styles of rosé wine from around the world. See GejasCafe.com .
Cafe Robey, 2018 W. North Ave., has introduced its spring menu. Helmed by Chef Bradley Stellings, Cafe Robey's spring dinner menu is focused on fresh seafood such as pasta neck clams, bigeye tuna and octopus. There are also citrus componentslemon confit in the asparagus risotto; orange reduction in the poulet paillard; and lime aioli with the Montauk fried calamari. See TheRobey.com .
The West Loop Community Organization, StarEvents and Silver Wrapper have announced the music and restaurant lineups for the 21st Annual Taste of Randolph Festival, taking place June 16-18 at 900 W. Randolph St. Some of the musical headliners include Dawes, Moon Taxi and Emancipator Ensemble; and some of the participating restaurants include bellyQ, Nando's Peri-Peri Chicken, La Sardine, Grange Hall Burger Bar and Bar Siena. See www.starevents.com/event/taste-of-randolph/ .
Imperial Lamian, 6 W. Hubbard St., is gearing up for the ultimate Xiao Long Bao Eating Contest on the Hubbard Street patio on Wed., June 21. The Chinese restaurant invites dumpling lovers to enter the competition throughout the entire month of May by posting a photo eating XLB at Imperial Lamian, following and tagging @imperiallamianchi on Instagram, and using the hashtag #DowntheDumpling. Ten contestants will be chosen on Thursday, June 1, and will have 20 days to stretch their stomachs before the big day.
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