Indian-Latin fusion restaurant Vermilion, 10 W. Hubbard St., has launched its Dosa Frankie brunch bar. ( Dosas are delicate airy rice lentil crepes, traditionally served with a classic potato filling, hot sambar and coconut chutney; frankies are kabab-stuffed grilled paratha with its layer of egg, pickled onion and chutney. ) The new menu is being offered Fridays through Sundays. See TheVermilionRestaurant.com .
Thai chef Arun Sampanthavivat is reopening Arun's Thai Restaurant in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood at 4156 N. Kedzie Ave. Born and raised in Thailand, Sampanthavivat introduced his namesake restaurant to Chicago in 1985. In 2017, Chef Arun joined forces with Kittigron Lirtpanaruk, co-owner of Spice/SEA Group of New York, a new partnership that allowed him to maintain his focus on preparing outstanding, authentic cuisine in the kitchen alongside his two brothers, Anawat and Nit; after a brief closure to reinvigorate the restaurant interiors and menu offerings, Arun's reopened in March 2017. See ArunsThai.com .
Food columnist and author Phil Potempa will take center stage at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster, Indiana on Sunday, April 2, at 2:30 p.m. in a special live two-hour "From the Farm Cooking Show" to celebrate the 15th anniversary of his weekly From the Farm recipe newspaper column. Phil will prepare a seven-course feast, highlighting favorite recipes from his third cookbook Further From the Farm: Family Recipes and Memories of a Lifetime.
Naha, 500 N. Clark St., is offering "8 plus 8 'til 8"with several cocktails/glasses/small plates for $8 until 8 p.m. This brand-new offering will be offered at the bar only on Monday through Friday with a revolving menu, edited by Bar Director/GM Amy Starr and Chef Carrie Nahabedian. See Naha-Chicago.com .
Bistro Campagne, 4518 N. Lincoln Ave., will host a dinner on Thursday, March 30, promptly at 6:30 p.m. that will feature Chimay Trappist Ales. Menu items will include ahi tuna Madame featuring quail egg, peaches en vanilla and cardamom with micro arugula; carnaroli risotto of clams with applewood smoked bacon and Yukon gold potatoes; roulade of pork tenderloin, apricot and caramelized shallots, goat cheese and tarragon crema; quail coq au vin and a sweet-potato trio; and Chimay-Tilamook Cheddar Fondue and crumbled toffee croissant. The dinner $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity; call 773-271-6100 to make reservations.
The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group and dana hotel and spa have announced the opening of Apogee, an opulent rooftop lounge serving over-the-top, large-format cocktails by Benjamin Schiller and his team. ( One example is the Panda Party, a combination of blackstrap rum, cognac, lime, ginger, absinthe garnished with dehydrated citrus, pineapple leaves, orange powder, mint powder and sesame seeds. ) Meaning "the highest point of a development," Apogee will debut in April.
On Sunday, April 2, 5-9 p.m., seven Chicago chefs and mixologistsBrian Ahern ( Boeufhaus ), Andrew Brochu ( Roister ), Abe Conlon ( Fat Rice ), Aaron Lirette ( GreenRiver ), Micah Melton ( The Aviary/Office ), Noah Sandoval ( Oriole ) and Freddie Sarkis ( formerly of The Broken Shaker )will come together at GreenRiver, 259 E. Erie St., to raise money and awareness for mental health. The benefit dinner, entitled "Food Gives Me Hope," will consist of a one-night-only six-course menu complete with beverage pairings. Tickets are priced at $250 per person, with all of the proceeds being donated directly to Hope for the Day, a non-profit organization that specializes in suicide prevention and education; visit FoodGivesMeHope.org .
Also on Sunday, April 2, Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., will offer its PB&J wings at half-price to mark National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day. The wing features Thai peanut butter with a raspberry chipotle jelly. See JakeMelnicks.com .
On Sunday, April 2, Fig & Olive Chicago will launch its Jazz Brunch Sundays series with Dave Rice. ( Chris White will perform on April 9, with Liz Mandeville performing on April 16. ) Menu offerings include crostini, French toast, quinoa salad, grilled smoked hanger steak, crab cake, and Riviera poached egg and cured salmon. See FigAndOlive.com .
Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House, 1024 N. Rush St., has a new scallop dish in time for spring. In celebration of warmer weather ahead in tandem with Hugo's Frog Bar's 20th anniversary, Executive Chef Russell Kook presents sea scallops with cauliflower puree and beet vinaigrette to Hugo's menu. Also known for their marvelously massive desserts, Hugo's is offering colossal carrot cake; a whole cake weighs more than 25 lbs. Just one slice can serve up to six ( or two really dedicated ) people. See HugosFrogBar.com .
Gene & Georgetti Rosemont, 9421 W. Higgins Rd., is unveiling spring specials. Items include fish and chips ( $15.75 ) and pepper-and-egg sandwich ( $9 ), while bar-lounge specials include meatball sliders ( $12.75 ), prime sliders ( $9.25 ) and skirt steak and onion rings ( $31.25 ). See GeneAndGeorgetti.com .
The Chicago Cocktail Summit will take place April 2-3 at the Logan Theatre, 2646 N. Milwaukee Ave. Among those slated to appear are David Wondrich, Charles Joly, Dan Pashman ( host of the food-and-drink podcast on iTunes, The Sporkful ), Peter Sagal ( Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me ), Erick Castro ( bartender-at-large ), Julia Momose, Ed Hamilton, Caitlin Laman, Julieta Campos and others. See CocktailSummit.com .
Fondue restaurant Geja's Cafe, 340 W. Armitage Ave., will celebrate National Cheese Fondue Week this April. Geja's will kick off the festivities on Sunday, April 9, when it will host a cheese-and-chocolate fondue cooking class at 1-3 p.m. ( The celebration will continue through Saturday, April 15. ) The event will cost $60 per person. During April 9-15, guests who mention National Cheese Fondue Week will receive $5 off each dinner. See GejasCafe.com .
In honor of Columbus Tap's 1st anniversarywhich also happens to be National Beer Day ( April 7 )Columbus Tap, 200 N. Columbus Dr., is offering its classic Tap That Burger with their exclusive house brew, Bohemian Rye-City, for $20 for the entire month of April. The Tap That Burger is regularly $19 and the Bohemian Rye-City is regularly $8.
In celebration of the Cubs home opener on Monday, April 10, all Kanela locations will feature a Cubby French toast. The special will be available for $11.49 and features French toast stuffed with sweet cream cheese, blueberry jam and raspberry jam, then garnished with a powdered sugar "W." See KanelaBreakfastClub.com .
Claudiaa fine-dining underground pop-up restaurant from Chef Trevor Teichis hosting two nine-course dinner seatings ( at 5 and 8:30 p.m. ) featuring a new spring menu on Friday, April 14, at 327 N. Bell St. Tickets are $165 each ( excluding gratuity ); see ClaudiaRestaurant.com .
French restaurant Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will offer a prix fixe menu for both Passover and Easter Sunday. The three-course Passover menu will be offered from Monday, April 10, to Tuesday, April 18, in honor of the Jewish spring festival for dinner; the cost is $39 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. The three-course Easter Sunday brunch menu will be offered on Sunday, April 16, 10:30 a.m-2:30 p.m. for $42 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, or $56 with bottomless mimosas. Reservations are recommended and may be made via Open Table on the website.
SafeHouse Chicago, 60 E. Ontario St., will be offering its special Undercover Happy Hour at 4-6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, for spies who have grown weary from all the number-crunching ( i.e.., tax time ). Agents can indulge in $4 domestic beers, $5 well drinks and $6 house wines. The Fried C4 Cheese Cruds, RQ-1 Rings, Camp Stanley Nachos and Bird Watcher Wings appetizers are all available for $6. See SafehouseChicago.com .
La Mez Agave Loungea mezcal lounge located downstairs at Mercadito Chicago,108 W. Kinzie St.is bringing back its Mixology Academy on Saturday, April 15, 3-5 p.m. The course, led by Beverage Director Paul Tanguey, will feature Dustin Miller with Maestro Dobel Tequila and cost $45 per guest. To RSVP, call 312-329-9555 or visit www.mercaditorestaurants.com .
Northbrook's Prairie Grass Cafe, 601 Skokie Blvd., will offer Easter brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on April 16. Each guest starts with the restaurant's signature "PGC Benedict," featuring a poached egg on top of spinach and served with a roasted tomato Hollandaise sauce. The price is $49.50 for adults and $18 for children 10 and younger. Reservations are strongly recommended; call 847-205-4433 .
The Estate by Gene & Georgettithe upscale events venue adjacent to the Gene & Georgetti restaurant in Rosemont, 9421 W. Higgins Rd.will celebrate Easter Sunday with special brunch seatings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., as well as dinner seatings at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring the whole family and pose for a photo with the Easter Bunny between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Estate's Easter Brunch and Dinner costs $39 for adults, and $19 for children ages 11 and younger, plus tax and gratuity. Complimentary valet service is also available. Call 847-653-3302 or visitGeneandGeorgetti.com .
Hilton Oak Brook Hills Resort has announced the return of its longstanding community tradition, Easter Brunch in the Grand Ballroom. On Sunday, April 16, two seatings ( 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. ) will give way to a family experience featuring modern farm cuisine, a petting zoo, a children's cookie craft area, a complimentary family portrait and a visit from the Easter Bunny. See Eventbrite.com .
In honor of author Ronni Lundy's new book Victuals: An Appalachian Journey with Recipes, Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., invites guests for an evening of culinary items from the Southern mountains. Chef and Co-Owner Paul Fehribach welcomes the author with a featured Piggybank Dinner at the restaurant on April 20, 6-9:30 p.m. This event is $75 per person or $125 per couple and includes a personalized, signed copy of Victuals and a $50 per person donation to the Southern Foodways Alliance. Visit bigjoneschicago.com; RSVP by calling 773-275-5725 .
The Chicago Artisan Chocolate Festival will take place April 22-23 at Plumbers Hall, 1340 W. Washington Blvd. The event will feature chocolate tastings from local vendors, celebrity chef demonstrations, an event with 40+ vendors, charity wine tasting, artisanal food exhibits and much more. See www.eventbrite.com/e/the-chicago-artisan-chocolate-show-artisanal-foods-charity-wine-tasting-tickets-19281683033 .
Kings Bowl Lincoln Park, 1500 N. Clybourn Ave., will be the site of Chef Bowl 2017 on Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m., when former Chicago Bear Rashied Davis will host the event. Emceed by Ji Suk Yi of ABC 7's Windy City LIVE and chaired by Chef Tony Priolo of Piccolo Sogno and Nonnina, the event will bring Chicago chefs together for a day of bowling, food and festivities to support Saturday Place. Other participating chefs include Kevin Cuddihee ( TWO ), Dick Flanigan ( Il Congilio ), Kevin Hickey ( Duck Inn ), Brian Jupiter ( Frontier ), Cory Morris ( Ronero ), Todd Stein ( Formento's ), Giuseppe Tentori ( GT Prime ) and Tom Valente ( Lucille ), among others. Tickets are $65 each; visit SaturdayPlace.org .
Brindille, 534 N. Clark St., will be offering a Mother's Day tea on Sunday, May 14, 2-5 p.m. The tea service will feature Chef Carrie and Pastry Chef Craig's creations. Among the slated items will be crumpets, sandwiches, sweets, confections and, of course, tea. It will be $65/person, and there's limited seating. RSVP at info@Brindille-Chicago.com .
On Sunday, May 14, Lake View's PR Italian Bistro will host a Bowen Arrow Diamonds & Designs trunk show at 11 a.m.-3 p.m. There will also be bottomless mimosas ( $12 ) being offered. The event is free, but reservations are being taken. Visit PRItalianBistro.com or call 773-404-8955 .
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/ .
Sangria Festival will return to Chicago's Humboldt Park on Sunday, Aug. 20. Beyond hand-crafted sangria from mixologists, Sangria Fest also pays homage to Spanish food and arts, featuring freshly made paellas, authentic flamenco performances and a mercado. Partial proceeds from the event will benefit the San Lucas Church Food Pantry & Hot Meal Program and Humboldt Park's traveling little league. See SangriaFestivalChicago.com .
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