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Dining news: Wicker Park restaurant openings; Gino's East in Pilsen
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 2460 times since Tue Apr 5, 2016
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—urbanbelly will open in Wicker Park at 1542 N. Damen Ave. Beginning Wed., April 6, urbanbelly Wicker Park will be open for dinner service, with lunch service to follow soon. There will also be a special open house Tuesday, April 12, 5-9 p.m. ( The first 250 guests will receive a complimentary gift bag and urbanbelly will be raffling prizes throughout the day, including a pair of VIP Tickets to Ramenfest. Admission is free, with purchases a la carte, as noted. ) Visit .

—Business partners Chris Pappas ( The Winchester, Sepia ) and pastry chef Nancy Silver ( Blackbird, Firefly, Charlie Trotter's ) officially announced the name of their all-day European-style neighborhood eatery and wine & aperitifs-focused evening cafe: Americano 2211—a name inspired by its coffee-and-tea program plus its address at 2211 W. North Ave., the former Birchwood Kitchen space. The all-day menu will feature an array of light, ingredient-driven dishes intended for sharing. Americano 2211 is slated to open in early April.

—Columbus Tap, 200 N. Columbus St., will open at the Fairmont Chicago Thursday, April 7. Leading the culinary team is Chef Atticus Garant ( DB Bistro, Fairmont Pacific Rim ) with a Midwest-focused menu that uses seasonal and regional ingredients. See .

—Gino's East has announced the grand opening of its newest location in Pilsen, 1659 W. 21st St., on Friday, April 8. The dishes from the Gino's East Mexico City menu will include deep-dish or thin-crust pizzas: Carnitas, Nopal Vegetarian and Meaty Chorizo Legend. Small plates include jumbo wings marinated with homemade pastor sauce or smoky dry rub; pozole verde soup; Oaxacan caprese salad and more. Visit .

—Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House has unveiled a new spring menu and specialty cocktails available as part of its Wednesday Night Del-ight happy-hour offering. Among the new options are tuna tartare, thick-cut bacon, crab-fried rice, sauteed wild mushrooms and pearl onions, and Wagyu beef French dip. See .

—Seven Lions, 130 S. Michigan Ave., announced Patrick Russ as its new executive chef. Most recently, Russ was the chef de cuisine at The Dawson; previously he had worked at Next as chef de partie. Russ' spring items include Scottish salmon, ahi tuna crudo and spring salad, among other dishes.

—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.

—Burrito Beach, 414 N. Orleans St., has announced what it calls "beach-body friendly menu items with vibrant ingredients and limited time-only bites inspired by the colorful season." Among the newest dishes are spicy Mexican paella bowl, Sancho's cracked tacos ( with ground beef ), Mexican organic quinoa salad, Baja chicken tacos and grass-fed brisket beach bowl salad. (The paella bowl is set to launch mid-spring and the cracked tacos are launching early summer.) See .

—Tanta Chef Jesus Delgado and mfk. Chef Danny Mejia are collaborating on a six-course Peruvian/Spanish dinner at mfk. Restaurant, 432 W. Diversey Pkwy., on Tuesday, April 12, at 7 p.m. Some dishes will include tiradito chalaco ( Peruvian scallops, yellow chili emulsion, camote, cancha and chalaca ), pescaito frito ( smelt, squid, piquillo aioli and lemon ) and a Basque cake. Admission is $80; call 773-857-2540.

—Sepia, 123 N. Jefferson St., and five-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee Chef Andrew Zimmerman will welcome four-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee and Top Chef Masters season-three winner Chef Floyd Cardoz to highlight his new book Floyd Cardoz: Flavorwalla on Thursday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. Items will include Dad's Pea Soup, Molee ( stone bass, coconut milk, curry leaves, savoy cabbage and black mustard seed ), uberoi leg of lamb and bibinica ( caramelized coconut layer cake ). The cost is $125 per person ( excluding tax and gratuity ), including dinner and a signed copy of Floyd Cardoz: Flavorwalla. Call 312-441-1920.

—In honor of Tax Day ( April 15 ), GreenRiver, 259 E. Erie St., offers signature cocktails from their menu inspired by famous—and infamous—Irish-American Chicago politicians for a special price of $10.40. Items include the Hinky Dink, Cullerton Street, Grey Wolf, The Alderman, Doctor Who, Governor of Illinois and Apache. See .

—On Friday, April 15, Evanston's Smylie Brothers Brewing Company, 1615 Oak Ave., will release its award-winning Purple Line beer. ( Purple Line won a bronze medal at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival. ) The release party, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. includes Purple Line branded merchandise and $4 Purple Line beers all day.

—Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., invites Chicagoans to celebrate the spring season with a Louisiana crawfish boil on Sunday, April 17, at 3 p.m. in the beer garden. For $25 per person ( excluding tax and gratuity ), guests will enjoy an all-you-can-eat crawfish boil complete with potatoes and corn on the cob prepared by Pioneer Tavern Group Corporate Chef Brian Jupiter. Purchase tickets at .

—For Passover ( April 22-23 ), Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab will offer a menu with gefilte fish with red beet horseradish, bibb lettuce and chive salad with chopped liver as well as Suzy Friedman's vegetarian chopped liver and matzo-ball soup. For a full list of Lettuce Entertain You Passover listings, visit

—The Chicago Cocktail Social will take place Thursday, April 28, at Galleria Marchetti, 825 W. Erie St., 6-10 p.m. Attendees will sample drinks from almost 20 bars, including The Violet Hour, Broken Shaker, Analogue, The Duck Inn, Sable and Punch House, among others. Tickets are $40 each; visit .

—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.

—Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will offer a seasonal Passover menu in anticipation of the Jewish holiday. The menu is available beginning the evening of Friday, April 22, through Saturday, April 30, starting at 5 p.m. nightly; the price is $39 for adults and $19 for children 10 years of age and under. Items include warm asparagus salad or housemade chicken-liver mousse; Faroe Island salmon or glazed beef shortribs; and crunchy bittersweet chocolate bars or poached spiced pear. See .

—The 6th Annual Pastoral Artisan Producer Festival ( APF ), presented by The Specialty Food Association, will take place Saturday, April 30, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Chicago French Market, 131 N. Clinton St. This free event, created by Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, showcases the talents of local, national and international producers of high quality artisan foods and beverages. APF attendees can sample small-batch food, beer, wine and spirits from nearly 100 culinary artisans. Proceeds from this event will benefit Purple Asparagus and the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award, a scholarship fund for aspiring cheese professionals.

—This Mother's Day, French-inspired patisserie Vanille is celebrating mom with a first-of-its-kind photo contest. From Monday, April 18, to Sunday, May 8, mothers and children of all ages who stop by one of Vanille's three Chicago locations can snap a photo of themselves enjoying any of Vanille's artisanal specialties for the chance to win an Afternoon Tea party for 10 people inside the luxurious Vanille Salon located at the Lincoln Park location, 2108 N. Clark St. ( To enter the Mom, Me & Vanille Photo Contest, guests need to post their photo on Facebook or Instagram using #MomMeVanille. They must also tag Vanille at @VanilleChicago on Instagram or "Vanille Patisserie" on Facebook. ) Visit .

—Schaumburg's Tokio Pub, 1900 E. Higgins Rd., is hosting a four-course dinner with beer pairings from Michigan's Bell's Brewery. Culinary offerings will include crawfish Scotch egg, Buffalo mozzarella, Thai-style porchetta and twinkie "beeramisu." Costing $45 per guest ( tax and gratuity not included ), the dinner will begin with check-in at 6:30 p.m. and the first course at 7 p.m. Reservations are required; call 847-278-5181.

—Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., has a new brunch available on weekends at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The menu, created by Pioneer Tavern Group Corporate Chef Brian Jupiter, features items like a bacon flight, wagyu beef and kimchi reuben, pumpkin seed granola, beef tongue and eggs, and more. There are also cocktails such as mimosas, Doc Holiday ( Milagro tequila, carrot, cilantro, lime and Aquavit ) and the Corpse Reviver #2. See .

Send items to or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610 .

This article shared 2460 times since Tue Apr 5, 2016
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