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New Wicker Park restaurant; "Ballerina Hot Chocolate"
Dining news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

This article shared 4038 times since Mon Nov 24, 2014
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—Chicago restaurant veteran Michael Taus is aiming for a mid-to-late January launch of Taus Authentic—a brand-new, 6,000-square-foot Wicker Park restaurant ( at the former Prasino space at 1846 W. Division St. ). Taus worked in the kitchens of Chef Pierre Pollin at Le Titi de Paris, Chef Joachim Splichal at Patina and Chef Charlie Trotter before launching his own restaurant, Zealous. ( A 2012 profile of the now-closed Zealous is at )

—The JW Marriott Chicago, 151 W. Adams St. will host a "Ballerina Hot Chocolate Happy Hour" on Wed., Dec. 3, 4-6 p.m., with tutu-clad ballerinas on hand as the hotel offers free hot chocolate and cider to local and visiting guests in its lobby lounge. Also, there's a "Night at The Nutcracker Ballet" package that includes two VIP tickets to the Joffrey Ballet's The Nutcracker, an overnight stay in a deluxe guest room and a swag bag, among other things ( starting at $429 ). Visit or call 312-660-8200.

—Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe St., has a new winter brunch menu and a new Monday special courtesy of the chef team Donny Farrell and Cole Schweitzer. The winter brunch menu features items like the Cubano, veg frittata, chilaquiles and more. On Mondays only, Commonwealth Tavern will feature a charcuterie plate special paired with five eight-ounce beers for $25. See .

—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.

—Last Call Tavern Group has acquired the bar and restaurant ( formerly known as Wheel House ) at 3553 N. Southport Ave., and will reopen the establishment as The Butcher's Tap in early December. The Butcher's Tap will offer made-to-order, fresh meals ( signature deli sandwiches, butcher boards, grass-fed burgers, free-range chicken and other sides and appetizers ) with a large selection of beverages. The full menu is at

—This holiday season, The Boundary, 1932 W. Division St., will serve Turkey Day-themed cuisine Nov. 24-30. Special menu items include turkey-and-mozzarella croquettes and hot turkey sandwich. Visit .

—The W Hotel's Current, 644 N. Lake Shore Dr., will be open for Thanksgiving. Executive Chef Gregory Elliott will offer items such as shaved radicchio and persimmon salad, Slagel Family Farm turkey plate, seafood risotto and amaretto cheesecake. Call 312-255-4460 or visit

—BBQ restaurant Smoke Daddy, 1804 W. Division St., is offering "Smoked-Turkeys-to-Go" for Thanksgiving. A whole slow-cooked turkey is priced at 11 pounds for $65, or 20 pounds for $85. ( Pulled turkey is $16 per pound. ) Pre-orders are being taken now; call 773-772-6656, or visit .

—Benny's Chop House, 444 N. Wabash Ave., is offering a Thanksgiving meal for $49. The chef's traditional dinner will include natural turkey breast and braised turkey leg, creamy mashed potatoes, sage stuffing, sweet potatoes, green-bean casserole, and pumpkin pie with cranberry chutney and vanille bean creme brulee, among other items. See .

—Howells & Hood, 435 N. Michigan Ave., will offer Thanksgiving-related fare Nov. 24-30. Among the items are turkey wings, hot brown smoked pastrami turkey, H&H turkey loaf and pumpkin-pie flan. See .

—French restaurant Bistro Voltaire, 226 W. Chicago Ave., offers a three-course $29 Monday-night menu. Some of the selections are classic French onion soup, escargot de Bourgogne ( braised snails with garlic and herb butter and topped puff pastry ), ballotine de poulet ( chicken stuffed with goat cheese, mushrooms, spinach and rosemary cream sauce ) and warm chocolate cake. See

—Oak Park's Marion Street Market is also offering Thanksgiving fare, for $24.95 per guest. Guests will receive unlimited visits to a cheese-and-charcuterie station as well as a station serving a variety of appetizers and composed salads. Then, patrons can choose an entree ( roasted turkey breast, roasted pork loin and homemade tagliatelle pasta ), and there will be a dessert station as well. Visit .

—The Thanksgiving menu at Chicago Cut Steakhouse, 300 N. LaSalle St., features such classics as butternut squash soup, autumn salad, candy-roasted sweet potatoes and maple-glazed roasted turkey. For dessert, guests can enjoy pumpkin pie with cinnamon whipped cream, apple pie with Homer's vanilla ice cream or Georgia pecan pie, also served with Homer's vanilla ice cream. Visit .

—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.

—For the fifth consecutive year, Fortune Fish & Gourmet is teaming with SeaShare, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the nutrition of individuals served by food banks across the United States. Throughout the holidays, Fortune Fish and SeaShare will donate thousands of pounds of seafood and gourmet foods to Feeding America, the network of more than 200 U.S. food banks that includes the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Food for Greater Elgin and many others.

—Gemini Bistro, 2075 N. Lincoln Ave., a Lincoln Park eatery just three blocks from Lincoln Park Zoo, has announced a special three-course prix fixe menu launching Friday, Nov. 28, and lasting throughout ZooLights. Items include roasted tomato soup, spiced pumpkin risotto, loch duart salmon, free-range chicken and assorted cookies. See .

—The Signature Room, 875 N. Michigan Ave., rings in the season at the "Holiday Kick-Off Party with Santa" on Saturday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Families are welcomed into the festively decorated private dining space to meet Santa Claus, decorate cookies with his elves, and write out holiday wish lists. The event costs $35 per adult, and $18 per child; tickets are available at 312-280-0465.

—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.

—Travelle, 330 N. Wabash Ave., will hold an exclusive "Swine and Wine" chef collaboration dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 11. Executive Chef Tim Graham has teamed up with Chef Nathan Sears of The Radler to feature a pork-based menu paired with international wines. Tickets are offered at $99 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Call 312-923-9988.

—Le Colonial, 937 N. Rush St., has bun tom thit nuong as its November #OffTheMenu special. The $16 dish contains a mix of thinly-sliced barbeque pork and grilled shrimp, is served over a bed of angel-hair noodles and is topped with mesclun greens, pickled carrot, daikon and a lime-garlic fish sauce.

—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 .

Send items to or follow on Twitter @Azygous60610.

This article shared 4038 times since Mon Nov 24, 2014
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