Edgewater Indian restaurant Mango Pickle, 5842 N. Broadway, has some pretty unforgettable itemsand, during June 23-July 2, people can take a five-course "trip" from Chicago to Pondicherry, India, with stops in Paris and Bombay. Dishes will include chilled mulligatawny (roasted asparagus, sun-dried heirloom tomato and popcorn); prawn pickle or chicken vandal or tamarind summer vegetables; a palate cleanser; fried soft-shell crab or spicy fried chicken or Midwest fried green tomatoes; and strawberry mousse. RSVP at https://www.exploretock.com/mangopickle.
Also, Sunday high tea will take place on June 25 and July 2, at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. The menu will include items like tomato-and-cumin gouger, chicken vindail, banana strawberry bread, tapioca fruitcake, strawberry-lemon scones and chocolate choux (with vanilla whipped cream). All those itemsand a bottomless cup of tea, tisane or chaiwill come to $42. See www.mangopicklechicago.com .
The Up Room at The Robey, 2018 W. North Ave., has a new summer cocktail menu.
Experience the ultimate nightcap on the 13th floor's lounge with impressive cinematic views of the city. Cocktails include the Peach Emoji (vodka, vanilla, peach Schnapps and coconut milk), A Baie Baie (rum, Chambord, lemon, cinnamon and pineapple), La Dame Blanche (lavender-infused aquavit, creme de mure and orange shrub) and the Canal Cooler (elderflower, bubbles and lemon) as well as pun-derful Oaxacan on Broken Glass (mezcal, Ancho Reyes, lime, angostura and hellfire bitters).
Virtual restaurant Laos to Your House will appear Saturday, June 24 for a dog- and family-friendly event at Midwest Coast Brewing, 2137 W. Walnut St., 1-5 p.m. Items will include nam khao (crispy rice salad with soured pork, coconut, red curry, fish sauce, limes and fresh herbs), beef egg rolls, crab rangoon, chicken wings, kua mee chicken (sweet-and-savory caramelized rice noodles with chicken, eggs and bean sprouts) and a Lao sampler.
Chef Brian Jupitera past Chopped winner who owns Frontier and Ina Mae's Tavernhas a lot going on with his spots. By the way, Frontier, 1072 N. Milwaukee Ave., is holding "Whiskey & Wine Wednesdays," with $7 select Old Fashioneds and whiskey pours; $5 house whiskey shot; $6 for select wines by the glass; and half off all wine bottles.
Meanwhite, Ina Mae Tavern, 1415 N. Wood St., is offering "Funk & Frozen Thursdays," with live music starting at 7 p.m. There also will be $10 boozy frozen cocktails as well as $7 Funkytown Brewery cans. And the main menu is pretty kick-ass, too, with boudin balls, hot-sausage sliders, cheddar crab dip, various po boys, pan-fried green beans, fried-chicken dishes, beignets, Sno-Balls and much more.
Chef/Partner Carlos Gaytan and the team at River North's award-winning Tzuco, 720 N. State St., have launched a new happy hour as well as new culinary offerings.
While the Happy Hour menu offers $10 antojitos and bebidas as well as $5 cerveza, people can now dine on tostadas de cochinita pibil, Guerrero-style pork shank tostadas; tuna ceviche (ahi tuna with grilled tomatillo aguachile, cucumber, red onions, avocado and choclo); pommes frites with Parmesan cheese and garlic butter; and guacamole with pico de gallo, lime juice, Huitzuco cheese and tortilla chips ($10 each). As for cocktails, there are the Tzuco Margarita, with tequila, Cointreau orange-flavored liqueur, cucumber, elderflower and lime juice; Mexique sangria with brandy, burgundy, hibiscus flower, citrus and mint; and others.
Main menu updates include soft-shell crabs, black ceviche (tuna with smoked Japanese aguachile, squid ink, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, black avocado mousse and crispy purple tortilla) and the brunch item pasta birria (pasta with traditional lamb birria, tomato fondue, oven-roasted tomatoes and Reggiano cheese).
Mediterranean hot spot Aba, 302 N. Green St., is having a Pride Power Hour on June 18-24. On June 22, the restaurant will be donating 50% of its Pride Power Hour Menu sales to Brave Space Alliance, the first black and trans-led LGBTQ+ center on the south side of Chicago.
Drinks will include the Rhubarb Rose G&T, the Passionfruit Margarita, the Summer Negroni and more. Check out www.abarestaurants.com/events/pride-power-hour/ .
Geja's Cafe, 340 W. Armitage Ave., has been around longer than most peopleseriously. The fondue spot is marking its 58th anniversary on June 25-July 1 with a selection of premier dinners, all for $58. All premier dinners include Geja's legendary Swiss Gruyere fondue, entree fondue and the dark Belgian chocolate fondue. (Also, people who are the 58th, 116th and 174th guest each evening will win a $58 Geja's Cafe Gift Card to use on a return visit.) See www.gejascafe.com .
French brasserie/oyster bar Venteux, 224 N. Michigan Ave., is promoting a tie-in with Chicago inaugural NASCAR Street Race that's taking place July 1-2. Venteux (which starts brunch at 7 a.m. and dinner at 4 p.m.) is offering an exclusive 20% discount on your bill with the presentation of a race ticket. Guests can also rev up with Venteux's NASCAR-inspired cocktail list available during dinner service, with options like the Campari Ferrari, a twist on a classic Negroni; Pimms My Ride; or the Mule Fuel, crafted with ginger vodka, house lime oleo-saccharum (a sugar/citrus oil mixture) and ginger liqueur.
Say goodbye to Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a 24,000-square-foot spot that took up the former Esquire Theater space at 58 E. Oak St. (even retaining some of the signage). According to Crain's Chicago Business, Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants ended its run July 17, citing underperformance after reopening in March 2022.
The more than 150 employees at the Oak Street spot can opt to transfer to other Cooper's Hawk locations. The Downers Grove-based company has 57 locations, including a Neapolitan pizza concept called Piccolo Bucco by Cooper's Hawk, in Oak Brook. It plans to open four more restaurants this year and continue expanding next year.
Nonna's, 925 W. Randolph St.known for its Italian sandwiches, salads and Sicilian-style pizzashas some new desserts that all sound scrumptious.
They include the new lemon Italian ice, the Lucky Charms Rice Krispy Treat and the tiramisu parfait.
Product placement: Freshie is the first USDA-certified canned tequila seltzer. Judging by the reactions of some of my friends (as well as myself), it could be the hot new summer drinkwas it was founded by Chicago native Paige Iseminger and husband Ryan.
Also, Freshie's made with four organic ingredients: blanco tequila, sparkling water, lime and agave nectar (and comes in various flavors). In addition, each can is only 99 calories and there are no added sugars, it's vegan and gluten-free, and it's sustainably farmed and distilled in Mexico.