Alpana Singh is stepping down as host of the WTTW show Check, Please! after 10 seasons to concentrate on running her new River North wine bar/restaurant The Boarding House, according to the Chicago Tribune. Singh was a sommelier at Everest when she took over hosting duties in 2004, and she has taped more than 130 episodes.
Evanston restaurant Koi, 624 Davis St., will mark the Chinese New Year beginning Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. Koi will host a traditional a traditional Chinese lion dancer and will serve a special menu of symbolic dishes. In addition, diners can enjoy a special Chinese New Year good luck menu through Sunday, Feb. 10.
A second Lillie's Q will open inside the Chicago French Market in the West Loop, 131 N. Clinton St., on Wed., Jan. 30. At the Lillie's Q Chicago French Market location, McKenna's will serve about half of the same menu he serves at the Lillie's Q in Bucktown. Options will include crawfish rolls; pulled pork and chicken sandwiches; and baby back ribs.
Shaw's sushi chefNaoki Nakashima, an authority on Japanese cuisine and etiquettewill lead an interactive Japanese sushi demonstration at Shaw's Chicago, 21 E. Hubbard St., on the last Saturday of each month: Feb. 23, March 23 and April 27. All of the classes begin at 12 p.m. The price is $45 per person or $120 for all three classes and includes lunch, libations and a take-away gift. Reservations are required and can be made by calling Shaw's Chicago at 312-527-2722.
Rose's Bakery and Café, which was in Evanston before closing last Christmas Eve, will reopen in Highland Park in February. Rose's Bakery and Café is the only 100-percent gluten-free bakery and restaurant in the greater Chicagoland area.
Bottleneck Management (which is behind Old Town Pour House, South Branch and Sweetwater) has tapped chef Scott Walton (Markethouse) to serve as executive chef at its forthcoming restaurant, Howells & Hood, set to open in March in the base of the Tribune Tower, according to ChicagoBusiness.com . Entree prices will range from $12 to $25 at lunch and $15 to $40 at dinner.
Gino's East, which is leaving its longtime River North home, is moving a couple of blocks away. According to ChicagoBusiness.com, it will move to the building that once housed Michael Jordan's Restaurant and, most recently, LaSalle Power Co.
Slurping Turtle, 116 W. Hubbard St., is offering special meals Feb. 14-17. Valentine's Day menus (also being offered Feb. 15-16) inclue the "I Kind of Like You" 5-Course Dinner ($50/person) and the "I Think I Love You" 8-Course Dinner ($85/person). There will also be a special brunch menu Feb. 17. See www.facebook.com/SlurpingTurtle.
Fulton's on the River, 315 N. LaSalle St., will team with Wisconsin's Riley Brothers Farm for an intimate "Meet the Farmers" wine-and-steak dinner Thursday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. Items will include pan-seared strip loin and grilled ribeye, among other offerings. The dinner is $75 per person with an optional $40 hand-selected wine pairing; call 312-822-0100.
For Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 3), Gino's East Sports Bar, 521 S. Dearborn St., is offering drinks such as $5 pints of Two Brothers craft beer (Domaine Dupage, Ebel's Weiss or Brown Fox). Also, there will be a 12-inch thin-crust pizza with one topping for a total of $10. Call 312-939-1818 or visit www.ginoseastsportsbar.com .
In celebration of Groundhog Day on Saturday, Feb. 2, both The Pony, 1638 W. Belmont Ave., and Lottie's, 1925 W. Cortland Ave., will offer a signature $10 Ground "Hog" Burger (made from pork). Also, The Pony will host an exclusive bus trip Tuesday, Feb. 12, for the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Anaheim Ducks game at the United Center.
For $65 per person, guests will receive a bus ride to and from the United Center, a ticket to the hockey game and refreshments on the bus. Registration for the bus begins at 5 p.m. and the bus will leave promptly at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at www.theponychicagolive.com .
Osteria Via Stato, 620 N. State St., is returning "20 for $20"its wine event where it offers 20 wines in a tasting format for only $20 per person. The next event will take place Monday, Feb. 18, 6-7:30 p.m., with Chef David DiGregorio's appetizers. Call Katie Singer at 312-642-8450.
Schaumburg's Rosebud Old World Italian, 1370 Bank Dr., now offers brunch. Offerings include French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and smoked salmon crostini; toppings include goat cheese, baby corn, spinach and many others. Brunch is $22.95 per person, $12.95 for children 6-12 and free for children under 6; see www.facebook.com/RosebudOldWorldItalian.
Weather Mark Tavern, 1503 S. Michigan Ave., has an updated and expanded rum list. Among the pairings offered as Cruzan Black Strap rum with "Anchors Away" fish and chips as well as Don Q Gran Anejo with a warm skillet cookie. See www.WeatherMarkTavern.com .
ZED451, 739 N. Clark St., will host "Confections with Kate" Saturday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. Executive Pastry Chef Kate Milashus will discuss/demonstrate tips involving chocolate; guests will also learn how to make a ZED451 signaure cocktailthe balsamic strawberry martini. Tickets are $20; call 312-266-6691.
On Valentine's Day, Eduardo's Enoteca, 1212 N. Dearborn St., will show the movie Casablanca while offering dinner (in addition to a bottle of Prosecco to go). The dinner and film is $55 per person (not including tax and gratuity) with three seatings at 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Call 312-337-4490 or visit www.eduardosenoteca.com .
Fish Bar Chicago, 2956 N. Sheffield Ave., has announced the launch of its 2013 charitable program "Friends of Fish." Each quarter, the seafood spot teams with a non-profit organization whose efforts focus on sustainable fishing, farming and the aquatic environment. Twenty percent of sales from a different section of the menu will be donated to that quarter's charity, beginning with sales from the soup section being donated to Shedd Aquarium for the month of January, when guests mention "Shedd."
Bistronomic, 840 N. Wabash Ave., will celebrate the French tradition of La Chandeleur (Crepes Day) Saturday, Feb. 2, with a special menu. A three-course prix fixe menu ($28) will include caramelized onion soup, chicken confit crepes and crepes Suzette. The regular dinner menu, with new winter fare, will also be available. Call 312-944-8400.
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is offering a Valentine Celebration Dinner Feb. 14-17 for $69.95 per person. Among the items patrons can choose from are citrus-marinated salmon tartar and roasted lobster tail. Visit www.flemingssteakhouse.com .
Shaw's Crab House Chicago, 21 E. Hubbard St., will mark Mardi Gras Feb. 7-12. Specials will feature specially-ordered-from-New Orleans crawfish as well as Cajun and Creole dishes such as the crawfish po'boy ($16.99); blackened or sauteed redfish with crawfish sauce ($23.99); and crawfish pot pie ($18.99). Call 312-527-2722 or visit www.shawscrabhouse.com .
Bridge Bar, 315 N. LaSalle St., currently has the Slipper Slope cocktail available. The concoction contains hot apple cider and W.L. Weller bourbon. The cocktail is available throughout the month of January at $11, and is half-priced on Tuesdays.
The Fifty/50 Restaurant Group owners Greg Mohr and Scott Weiner have hired former Sixteen veteran Chris Teixeria as the new executive pastry chef at West Town Bakery & Diner, 1916 W. Chicago Ave. Other recent additions to the West Town Bakery & Diner team include manager Eddie Mahoney.
The Goddess and Grocer is opening a fourth location in early Februarythis time at 901 N. Larrabee St. in the River North area. The 1,600-square-foot space will be able to seat 36, and will feature made-to-order and ready-to-eat items such as sandwiches, salads, soups and entrees. The Goddess and Grocer on Larrabee will be open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily; the phone number is 312-988-9870.
Ceres' Table, 4882 N. Clark St., is offering a three-course chef's menu Feb. 14-16. Menu choices include tuna tartar, seafood and saffron risotto, roasted Skuna Bay salmon, or a beef duo (filet mignon and braised short ribs). The cost is $50 per person (plus tax and gratuity); reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 773-878-4882.
Garrett Popcorn is offering Big Game Bundles (featuring the limited time flavor Spicy CheeseCorn) in time for Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3. The bundles come with branded party bags, scoops for serving and "Love is Messy" napkins. They are one to 6.5 gallons ($31-$143); see www.GarrettPopcorn.com .
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