Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Matthias Merges (from left) photo via chefsconnection.com; Ryan McCaskey (Photo: Acadia); Andrew Zimmerman photo via Splash Chicago
Chicago Restaurant Week is a thing of the past. It's now time for Chicago Chef Week, in its fifth year and happening March 17-22. To entice you to participate, more than 70 chef-driven restaurants will be offering three-course, prix-fixe deals for lunch ($22 where served) and dinner ($44).
I'm telling you this so far in advance because for some of these spots you might want to book as soon as possible. For example, this year's event boasts three of the biggest winners of the recent Banchet Awards: Chef of the Year Matthias Merges (Yusho), Best Restaurant recipient Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia) and Best New Restaurant winner Ryan McCaskey (Acadia, with Jason Prah winning for Best Sommelier).
Senza's new gluten-free muffins are offered daily at the bakery. (Photo: Senza)
Susan McMillian and Amelia Fonti are accomplished bakers who also happen to own the critically acclaimed, gluten-free Senza restaurant in Lakeview. And now that the spot's gotten into its groove, it's time for them to do what they do best.
They recently launched a bakery inside the tiny space that's only open during the day. It's open 9am-noon Tuesday through Friday and the lineup includes:
Sola's Carol Wallack with her Hanger steak in chocolate demi. (Photo: Sola)
Sweet sensations . . .
• Valentine's Day may be long over, but Sola's Carol Wallack is still celebrating with a chocolate prix-fixe menu that's available throughout the month, Monday through Wednesday. Highlights include the cocoa nib-balsamic salad and Hanger steak with mashed sweet potatoes, Chinese broccoli and chocolate demi. It's $30.
• Here are the locals who made the cut for the James Beard semi=finalists. Those who made it to the finals will be announced in March. Good luck to all!
• Cheers—the only beverage business publication devoted to full-service restaurants, bars and hotels—recently honored the Tippling Bros. (Little Market Brasserie, Mercadito, Tavernita) with the Beverage Industry Innovator of the Year Award. That's mostly for the duo's creative kegged cocktail system at Tavernita.