Chicago Food Events
Chicago celebrates the 11th year of Chicago Gourmet with "Rock the Fork," a September affair with unique dinners, tastings and cocktail parties throughout the city. Among the highlights: Italian Feast on the Symphony Center Stage (Sept. 26); Blues, Booze & Bites at River Roast (Sept. 27); Hamburger Hop at Harris Theater (Sept. 28) followed that same evening with Late Night Gourmet at Underground; Global StrEATS on the Harris Theater Rooftop (Sept. 29); and Rise & Shine Gourmet at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel (Sept. 30). Started by the Illinois Restaurant Association to shine a light on Chicago as an international culinary force, Chicago Gourmet is a five-day gathering of the city's best restaurants, plus local, national and international beer-, spirit- and wine-makers. Ticket prices vary and can be purchased here.
Chicago Gourmet, a five-day gathering of the city's best restaurants, plus local, national and international beer-, spirit- and wine-makers, will see 15 contenders vying for the title of Hamburger Hop winner. Some of the competitors include mfk.'s Alisha Elenz; Gemini's Miguel Ortiz; Gibsons Italia's Jose Sosa; and Sable Kitchen & Bar's Amber Lancaster. The event starts at 6 p.m. at the Harris Theater Rooftop. Purchase tickets ($125 each) here. Chicago Gourmet Hamburger Hop, Harris Theater Rooftop, 205 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60601, no phone.
Tapas plus wine liven up happy hour at Mercat a la Planxa in the South Loop. The restaurant has unveiled a Bottle and Board special featuring a chef’s selection of three tapas for $35 plus a bottle of red or white Spanish wine available Sunday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Barcelona native chef Diego Amat curates dishes such as bacon-wrapped chorizo-stuffed dates, serrano ham croquettes with romesco sauce and pickled peppers, and patatas bravas with smoked paprika aïoli. Mercat a la Planxa, The Renaissance Blackstone Chicago, 638 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605, 312-765-0524.
On Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m.-midnight and nightly from 4 p.m.-6 p.m., Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! attracts a crowd with $3 tapas (like spicy potatoes with tomato aïoli) and $1 pintxos (bite-size snacks). In addition, $3 Estrella Damm bottles are available all day. Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! , 2024 N. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60614, 773-935-5000.
Tuesdays to Saturdays
West Town's Bar Biscay hosts "Dinner at the Chef's Counter," a five-course dinner of off-menu items from Tuesdays to Saturdays. With just four seats at the counter, diners will have a prime view of chef Johnny Anderes as he prepares Basque-influenced cuisine paired with Basque vermouth, specialty cocktails and, of course, wine. $65 per person. Make reservations at barbiscay.com or by calling 312-455-8900. Bar Biscay, 1450 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60642, 312-455-8900.
Every Tuesday, couples can have their steak and dance it off, too. Artango Bar & Steakhouse launches its "Two to Tango" dinner series, with a shared meal for $25 per person, plus a 7:30 p.m. tango lesson from Argentine instructors Hernan Prieto and Daniela Roig. The dinner, with selections from a para compartir (steak flight) to asado de pollo, can be ordered before or after the class. Artango Bar & Steakhouse, 4767 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625, 872-208-7441.
On Fridays, Le Bouchon in Bucktown offers $1 oysters in the bar area. Le Bouchon, 1958 N. Damen Ave., Chicago, IL 60647, 773-862-6600.