Monday, November 20, 2017

Beer Cruises at Navy Pier

Now that the cold Chicago weather has finally hit, it has me really reminiscing about the warm days of this past summer and all the fun food related things we were able to enjoy outdoors. One of my favorite events of the summer season was the beer cruise that we attended on the Mystic Blue in September. It was a Craft Beer Cruise featuring breweries of the West and South Suburbs. The cruises leave from Navy Pier and they are scheduled for Sunday afternoons.

I've been attending beer fests for years and this one is really enjoyable. Not only do you get to sip on a variety of beers, but small bites are included in your ticket price along with a cruise on the lake. The views are spectacular and you can spend time outdoors on deck or inside cooling off or getting some shade. 

The weather was absolutely perfect on our cruising day. We couldn't have planned out a more perfect afternoon. There are already five dates lined-up for beer cruises for 2018 (see the cruise information here.) There's one each month from May to September and each one features different breweries, so you can attend all five and have the opportunity to try out an entirely different line-up of breweries. As the holidays get closer, it's a great gift idea for the beer lover in your life.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Early Thanksgiving

This year our family got together for an early Thanksgiving. Our big sis flew in from Arizona and the rest of us - who all live in Illinois and Northwest Indiana - we there. So, it was my mom and dad and all six kids (and 5 of their 6 daughters and sons-in-law.) And 14 of my parent's 16 grandkids were there - ranging in age from 1 to 39.

We had a usual feast with Thanksgiving and lots of side dishes and desserts. We also were celebrating the birthdays of the two youngest grandkids.

It's kind of been a big relief that the celebration is done. I'll still be celebrating at home with my husband and five sons and we'll have a big meal, which is actually unusual for us. My husband is a firefighter and he is often working on the holiday. But it will be a cozy meal at home. Just us. And I'm looking forward to a quiet, low-key holiday. The other foodie sis, Becky, will be celebrating with her in-laws. Wishing all of our foodie friends a wonderful holiday full of fun and family and lots of good food.


Want to Dine Out for Thanksgiving? Here's where to go in Chicagoland

Still undecided on what you will be doing for Thanksgiving? Why not take a break and let someone else do the cooking? Here are some places in Chicagoland where you can enjoy a turkey dinner with all the trimmings - or a few where you can place your order and then enjoy the meal at home without the work.

Chicago Firehouse






The regular Churrasco feast will include roasted Turkey Breast with au jus, sweet potato casserole, homemade cranberry relish and Brazilian sausage and apple dressing. Children 6 and under are free and ages 7 to 12 is half-price.






LaVoute Bistro and Bar



Gobble up a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner
at Prairie Grass Cafe November 24
 
Once again, Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, 847-205-4433) will serve its popular Thanksgiving Dinner menu from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, November 24. Featuring favorite holiday dishes elevated with Chef Sarah Stegner’s unique touch, the menu is sure to please everyone from picky kids to grandma herself. The price for this delicious feast is $57 per person for adults and $18 for children age 12 and under. Early reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling Prairie Grass Cafe at (847) 205-4433.
 
Begin the Thanksgiving celebration with a choice of appetizer: warm Butternut Squash Soup or Organic Mixed Green Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Parmesan, and Pomegranate and Balsamic Dressing. Highlighting seasonal produce, the salad offers a perfect taste of fall.

Move on to the main courses and stuff your plate with the restaurant’s classic Oven Roasted Turkey served with Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Gravy. Simple and straightforward, this traditional dish is great on its own and absolutely heavenly when paired with the four available sides. The Apple Chestnut Stuffing satisfies savory and sweet cravings while the creamy Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash topped with homemade marshmallow is the ultimate indulgence for those with a sweet tooth. Other sides include Fresh Vegetables and Cranberry Sauce.

End Thanksgiving festivities on a sweet note with a choice of dessert: Mom’s Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie or the decadent Double Chocolate Cake. Made in-house with the help of Chef Sarah Stegner’s mother, Elizabeth, the transcendent pies make the dessert course truly special.

 
Thanksgiving To Go 
Want the taste of a comforting homemade meal without the mess? Prairie Grass Cafe’s Thanksgiving To Go is the annual go to for North Shore residents who want to host their dinner at home. Offering a complete ala carte feast, the menu includes all of dishes served at the restaurant’s Thanksgiving Dinner as well as a plethora of other mouthwatering options like Apple Sage Stuffing, Homemade Sausage and Giblet Stuffing and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts.

Advance orders are now being accepted by phone, 847-205-4433, and must be made by Thursday, November 16. All orders will be available for pickup on Thursday November 23 from noon to 2 p.m. View the full order form here. For more information about Thanksgiving To Go, please call Prairie Grass Cafe at (847) 205-4433 or visit  prairiegrasscafe.com.
 
 

About Prairie Grass Cafe
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL; 847-205-4433) supports Chicago’s Green City Market and local sustainable farms, selecting the freshest ingredients to reflect the season. Prairie Grass Cafe currently serves lunch Monday - Friday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner Monday through Sunday. Dinner is served Tuesday - Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Monday and Sunday 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Prairie Grass Cafe also serves breakfast Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Light fare is available in the bar Monday through Friday 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to make a reservation, please call (847) 205-4433 or visit prairiegrasscafe.com. Follow Prairie Grass Cafe news at newsline360.com/prairiegrasscafe and on Facebook at Facebook.com/PrairieGrassCafe.  

Weber Grill Chicago

Thanksgiving Fire-Grilled Feast & Smoked Turkeys To Go at Weber Grill Restaurant
  • Thursday, November 23
  • $29.95 three-course prix fixe dinner; $10.95 children 10 & under
  • Turkeys to Go: Orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 17
    • $60.95 to $109.95 for Whole Smoked Turkey
    • Pick up: Wednesday, November 22 (during regular hours, customer will receive reheating instructions) or Thursday, November 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  
Weber Grill Restaurant in River North will open Thursday, November 23 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. to serve a three-course Thanksgiving fire grilled feast created by Executive Chef Dustin Green. For $29.95 per person and $10.95 for children 10 and under, guests will enjoy traditional Thanksgiving dishes with a Weber Grill twist including grill roasted smoked turkey with grilled sausage stuffing, grilled roasted butternut squash soup, roasted garlic mashed or whipped sweet potatoes, grilled asparagus, grill roasted Brussels sprouts, classic pumpkin pie and more. Reservations are strongly recommended. For the complete Thanksgiving menu, visit www.webergrillrestaurant.com/thanksgiving-feast/.


For patrons hosting the holiday at home, Weber Grill can handle the cooking with their Thanksgiving Catering Platters To-Go. Perfect for eight to ten guests, customers can choose from a variety of platters priced a la carte like Weber's sausage stuffing ($27.95), cornbread with maple bourbon butter ($16.95), turkey gravy ($15.95), Harvest Salad with Gala apples, roasted butternut squash, pecans, dried cranberries, gorgonzola, cornbread croutons ($34.95), and more.

For the main course, Weber Grill offers Smoked Turkeys To-Go. The turkeys are smoked for several hours on Weber Grills until tender, creating a flavor profile that is very unique to Weber and different than a typical roasted turkey. The restaurant offers a 16-pound whole smoked turkey ($60.95), carved smoked turkey including white and dark meat ($89.95), or a carved smoked turkey with white meat only ($109.95).  


Platter pick-up will be available between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day or during regular business hours on Wednesday, November 22 (customer will receive reheating instructions). Orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on Friday, November 17. To place an order, call (312) 467-9696. For the complete Thanksgiving Platter menu, visit www.webergrillrestaurant.com/thanksgiving-party-platters/.






Thanksgiving Prix Fixe Dinner & Turkeys To Go at Tuscany in Wheeling
  • Thursday, November 23
  • $34.95 prix fixe dinner; $17.95 children 10 & under; Adults eat for $29.95 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. (order must be placed before 3 p.m.)
  • Turkeys to Go: Orders must be placed by Sunday, November 19 at 3 p.m.
    • $175 for 15-pound turkey and sides ($90 turkey only); $225 for 20-pound turkey and sides ($140 turkey only)
    • Pick up: Thursday, November 23 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  
Tuscany in Wheeling will serve a seasonal Thanksgiving prix fixe dinner created by Executive Chef Bolla Loza on Thursday, November 23 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. For $34.95 per person, guests will feast on turkey, choice of mashed or sweet potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry relish, stuffing, and a slice of pumpkin pie. Reservations are required.

Tuscany will also offer Turkeys To Go. Guests can choose between a 15-pound turkey and sides (serves 10 to 13) for $175 ($90 turkey only) or a 20-pound turkey and sides (serves 17 to 20) for $225 ($140 turkey only). Both come with the traditional sides mentioned above and a complimentary pumpkin pie. Extra sides are $25 each. Turkey pick-up will be available between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. To place an order, call (847) 465-9988. Orders must be placed by 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 19.


THANKSGIVING BUFFET 2017
AT SHAW'S SCHAUMBURG
(Schaumburg, IL)- This year, you're invited to Shaw's Schaumburg's Thanksgiving table. On Thursday, November 23rd, Shaw's is hosting a Traditional Thanksgiving Buffet from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Traditional Thanksgiving Buffet is priced at $59 per adult, $12 for kids 12 and younger, and is free for children 6 and younger (exclusive of tax, gratuity, and beverages).

The bountiful buffet will feature the following items:

Chilled Seafood & Salad Bar
Oysters on the Half Shell
Shrimp Cocktail
Smoked Salmon & Garnishes
Maki (Spicy Tuna, Sweet Potato)
Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs
Traditional Caesar Salad
Roasted Beet Salad
Shaved Cauliflower Salad
Sweet Potato & Apple Salad

Chef's Table
Herb Roasted Turkey with Cranberry Sauce & Homemade Gravy
Slow Roasted Tenderloin with Au Jus & Creamy Horseradish Sauce
Traditional Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Lobster Bisque
Assorted Breads

Grand Hot Buffet
Chesapeake Fried Chicken
Blue Crab Dip
French Fried Shrimp
Au Gratin Potatoes
Roasted Broccoli
Lobster, Brie, & Spinach Pasta
Parmesan Crusted Haddock
Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Streusel
Glazed Carrots
Alaskan Salmon
Brussels Sprouts
Mushroom Cobbler
Sautéed Shrimp Pasta

Sweets Table
Caramel Apples
Pecan, Raspberry, Pumpkin, and Key Lime Pie
Crème Brulee
Assorted Cupcakes
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Assorted Cookies
Brownies
Hot & Cold Cider

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 847.517.2722. For more information, please visit www.shawscrabhouse.com
.


Shaw's Crab House features two dining options - the 1940's style, traditional white tablecloth Main Dining Room and the more casual and lively Oyster Bar. This American Seafood classic offers a variety of freshly shucked oysters, made to order sushi, and more than 40 seafood dishes, including our signature Alaskan King Crab Legs. Our reputation relies on quality ingredients prepared in a straight-forward style, with crisp, professional service. For more info, call 847.517.2722, visit the website at www.shawscrabhouse.com, tweet at @shellyfromshaws, follow us on Instagram @shellyfromshaws, and keep up with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shawscrabhouse.com.





GOBBLE UP A THANKSGIVING FEAST AT SEVEN LIONS

Seven Lions kicks off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving feast ideal for gathering with loved ones. Executive Chef Patrick Russ presents a hearty, three-course meal specially created for the holiday, making it easy for guests to sit back, relax and gobble up classic holiday dishes. Menu selections include:
 
First Course (choice of)
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Crispy pancetta, apple saba
 
Autumn Salad
Poached pears, candied pepitas, Gorgonzola cheese, maple balsamic
 
Entrees (choice of)
Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey

Stuffing, green beans, whipped potatoes, gravy
 
Braised Lamb Shank
Creamy polenta, wild mushroom stroganoff, apple salad
 
Roasted Cauliflower Steak
Israeli couscous, yogurt, golden raisin pine nut relish
 
Pan Seared Salmon
Orzo pilaf, green beans, tomato, olive & caper sauce
 
Dessert (choice of)
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Cobbler a la Mode
Chocolate Caramel Bread Pudding
 
With a warm, inviting atmosphere, protein lovers and vegetarians alike need to search no further for a festive, elevated feast in the heart of downtown Chicago.
 
Available from 12 to 8 p.m., the menu is $49 per person (not including tax and gratuity). A children’s menu is available for $12 for kids 12 and younger. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made online or by calling (312) 880‑0130.
 
About Seven Lions
Seven Lions is open 11 a.m. to close Monday through Friday (with dinner service starting at 4 p.m.) and 10 a.m. to close Saturday and Sunday, beginning with brunch. For reservations, click here.
 
Seven Lions features classic cuisine and cocktails with a modern twist and an approachable wine list with uniquely-grown varietals. The 12,000 square foot restaurant houses a grand central bar, a separate dining room with an outdoor patio, and three private event spaces. Located in a landmark building at 130 S. on Chicago's magnificent Michigan Avenue, the American clubhouse concept is steps away from the iconic Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. For more information, please visit SevenLionsChicago.com.




One Of Chicago's Most Tastiest Holiday Traditions Returns 
Tortoise Supper Club's Annual Grand Thanksgiving Buffet 

As a family founded (and run) establishment, Tortoise Supper Club truly understands the importance of togetherness during the holidays. Each year owners Keene & Megan Addington look forward to helping guests and their loved ones kick off the season with a festive Thanksgiving feast.  This year, the cozy River North spot will once again be rolling out the red carpet for their annual Grand Thanksgiving Buffet.  Diners are invited to sit back, relax and enjoy all the comforts of a home cooked meal (and none of the prep or clean up duty!)

In addition to classic Thanksgiving favorites like Hand Carved Turkey with all the traditional trimmings, Chef Aaron Browning will also be serving a slew of mouthwatering dishes.  Highlights from this year's menu will include a stunning Iced Seafood Tower (featuring Oysters on the Half Shell & Shrimp Cocktail,) Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream and numerous Seasonal Salads.  An impressively decadent Dessert Table will include Pumpkin Pie, Tortoise Pie, freshly baked Chocolate Chip Cookies and much more.

Tortoise Supper Club's Grand Buffet is priced at $79.95 per person for ages 12 and up $29.95 for children 4-11; kids under three are invited to eat for free.  Reservations are currently available between 12:00 pm - 8:30 pm.


CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING WITH BIG JONES

WHO:Big Jones
 
WHAT:…is once again serving up a delicious, family-style meal for its favorite holiday of the year – Thanksgiving! Filled with Southern charm and hospitality, this Andersonville gem invites gatherings of all sizes – from a small group of friends to the entire family.

With three seatings available throughout the day, guests will sit back and let Chef Paul Fehribach guide them through the perfect holiday meal. For those who prefer an alternative to traditional turkey, there will be both fish and vegetable options available.

With warm flavors of fall and a jam-packed meal sure to leave diners with full stomachs and full hearts, the menu is as follows:
 
Relishes
Homemade Port Wine cheese, house-churned sweet cream butter,
damson and quince preserves, fall kimchi, pickled radishes, hot chow
 
Angel biscuits
 
Paired with Battery Punch (Cognac, gin, loquat shrub,
colombard wine, black tea, citrus, mace)

 
Appetizers
Potted venison and duck, sourdough rye crackers, huckleberry conserves, and sauerkraut
 
A dram of cauliflower bisque with bread & butter pickle relish and garlic butter croutons
 
Salad of Gotham Greens butter lettuce with local apples, celery,
almonds, and Marcoot Jersey Creamery tomme
 
Paired with L. Mawby Brut Blanc de Blanc, Leelenau Peninsula, Michigan

 
Dinner
Deep-fried turkey Cajun style, with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce
 
Onion, apple, and sage stuffing
 
Mashed sweet potatoes with brown butter, toasted pumpkin seeds,
 and Matt Caudill’s sorghum molasses
 
Skillet-charred Brussels sprouts with Sea Island benne, shallots, and lemon
 
Paired with Blason Cabarnet Franc 2015, Friuli, Italy
-or-
Royal Tokaji Furmint 2013, Mád, Hungary

 
Sweets
Pumpkin pie, homemade graham cracker crumble, vanilla bean ice cream, cane syrup
 
House-ground sassafrass & white chocolate bourbon balls,
black walnut macaroons, hickory nut praline truffles
 
Paired with Milk Punch, ca. 1710
 
On Thursday, November 23rd, seatings are available at 1:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. All courses are available for $55 per person and $20 per child under twelve. Each listed beverage pairing is optional and available for an additional $20 per person. There will also be a full bar available. Reservations for Thanksgiving are available through phone only by calling (773) 275-5725. For more information, visit the Big Jones website
 
WHEN:Thursday, November 23, 2017
Seatings at 1:00 p.m.; 4:00 p.m.; and 7:00 p.m.
 
WHERE:Big Jones
5347 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
About Big Jones
Big Jones features Southern heirloom cooking with a focus on sustainably grown heritage and heirloom crops and livestock, sustainable seafood, and historic receipts from Southern culinary literature. Chef and Co-Owner Paul Fehribach’s vision is grounded deeply in the rich and diverse heritage that is the Southern kitchen, using the ark of history to bring food that is as refined as it is down-home satisfying. Big Jones opened its doors in 2008, and was named “Best New Restaurant” by Chicago magazine in 2009, and received three starts from Chicago Tribune’s Phil Vettel in 2011. Fehribach has been honored as a nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Fehribach published the Big Jones Cookbook in May 2015, and is also a proud member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, James Beard Foundation, Seed Savers Exchange, serves on the board of Chefs Collaborative, and volunteers with Cooking Up Change, the Green City Market, Share Our Strength, and Purple Asparagus.


Spend More Time with Loved Ones this Thanksgiving, Let Carlucci do the Cooking
Leave the Cooking to Carlucci, They’re Serving Up All Your Thanksgiving Favorites
Downers Grove, IL (November 8, 2017Spend your Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends at the Iconic Carlucci restaurant in Downers Grove. Carlucci knows that Thanksgiving can be overwhelming for those who have to spend the day glued to the kitchen while entertaining family from near and far. This year, dine in at Carlucci so you can spend more time with loved ones. Carlucci is offering a three-course meal prepared by head chef Jonathan Harootunian for only $35.95 per person (tax and gratuity not included). Dinner is available on Thursday, November 23rd from 1:00pm – 6:00pm and includes the following:

First Course – choice of butternut squash soup or house salad.
Second Course – full turkey dinner with all the fixings (dressing, stuffing, green beans cranberries, sweet and mashed potatoes).
Third Course – choice of dessert: apple crostata, spiced pumpkin pie with amaretto whipped cream, or butternut squash tiramisu.
 
If you’re not someone that loves indulging on turkey and mashed potatoes, a limited dinner menu will be available. Some of those items include a variety of pastas, grilled fillet, and grilled salmon. Don’t worry about finding something that the kids will love, they’re serving up smaller portions of turkey, mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, and fries.
 
Table-side magic entertainment will be provided by the “Amazing Brando”.
 
Reservations can be made by calling (630) 512-0990. Carlucci does offer catering. Order must be placed by Monday, November 20th. Don’t forget to purchase their homemade pumpkin pie or apple croustade for $19 each.

About Carlucci Restaurant in Downers Grove

Since opening its doors in 1984, Carlucci has become a local favorite for restaurant patrons throughout Chicagoland, racking up dozens of awards and is frequently recognized by the restaurant industry and local press. Carlucci is listed among the top 50 restaurants to visit in Chicago. Carlucci is the perfect fit for any occasion lunch or dinner. Be it a romantic date, a business meeting, a quick bite before the show or an evening out, we have your table set with great food and wine. Guests that visit Carlucci can hear live music every weekend in the lounge or on the patio by The Band Sundance, Brill Babies, This End Up and more. The Tuscan inspired menu features selections from a wood-burning oven, grill and rotisserie. Quality ingredients bring out the big bold flavors in each of our creations. At the same time the innovative preparations are the same as those you would find at any important restaurant in Italy, where a dedication to simplicity is surpassed only by the pure enjoyment of love of food and life that is so important to the Italian culture.
 
 
Carlucci Restaurant | 1801 Butterfield Rd | Downers Grove, IL | 630.512.0990 | http://www.carluccirestaurant.com




Thanksgiving Made Easy at Rack House: Pickup, Heat & Serve!

WHAT:             Put those oven mitts away this Turkey Day because Rack House has all of your Thanksgiving preparations cooked with love and ready for pickup. Executive Chef Bryant Anderson has crafted a warm and welcoming menu with his twist on the most beloved Thanksgiving staples.

The Thanksgiving Menu will be perfectly packed and served cold with easy reheating instructions. Holiday revealers can order the menu by the half pans that feed 10-15 people and full pans that feed 20-25 people.

                        The Thanksgiving Menu includes:

Oak-Smoked Sliced Turkey Breast 
$12 per pound 
*One pound feeds 2-4 people. Gravy not included.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Half pan $40 / full pan $80

Sautéed Broccoli with Roasted Garlic & Caramelized Shallots
Half pan $40 / full pan $80

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole with Smoked Cheddar
Half pan $50 / full pan $100

Homemade Stuffing with Fresh Sage & Caramelized Onions
Half pan $50 / full pan $100

Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Syrup, Walnuts & Marshmallows
Half pan $60 / full pan $120

Green Bean Casserole with Shiitake & Crimini Mushrooms & Crispy Onions 
Half pan $60 / full pan $120

Roasted Turkey Gravy
Pint $10 / quart $20

Slow Simmered Cranberries
Pint $15 / quart $30

Jalapeno Coleslaw
Pint $8 / quart $16

Honey Butter Cornbread Rounds
8 slices for $16

Assorted Dinner Rolls
$12 per dozen

To place a Thanksgiving order, call the restaurant at 847-640-7225 or email info@rackhousetavern.com.

WHEN:            Orders must be placed by noon on November 18.
The Thanksgiving Menu and Rack House’s full catering menu will be available for pickup on Wednesday, November 22 from noon to 9 p.m. On Thanksgiving Day, the Thanksgiving Menu only will be available for pickup from 8 to 11 a.m.
                 

WHERE:            Rack House Kitchen & Tavern
222 E. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
847-640-7225
Facebook and Twitter @rackhousetavern
Instagram @rackhousebbq