Friday Foodie Forecast: Chicago Comfort Food For All

March 19, 2010


Chicagoans are stressed lately. March Madness brackets, looming tax forms and a healthy St. Patrick's Day hangover can leave the city in need of some serious comfort food. Whether that comfort food is Chinese, Greek or just a new twist on American favorites, this upcoming week offers plenty of options to indulge.

  • The second Chinatown Dining Tour, hosted by the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, will take place on Wednesday, March 24. Featuring more than 15 participating restaurants, the tour will provide a wide variety of tasty dishes from the neighborhood. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 the day of the tour and can be purchased at www.chicagochinatown.org. Call (312) 326-5320 for more details.
  • In honor of Greek Independence Day, Athena restaurant in Greek Town is celebrating with 25% off all dine-in food orders. Located in Greek Town at 212 South Halsted, Athena will offer discounted food and a festive atmosphere to celebrate the holiday. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (312) 655-0000. See their website at www.athenarestaurantchicago.com to view a menu.
  • If your idea of comfort food is a bit closer to something your Grandma would whip up, Rockit is happy to offer you Mac Madness. This week-long menu will feature mac-n-cheese creations that will definitely have you ditching that blue box stuff. Chefs James Gottwald and Amanda Downing will serve their traditional four-cheese Rockit mac, made with Cavatappi pasta and cheddar, Monterey Jack, Parmesan and Gorganzola cheeses. Each day of the week will also feature a gourmet twist on the standard, with the menu as follows:

Monday: TunaMac Melt with Peas and Garlic Bread Crumb Crust

Tuesday: BBQ Pork and Bacon Mac with Smooth Yellow Cheddar

Wednesday: Red Wine Braised Oxtail Mac with Caramelized Onion and Gruyere

Thursday: Buffalo Chicken Mac with Buttermilk Blue Fondue

Friday: Crawfish and Andouille Mac with Smoked Gouda


Rockit's Mac Madness

    Rockit has locations in Wrigleyville and River North. See their website, www.rockitbarandgrill.com, or call (312) 645-6000 for details.

  • Serious foodies will also want to mark their calendars for the upcoming Robert Morris Culinary Symposium on March 26. Carrie Nahabedian, James Beard Award-winning chef and Chicago native of Naha fame, will be the keynote speaker. The symposium, titled Culinary Chicago: Past, Present and Future will also feature tastings, demonstrations and a panel discussion with Chef Dan McGee on the topic of food activism. The day will conclude with a cake-decorating competition featuring Robert Morris University students. Registration is free for students, $20 for educators and $30 for others. To sign up, contact Maria at (312) 935-6918 or RSVP online.