Monday, December 31
Happy New Year's Eve! Most restaurants will be open, many with special NYE menus. After combing through the details of just about every single one, here are my picks of three of the most promising for eats, drinks and merriment.
A Midwinter’s Night Dream at Acadia will transform the space, feature costumed performers from the Chicago Shakespeare Theater mingling with the diners, and a special menu: “Oysters and Champagne”; foie gras torchon; lobster eggs benedict with Périgord truffle; tagliatelle with uni butter sauce, bottarga, and rare Golden Osetra caviar; Elysian Fields lamb; and a dessert of hazelnut, chicory, and chocolate. At midnight, a special celebration will take place — last year, a marching band came through. Admission, including wine pairings, $175 for 9 p.m. seating ($150 vegetarian), $150 for 6 p.m. seating ($125 vegetarian).
Godzilla Movie Night Extravaganza at Slurping Turtle features three different tasting menus (Godzilla, Ultra Man, and Turtle), action movies, and Japanese drums. Go back New Year's Day for their Pajama Party Brunch. Wear your PJs and get a gift certificate for 50% of what you spend to use on your next visit. Admission NYE $45, $60, or $80 depending on menu.
Bar seating at Trenchermen features live music by Matt Ulery's jazz quartet, Loom. NPR Music listed the Chicago-based modern chamber jazz bassist/composer's new album, By a Little Light, among its 50 Favorite Albums Of 2012. Admission $20 including a complimentary glass of Champagne and Trenchermen's signature bar snacks. À la carte menu will also be available all night at the bar.
Wednesday, January 02
Soup & Bread kicks off its fifth season at the Hideout, and this year, a Theme of the Week. The theme of this week's program, Green, benefits Casa Catalina Basic Human Needs Center in the Back of the Yards neighborhood. The week's soup cooks include Soup & Bread founder Martha Bayne, Diane Galleher, La Sirena Clandestina, Wendy Miller, Milk & Honey, Swim Cafe, and yours truly. I'l be making and serving the Nanohana Project miso soup. Publican Quality Meats will be supply fresh-baked bread for the season, and — in a S & B first — gluten-free loaves courtesy of Rae Lynn Hill, aka The Sweet Purveyor. Admission FREE, donate what you can and remember Everyone LOVES the Generous.
Thursday, January 03
Killing Me Sweetly back at Trenchermen features the crème de la crème of world pastry chefs: Noma's Rosio Sanchez, Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi, and our very own Blackbird's Dana Cree — plus pairing by The Boarding House's Master Sommelier/owner Alpana Singh and Masa Azul's mixologist Jenny Kessler — all benefitting Green City Market. But it's not just the sweet stuff. Each pastry chef will collaborate with a rising star female pastry chef to create both a savory and sweet course. For dessert, teams will work with themes (which may be the theme of 2013) including "Vegetables" and "Winter". Trenchermen chefs/partners Michael and Patrick Sheerin will serve an amuse-bouche, entrée, and mignardises. Admission $100.