Thursday Foodie Forecast: Feeling like Fred Flintstone?

January 28, 2010

I took a few years of high school Spanish, and then another semester (or was it two?) in college, and I still‚ can't do much better than ask for directions, unless I'm in a restaurant, where I still know the difference‚ between camarones and cazuelas. But if you've ever been interested in‚ learning more about Spanish‚ food culture - while also learning some of the key phrases and words you'll need to be conversational, you might want to check out the Spanish Classes for Tourism & Gastronomy going on for the next six Saturdays at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! in Lincoln Park. Instructors from the Instituto Cervantes will teach common Spanish phrases and help you navigate the foodie side of the dialect, while chefs from the restaurant will talk about traditional regional Spanish dishes, and present a new menu each week. The classes cost $250 per student for then entire six-week course and‚ run from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.‚  Thankfully, they include lunch, which is a good thing, because after an hour of talking about food, I know I certainly need to eat.

make-pasta

If you've ever wanted to learn how to cook authentic Italian pasta, you'll want to head down to the Loop for 312 Chicago's new hands-on cooking classes, highlighting the taste of Italy.

Starting this Saturday, the 30th, the restaurant will launch Scuola 312, an interactive cooking series offering lessons on the art of Italian cuisine from chef Luca Corazzina.

Each month, the 10-person class will be invited into the exhibition kitchen at 312 Chicago for a hands-on lesson on preparation, butchering and saucing of popular Italian dishes. Highlights of some topics covered include perfecting home-made pastas, Italian fish and mastering meat.

The class runs from 12 - 2 p.m., and costs $45 per person. The fee includes a light lunch, recipe cards and a bottle of 312 Olive Oil.‚  Reserve your spot by calling 312-696-2420.

gallery-flintstones

Feeling a little like Fred Flintstone, but you don't want to deal with the tourists at Lawry's the Prime Rib? Head over to Lincoln Park's Gemini Bistro instead. The restaurant, best known for its contemporary American comfort food, recently launched a prix-fixe Prime Rib Dinner on Thursdays.

For $38 you'll get a choice of soup or Caesar salad and a 16 0z prime rib with a baked potato and horseradish cream. The restaurant also has a three-course prix-fixe dinner for $31, if you're not in the mood for a gigantic hunk of meat.

Hey sports fans: they've got a flat-screen TV near their white marble bar for you, big, cozy booths for families and tighter tables for couples on a date, so just about anyone can get in on the action.