Friday Foodie Forecast: Spanish celebration and Mexican spirits heat up January

Friday Foodie Forecast: Spanish celebration and Mexican spirits heat up January
Friday Foodie Forecast: Spanish celebration and Mexican spirits heat up January

Friday Foodie Forecast: Spanish celebration and Mexican spirits heat up January

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As the New Year settles in and Chicago braces itself for the winter weeks ahead, this week’s forecast gives foodies plenty of reason to brave the cold winds and venture out into the city. Birthday celebrations, spirited soirees, and budget-friendly offerings are all on the menu ready to heat up appetites on the chilliest of January days.

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba paella

Ba-Ba-Reeba Birthday Bash

Come toast with a glass of Cava Sangria as Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba celebrates its 25th anniversary this Sunday, Jan. 16th, from 11a.m. to 10 p.m. All are invited to partake in the party where guests will be greeted with sangria upon arrival and share in the tower of cupcakes created by Pastry Chef Michel Briand (both complimentary). For brunch-goers looking to join in the birthday festivities, a Build-Your-Own Bloody-Mary Bar is also an option for $8. All guests that dine at the Spanish spot Jan. 16th will receive a $10 gift certificate for future use. Additionally, anyone turning 25 throughout 2011 will receive a $25 gift card to celebrate their milestone in return visits - $50 for those turning 50 (proof of birth date required with valid ID). Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba is located at 2024 N. Halsted St. For more information, visit www.cafebabareeba/chicago/events.

Spirited Soiree at Zocalo

After celebrating with sangria, toast with tequila as Zocalo Restaurant and Tequila Bar kicks off its monthly tequila distillery events Thursday, Jan. 20th, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Live latin music will set the scene where Karma Tequila will be in the spotlight among the 130 varieties featured at this River North locale. For $20 per person, the event also includes two specialty cocktails, passed appetizers and a raffle ticket for a chance to win Zocalo gift cards and bottles of Karma Tequila. Prior to the event, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., glasses of sangria and citrus cazuelas will be $5 dollars and all appetizers half-price in the bar area. Zocalo’s weekly “Dine at Nine” promotion will also be in effect, offering half-off all food items after 9 p.m. (must make reservations and mention offer). Zocalo is located at 358 W. Ontario. Reservations for the tasting are recommended, but not required and may be made by calling 312-302-9977.

Chicago Originals Celebrates Restaurant Week

Although Chicago’s official Restaurant Week doesn’t begin for another month, Chicago Originals celebrates their own annual Restaurant Week beginning this Monday, Jan. 17th thru the 29th. Throughout the city and suburbs, member restaurants including Cafe Bernard/Red Rooster, Cyrano’s Bistro, Oceanique, as well as some newer members such as Le Titi De Paris, Pensiero Ristorante and Kiki’s Bistro, will create special two, three and four-course degustation menus for $29.11. Some restaurants will also offer bottles of wine for $29.11 as well. For a complete list of participating restaurants and special menus, visit

- Dimitra Apostolopoulos