Dining out: Lou Malnati's & Portillo's Italian beef deep dish is back

That's the Chicago way

Two iconic local restaurant names known far beyond city limits are teaming up again for a very Chicago mash-up. The Lou Malnati's x Portillo's Italian Beef Deep Dish is back for a second year after becoming Lou's highest-selling limited-time pizza in its 52-year history. The collab pizza is available in two varieties, spicy with Portillo's hot giardiniera or mild with sweet peppers, and can be ordered nationally through Tastes of Chicago or for take-home baking at all 80 Lou Malnati's restaurants. The nine-inch deep dish pizzas can be ordered online in packs of two, four or six, or in combination with other Portillo's offerings such as Italian Beef sandwich or Chicago Dog kits.

Polish off some pierogi

Good news, dumpling lovers: Oct. 8 is National Pierogi Day and Tata's Pierogi Restaurant in Elk Grove Village is celebrating Friday through Monday with dine-in and carryout deals as well as specials on their packaged frozen pierogi. The restaurant, 570 E. Devon Ave., is offering most of their dozen-pierogi frozen packages for $4, with dining specials starting at $6.50. There will also be deals on frozen pierogies at their factory store in Hillside, 500 N. Mannheim Road.

Eat some beer

Oktoberfest is in full effect, and Melting Pot is joining in with their Oktober FondueFest limited-time menu. Every Monday through Thursday until Oct. 26, the restaurant, with locations in Schaumburg and Downers Grove, is offering a three-course meal highlighted by a Bavarian beer cheese fondue paired with grilled bratwurst, braised short rib, pretzels and more. The offer includes a choice of salad and Black Forest chocolate fondue for dessert. Themed cocktails such as the Black Forest Fashioned and St-Germain Spritz are also on the menu.

Aww, shucks

The 35th Annual Oyster Festival at Shaw's Crab House starts Thursday, Oct. 12, and runs until Oct. 25, with an exclusive oyster-centric menu, special happy hours and a roaming shucker. The Schaumburg (1900 E. Higgins Road) menu includes oysters Rockefeller, buffalo fried oysters, oyster po'boy and New Orleans-style chargrilled oysters. Wash it down with a vodka oyster shooter. Mondays feature half-price half-shell oysters along with half off select bottles of wine at the Oyster Bar during the fest.

Five courses with Two Brothers

CityGate Grille in Naperville is hosting a Two Brothers beer dinner from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12. The evening includes a five-course autumn-inspired menu with beer pairings from Two Brothers. Menu highlights include pan-seared duck with apricot thyme sauce paired with Amplifier IPA and strip loin with espresso rub and orange chili glaze paired with Wobble IPA. Tickets are $100 per person, tax and gratuity included.

Thomas & Dutch bids goodbye

Farmheads Hospitality Group announced they're closing their Midwestern-inspired concept Thomas & Dutch on Sunday, Oct. 8. Thomas & Dutch was the group's successor to Farmhouse Evanston, which they closed in Nov. 2022 after nine years at 703 Church St. in Evanston. Farmheads still operates Farm Bar in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.

Table for two

Grab your plus-one and head to Bonefish Grill in Algonquin or Schaumburg for the Dine and Discover three-course dinner for two until Oct. 29. The offer includes two salads, two entrees and a shareable dessert for $45.90. Entrees include rainbow trout, mahi mahi or linguine and clams if you prefer seafood, or pork tenderloin, The Angler's sirloin or Lily's chicken for landlubbers.

Halal Ribfest

Halal Ribfest is coming to Aurora Oct. 13-15. Organizers bill it as the largest Halal barbecue and street food festival in North America. The event, which debuted in Toronto last year, became a traveling festival this year and kicked off in Vancouver, British Columbia, in June. Halal Ribfest features 100% hand-slaughtered Halal meat, a pop-up market, a kids' zone and live entertainment. The event is at Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.

Tacos gratis

Did you miss National Taco Day on Wednesday? Not to worry. Bubbakoo's Burritos is celebrating all week with an opportunity to win free taco trio entrees for a year. You can enter to win by liking, commenting and sharing the brand's posts on all social media channels. The Mexican-fusion restaurant, with suburban locations in Arlington Heights and Crestwood, will announce 15 winners on the brand's social media on Oct. 11.

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Tata's Pierogi Restaurant in Elk Grove Village is celebrating National Pierogi Day Friday through Monday with dine-in specials and deals on their frozen pierogi. COURTESY OF TATA'S PIEROGI RESTAURANT
The Melting Pot offers a special Oktober FondueFest menu for a limited time. COURTESY OF MELTING POT
The 35th Annual Oyster Festival at Shaw's Crab House starts Thursday, Oct. 12, and runs until Oct. 25. COURTESY OF SHAW'S
CityGate Grille in Naperville is hosting a Two Brothers beer dinner Thursday, Oct. 12. COURTESY OF CITYGATE GRILLE
Bonefish Grill has a special Dine and Discover three-course dinner for two menu until Oct. 29. COURTESY OF BONEFISH
Bubbakoo's Burritos is celebrating National Taco Day with a chance to win free tacos for a year. COURTESY OF BUBBAKOO'S BURRITOS
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