Dining out: Hanukkah specials, plus new Andy's and Fat Rosie's opening in the suburbs

Suburban restaurants are ready to celebrate the start of Hanukkah with dining specials, plus we've found some new restaurant openings and sweet ideas for the holidays.

Hanukkah sameach!

• Hanukkah starts next week and Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook has added some holiday offerings to their dine-in menu, as well as a specially curated Hanukkah dinner takeout package. The $118 takeout dinner for two includes slow-braised barbecue all-natural brisket with smashed roasted cauliflower, two potato latkes with sour cream and Chef Sarah's apple butter, mixed green salad with citrus and flourless chocolate cake for dessert. The a la carte to-go options that serve four include brisket ($96), latkes ($38), smashed cauliflower ($30 a quart), Yukon gold mashed potatoes ($32 a quart) and a flourless chocolate cake ($48, serves six to eight). Orders must be placed by Tuesday, Dec. 5, for pick up between 4 and 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at 601 Skokie Blvd.

L. Woods Tap & Pine Lodge in Lincolnwood is serving up holiday specials including matzo ball soup ($8.95), braised brisket with potato pancakes and green beans ($26.95) and gooey chocolate cake ($9.95) during lunch and dinner in addition to the regular menu. Specials are available for dine-in, carryout and delivery from Thursday, Dec. 7, through Friday, Dec. 15.

• Looking for some festive cookies for the holidays? Pick up hand-decorated Hanukkah sugar cookies from the Beatrix pastry counter at 272 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook. Cookies are $4.95 each and are available Dec. 7-15.

Extreme Gingerbread Home Makeover

Are you competitive about confectionary construction? Buffalo Creek Brewing, 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove, is hosting its first Gingerbread House Competition on Thursdays, Dec. 7 and 14. The events start at 5:30 p.m., when each team is provided a gingerbread house kit and a sack of candy from Long Grove's Ma & Pa's Candy. The rules of White Elephant will be in play, so swapping and stealing is accepted. Teams have until 8:30 p.m. to complete their themed gingerbread houses for judging. It's $45; teams must register on Buffalo Creek's website store. The events are limited to 12 teams per night. BCB's original Gingerbread Scotch Ale will be released Thursday, Dec. 7, in tandem with this event.

Just in time for winter

Alright, so maybe it's a bad time to ask if you're ready to cool off with some frozen treats. That being said, a new Andy's Frozen Custard is opening in early December in St. Charles at 2630 E. Main St. Might be a good time to cozy up under a blankie by the fireplace and enjoy their seasonal, limited-time Santa Brownie Jackhammer, Santa Brownie Sundae, Candy Cane Brownie FreezCrete and the Andy Nog Shake. All four are available through the end of the year. Andy's will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Don't mind if I fondue

Why be a fondon't, when you can fondue? Melting Pot is dialing it up with their new Ultimate 5-Course Experience, which they say will "dazzle all five senses." The celebration starts with your choice of a bouquet of roses or seasonal flowers to set the mood, then a first bite of green goddess and bacon-stuffed tomato. Then comes the chef-curated cheese fondue, a salad, the entree fondue with 6-ounce center-cut filet mignon, teriyaki-marinated steak, herb-crusted chicken breast and shrimp. Get your camera ready for a dessert made for the 'Gram when the chocolate explosion fondue - raspberry dark chocolate fondue topped with red velvet cake or birthday cake white chocolate fondue topped with confetti cake, cotton candy and fireworks - comes to the table. There are Melting Pot locations in Downers Grove and Schaumburg. Reservations are required for the five-course offering.

Make room for Fat Rosie's

Fat Rosie's, the family-friendly taco and tequila bar from Scott Harris Hospitality, is opening a new location in Lincolnwood on Thursday, Nov. 30. Located at 4504 W. Touhy Ave., it's their fifth restaurant in the concept, joining locations in Naperville, Schaumburg, Lincolnshire and Frankfort. They'll be open for lunch and dinner, offering authentic antojitos (appetizers), platos (lunch and dinner plates), tacos, tamales and their notorious el patron gordo burrito.

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Beatrix in Oak Brook is offering hand-decorated Hanukkah sugar cookies from their pastry counter. Courtesy of Beatrix
L. Woods will be serving matzo ball soup for dine-in or to-go during Hanukkah. Courtesy of L. Woods
Buffalo Creek Brewing in Long Grove is hosting a pair of gingerbread house decorating contests in December. Courtesy of Buffalo Creek Brewing
Andy's Frozen Custard will open a new location in St. Charles in early December. Courtesy of Andy's Frozen Custard
The Melting Pot is offering a new Ultimate 5-Course Experience. Courtesy of Melting Pot
Fat Rosie's is hosting a grand opening for its new Lincolnwood location Thursday, Nov. 30. Courtesy of Fat Rosie's
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