Dining out: National Margarita Day is here

National Margarita Day

Nothing says February in Illinois like a refreshing margarita. Maybe that’s why National Margarita Day is Thursday, Feb. 22 — to give us a little sun-kissed taste of summer as we count the months until it’s patio drinking season again. There are innumerable places to get a good margarita. Here a just a few of the places touting specials:

Blanco Cocina + Cantina in Oak Brook offers $8 frozen margaritas for National Margarita Day from 3-6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22. Courtesy of Blanco Cocina + Cantina

Blanco Cocina + Cantina in Oak Brook has $8 frozen margaritas from 3-6 p.m. with a range of flavors, including the timeless classic, spiced mango and coconut agave.

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is offering guests its famous Grande House Margarita for only $4 and the 1800 Gran Rita for $8. They’re also rolling out a new limited-time Spicy Ghost Rita using Ghost Tequila Blanco, which is infused with ghost pepper. You can find On The Border in Algonquin, Naperville and Vernon Hills.

Bahama Breeze is offering classic margs for $2.22 all day Thursday.

Timothy O'Toole's Pub locations in Gurnee, Libertyville and Lake Villa are featuring 5-ounce classic margaritas with Tres Agaves Organic tequila for $2.22. They’re also featuring seasonal margaritas The Smoke Show ($15) with pineapple-infused mezcal and caramelized pineapple perfect purée, the Sparkling Apricot ($12) and the Cran-Peary ($12).

Winter whiskey tasting among the trees

Check out the Morton Arboretum’s new Firefly Pavilion, a covered, open-air event space, during a winter whiskey tasting from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23. A curated selection of spirits chosen by experts from Binny’s Beverage Depot will include everything from velvety smooth aged bourbons to peaty single malts, all while enjoying tunes from Irish traditional musicians from the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Timed tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $50 for members, $60 for nonmembers and $30 for designated drivers at Admission includes 15 quarter-ounce tastings and a souvenir 5-ounce tasting glass.

Niche Restaurant in Geneva is holding a five-course Weller whiskey dinner on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Courtesy of Niche

Weller Dinner

Niche Restaurant in Geneva is serving the uber-popular and sought-after Weller lineup of bourbons during a five-course Weller dining event Wednesday, Feb. 28. The $160 per person meal starts with chicken fried frog legs served with Weller Special Reserve, followed by pork rillettes tortellini paired with Weller 12 Year. ​Course three features roasted short rib with Weller C.Y.P.B., then braised lamb shank and Weller Full Proof. End the evening with dessert and Weller Antique. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., dinner is at 6. Call (630) 262-1000 for reservations.

The Melting Pot is giving four lucky winners the chance to plan the ultimate proposal with an Ultimate 5-Course Experience — complete with rose petals and candles — on Thursday, Feb. 29. Courtesy of The Melting Pot

Take the leap

It’s a little cliché to propose on Valentine’s Day (no offense and congratulations to the recently engaged. Cheers!). The Melting Pot suggests you ‘due (get it?) something romantic on leap day instead. The fondue restaurant, with suburban locations in Schaumburg and Downers Grove, is giving four lucky winners the chance to plan the ultimate proposal with an Ultimate 5-Course Experience — complete with rose petals and candles — on Thursday, Feb. 29. Each couple will also win fondue date nights for a year. To enter, you need to fill out a form sharing something about yourself, your partner, and your love story by 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18.

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