Dining out: Free ice cream for Shaq’s birthday, kids’ cooking classes and more

Happy birthday, Shaq!

Wednesday, March 6, is Shaquille O’Neal’s birthday, which wouldn’t normally appear in a dining column, but Big Chicken in Rosemont is giving away a free ice cream cone that day, while supplies last, to anyone who stops by to honor their founder. It’s one cone per person; no purchase is necessary. Guests who come in to the location at 9437 W. Higgins Road can also sign a big birthday card for the 15-time NBA all-star.

Pop-up restaurant West Side Ramen will be serving a variety of ramen dishes and more at Chrissoulas in Libertyville until spring. Courtesy of West Side Ramen

The ramen clock is ticking

There’s still time to catch West Side Ramen, the popular pop-up spot that has taken over Chrissoulas Restaurant in Libertyville each January, February and March for the past four years. Brothers Nick and Theo Dimitriou have added smash burgers, a well-received Thursday-night special from last year, to the menu. Ramen options include tonkotsu, chicken katsu, mushroom miso (each $20) and The Sumo, a dine-in only double portion of ramen noodles, pork broth, smoked pork belly, pork dumpling, kimchi, roasted corn, two soft eggs and more ($38). Wash it all down with an extensive list of craft cocktails, sake, and Japanese beer and whiskey. The Mediterranean-themed Chrissoulas will return to the location at 602 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the spring.

  Atlas Chicken in Bartlett is celebrating its first birthday with specials next week, and it’s hosting a party Friday, March 8. Rick West/

Happy birthday, part two

Atlas Chicken in Bartlett is celebrating its first birthday with special offers next week, culminating in a party Friday, March 8. The restaurant, located at 1048 W. Army Trail Road, will offer an “appiversary” package Monday through Friday that includes seven of their new taquitos, six riceballs, chips and queso, medium chicken tenders and sauces for $36, dine in or carryout. Plus, the restaurant will have giveaways and games throughout the week. The party Friday will feature a balloon artist, fishbowl slushies, $1 taquitos, raffles, giveaways and games.

Savings for a good cause

Oaken Bistro + Bar in Lake Forest is giving diners a chance to support over 2,000 local foster and homeless children with a 50% off offer in March. Anyone enjoying a meal at Oaken in March will have the opportunity to take 50% off their check (not including alcohol), or choose to use the savings for good and donate it to Fill-A-Heart-4-Kids, a Lake Forest-based nonprofit that provides critical necessities, food, clothing and other support for unhoused youth. You must mention the offer to take advantage of the savings or make the donation. Oaken Bistro + Bar is at 200 N. Field Drive.

Table at Crate in Oak Brook is holding a series of four kids’ cooking classes for children 3-6 starting March 10. Courtesy of Table at Crate

Let the kids do the cooking

Here’s a good investment for every parent’s future: Table at Crate in Oak Brook is holding a series of kids’ cooking classes for youngins 3-6. The classes take place over a series of four Sundays from 10-11:30 a.m. starting March 10. Kids will learn to whip up delicious dishes with Table at Crate’s chefs guiding the way. It’s $250 per child for all four classes, which seems like a small price to pay if it means your kid will want to cook for you. Each budding chef (chefling?) will receive their own personalized chef coat and hat to wear while they make pasta and sauce, pop tarts and breakfast, cupcakes and frosting and pot pies. Reservations are available now through March 8 on Tock. Table at Crate is also offering an egg decorating workshop for kids from 9-10:45 a.m. Saturday, March 16. Tickets are $50 per child and include a customized Easter basket.

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