Dining out: Satisfy your chocolate cravings at Long Grove Chocolate Fest
Long Grove Chocolate Fest
Calling all chocolate lovers: This weekend is for you. Head to Long Grove for the village's annual Chocolate Fest running Friday through Sunday. Check out some of the chocolate specialties that will be on sale from local chocolatiers: Chocolate cotton candy; frozen hot chocolate; chocolate-flavored popcorn; chocolate ice varieties; a chocolate bar with selections such as chili, mint, sea salt, nut and fruit; chocolate candies including truffles, turtles, toffee, brittle and peanut butter cups; chocolate-covered bacon; chocolate-dipped apples, bananas, strawberries, cheesecakes, pretzels, macaroons, marshmallows, nuts and doughnuts; chocolate funnel cakes; chocolate granola; chocolate blintz; chocolate flan and more. Returning this year is the Chocolate Experience Tent, with hands-on chocolate demonstrations and chocolate artisans. New this year, attendees will have the opportunity to make 15 to 30 truffles on-site with direction from The Bom Truffle company. Fest hours are noon to 11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 per day, $10 for all three days, and free for kids 12 and younger. Near 308 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove. See longgrove.org/festivals/chocolate-fest.
More than peanuts and Cracker Jack
The Schaumburg Boomers recently rolled out upgraded food and drinks for the 2018 season, which starts this week. Baseball fans can now find new beer options from Sam Adams and Great Lakes Brewing, plus local brews from Church Street Brewing in Itasca, Itasca Brewery and Crystal Lake Brewery. The Mac Shack will be serving up mac-and-cheese in two ways: in a parfait cup or in a waffle cone, with toppings like ranch dressing, bacon, onion straws, barbecue pulled pork, buffalo pulled chicken or diced hot dogs. Other new snacks include the Bases Loaded Burger featuring pulled pork, bacon, ranch dressing and onion straws and hand-dipped ice cream. Plus, don't miss $1 Hot Dog Tuesdays and $5 Kids Meals every game. The Schaumburg Boomers play at 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg, (847) 461-FOWL (3695) or boomersbaseball.com.
The Chocolate Waffle
Who doesn't love the smell of freshly made waffles? The Chocolate Waffle, which recently opened in Vernon Hills' Hawthorn Center, is now serving up freshly made liege waffles (dough-based waffles with pearl sugar that caramelizes in the waffle irons) starting at $5.49 and waffle sticks (Belgium waffles on a stick) starting at $3.99. The waffle sticks come in flavors such as red velvet, chocolate, original and cinnamon. The sweet treats can be customized with a variety of spreads, drizzles or toppings. Specialty waffles include the S'mores (Nutella, graham crackers and mini marshmallows) for $6.49, the Cookies and Cream (Oreo cookie crumbs and whipped cream) for $5.99 and the Dulce de Leche (vanilla ice cream and hot caramel sauce) for $7.49. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Chocolate Waffle is at 215 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills, (847) 680-1882 or thechocolatewaffle.com.
Pizza Party Day
Who knew? Friday is National Pizza Party Day. And to celebrate, Jet's Pizza is offering 25 percent off entire orders the whole day. The offer is available for carryout, delivery and online orders. For online orders, use promo code JETS 25. Jet's Pizza has locations in Arlington Heights, Aurora, Chicago, Lombard, Naperville, Schaumburg, Wheaton, Wheeling/Buffalo Grove and other surrounding suburbs. jetspizza.com
Become a grill master
Chef Adam from CityGate Grille will give you all the grilling tips you need to own the backyard barbecue this summer. He'll do a grilling demo, plus host a discussion and three-course meal from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 19. The event is limited to 20 participants, so call (630) 718-1010 to reserve a spot. The cost is $40 per person (including tax and gratuity). Because of Terrace resurfacing, the event has been moved to the grassy area outside of the CityGate Grille entrance. CityGate Grille is at 2020 Calamos Court, Naperville, (630) 718-1010 or citygategrille.com
RAM's Shorty Flight
The RAM Restaurant & Brewery honors American Craft Beer Week now through Sunday, June 20, with the Shorty Flight -- three 10-ounce RAM Craft Beers for $7.99. During Chicago Craft Beer Week, May 18-26, RAM brewers will be available to talk about their current beer selections and what's being tapped in the coming months. RAM Restaurant & Brewery is at 9520 Higgins Road, Rosemont, (847) 692-4426; 1901 McConnor Parkway, Schaumburg, (847) 517-8791; and 700 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, (847) 520-1222. theram.com.
Portillo's Rhyme Time Challenge
Portillo's has declared May 21-27 Italian Beef Week, meaning the restaurants will be offering two regular Italian Beef Sandwiches for $10 during that week. To add to the fun, Portillo's is hosting the Rhyme Time Challenge where customers can submit an original rhyme at portillos.com/rhymetime May 21-27. Submitted rhymes must end with a number 0-9. All entries must rhyme, be free of inappropriate language, and must not be a rhyme already used by the Portillo's team. The first place winner will receive free Portillo's food for a year and the winning rhyme will used by employees in Portillo's restaurants nationwide. Second and third place winners will be awarded a swag bag and a gift card. Portillo's has locations throughout the suburbs. portillos.com/.
Lake Villa welcomes Timothy O'Toole's
Timothy O'Toole's Pub recently opened its third suburban location, this time in Lake Villa. Located in the former Blackthorn Grille, Timothy O'Toole's offers similar fare (wings, Reuben egg rolls, the Classic Reuben, the Chicago Fire Burger and more) as the Gurnee location, but markets itself more as a family pub. Patrons will find 24 beers on tap, including local, craft and domestic varieties. This location, run by husband-and-wife team Sara McKinnon and Humberto Martinez Jr., can seat 200 inside and another 48 on the outdoor patio. Bring the kids: On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, children 10 and younger eat for free with an adult meal purchased between 4 and 8 p.m. Timothy O'Toole's Pub is at 10 W. Grand Ave., Lake Villa, (847) 979-0600 or timothyotooles.com/lake-villa.
Perry's Greatest Hits
Perry's Steakhouse & Grille is bringing a handful of their specialty dishes together for a 5-Signature Tasting Menu only available on Fridays through June 29. For $55, diners can nosh on Perry's skewered pork chop bites; the butcher's chop salad; Perry's Chateaubriand, featuring two 3-ounce center-cut filet medallions with truffle merlot demiglacé, bearnaise and peppercorn reduction sauces; fried asparagus with jumbo lump crab; and the Nutty D'Angelo, prepared tableside. Reservations requested. Perry's Steakhouse & Grille is at 5 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 571-1808 or perryssteakhouse.com/menu-locations/chicago/oak-brook.
Summertime at Miller's
The open-air patio is now open at Miller's Ale House, so head outside and enjoy the warmer weather. All-day daily drink specials include $3 Smirnoff Bloody Marys and $5 pitchers of Miller Lite on Sundays, $2 Sauza margaritas on Mondays, $4 signature mules on Tuesdays, $3 "You Call It" drafts on Wednesdays, and $3 house wine (6 ounces) and half off wine bottles (for a limited time) on Thursdays. And there's more: Late-night food specials, from 10 p.m. to close Sundays through Thursdays, include $5 select appetizers (fully loaded cheese fries, fried calamari, crispy cauliflower, warm Bavarian pretzel, Mediterranean flatbread, fried mozzarella and Zingers) and $5 build-your-own burger or chicken sandwich with up to two toppings. Miller's Ale House is at 778 N. Route 59, Aurora, (630) 332-8574; 455 E. Butterfield Road, Lombard, (630) 241-3371; and 1300 N. Meacham Road, Schaumburg, (847) 598-1090. millersalehouse.com.