Dining out: Treat yourself to Halloween specials this week
Stan's Donuts & Coffee is baking up The Lil Pumpkin Donut -- a cake doughnut decorated to look like a jack-o'-lantern -- now through Halloween. It's $2.75 and is available at all Stan's Donuts. Also, anyone who stops in on Halloween wearing a costume will receive a free mini donut (one per person, while supplies last).
Stan's Donuts & Coffee's suburban locations are at 529 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 590-1060, and 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, (224) 353-6092. stansdonuts.com/.
Through Halloween, sink your teeth into Yard House's Vampire Taco. This specialty taco -- a grilled, crispy cheese-crusted flour tortilla shell filled with carnitas, bacon chorizo, chipotle, cumin crema, guacamole, roasted garlic and cilantro -- is $6.85.
Yard House is at 2301 Fountain Square Drive, Lombard, (630) 495-1912, and 1880 Tower Drive, Glenview, (847) 729-9273. yardhouse.com/.
Whiskey & Wine Dinner
A five-course chef's dinner paired with handcrafted cocktails, straight pours and whiskey barrel-aged wine: It's time for the Lincolnshire Fleming's Whiskey & Wine Dinner at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. First course starts with King Crab Salad paired with Bourbon Smash, then nosh on seared ahi tuna and Watermelon Rye. Next up is glazed pork belly with Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon before moving on to the duo of beef paired with 1000 Stories wine. For dessert, it's apple bacon butter cake served with coffee or tea. It costs $100 per person. Fleming's will donate $20 from every Whiskey & Wine dinner sold to the Association of Junior Leagues International. Seating is limited.
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse is at 960 Milwaukee Ave., Lincolnshire, (847) 793-0333 or flemingssteakhouse.com/.
Applebee's: The restaurant's specialty Zombie Cocktail -- rum, pineapple, passion fruit, cherry and lime flavors garnished with a gummy "brain" -- is only $1 every day in October. Applebee's is at 125 S. Randall Road, Elgin, (847) 697-4897, and 1700 N. Richmond Road, McHenry, (815) 344-6305. applebees.com/en.
Baskin-Robbins: Ice cream scoops are only $1.50 on Halloween. October's Flavor of the Month is Trick Oreo Treat -- a vanilla ice cream with crumbled orange crème-filled Oreo cookies, Baby Ruth and Butterfinger pieces.
Chili's: Only available in October, the $5 Great Pumpkin Margarita blends Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup, Lunazul Silver Tequila, triple sec and a splash of Captain Morgan. Chili's has locations in Algonquin, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Batavia, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Crystal Lake, Downers Grove, Gurnee, Hoffman Estates, Kildeer, McHenry, Naperville, Rosemont, Round Lake Beach, South Elgin, St. Charles, Streamwood, Vernon Hills, West Dundee, Waukegan and Wheaton. chilis.com/.
IHOP: Kids 12 and younger will get a free Scary Face Pancake between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Halloween. One pancake per child. Dine-in customers only. IHOP has locations throughout the suburbs. ihop.com/.
Papa John's: The jack-o'-lantern pizza is back through Halloween. Shaped like a pumpkin and decorated to look like a smiling jack-o'-lantern, the pizza costs $11. papajohns.com/.
Pop's Italian Beef and Sausage is getting in the Halloween spirit a little early with $1 hot dogs at all locations on "Frankenstein" Friday, Oct. 26. On that day, all customers making a purchase will receive a scratch-off card giving them the chance to win a free fry, BOGO sandwich and more.
Pop's has locations in Romeoville, Chicago, Joliet, Lockport, Tinley Park, Palos Heights and more. popsbeef.com/home.
The art of pasta
Learn how to make pasta the Francesca's way when chef Massimo Salatino teaches a hands-on pasta making class at noon Saturday, Oct. 27, at Francesca's Intimo in Lake Forest. Participants will learn simple techniques for cutting, shaping and filling homemade pasta. Salatino also will demonstrate how to make fresh pasta sauces. Tasting is encouraged. The class is $75 (includes nonalcoholic beverages) plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.
Francesca's Intimo is at 293 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest, (847) 735-9235 or miafrancesca.com/events/profile/the-art-of-pasta.
Rush Creek's first anniversary bash
Rush Creek Distilling in Harvard is throwing quite a bash to celebrate its first anniversary. From 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, the distillery will be serving up spirit tastings, drink specials and craft cocktail creations, plus there will be live music from BLISS Band. Since opening over Labor Day 2017, owners Jay T. Nolan, Jeff McCarthy and brothers Mark and Todd Stricker have been crafting spirits such as a slow-filtered Vodka, American Heartland-style gin, nine-year-old Trophy Whiskey and five-year-old American Gold Whiskey.
Rush Creek Distilling is at 1501 W. Diggins St., Harvard, (815) 943-7874 or rushcreekdistilling.com/.
Put on your Sunday best, er best costume, for Port Edward's Halloween Brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Kids 8 and younger who come in costume will get to eat for free.
Also, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, for every $7 Ketel One Citroen Cosmo ordered, $1 will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Port Edward is at 20 W. Algonquin Road, Algonquin, (847) 658-5441 or portedward.com/.
Bien Trucha in Geneva, A Toda Madre in Glen Ellyn and Quiubo in Naperville will be serving specialty Halloween bites on Oct. 31. Try the orange and black Tacos Dia de Muertos ($13) made with pork tenderloin, black beans, green apple, epazote, radishes and guajillo tortilla. Pair the tacos with two specialty cocktails: La Bruja ($12), made with Oola aloo gin, lime, egg white, activated charcoal and expressed lemon, or the El Jinete Negro ($12), made with blood orange, lime, Exotica Blanco tequila, orange liqueur, activated charcoal and salt.
Bien Trucha is at 410 W. State St., Geneva, (630) 232-2665, bientrucha.com/; A Toda Madre is at 499 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn, (630) 474-0969, atmrestaurant.com/ and Quiubo is at 120 Water St., Naperville, (331) 702-2711 or quiubomx.com/.
Costumes strongly encouraged
It's time to get dressed up, in your Halloween costume that is, for Shaw's Crab House's Halloween Costume Brunch happening Sunday, Oct. 28. Diners who come in costume will receive a $25 gift certificate good for a future visit. Brunch costs $65 for adults, $15 for kids 7-12, and free for kids 6 and younger. Reservations are for 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with brunch closing at 3 p.m.
Shaw's Crab House is at 1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, (847) 517-2722 or shawscrabhouse.com/schaumburg/brunch/.
Head to Shaw's sister restaurant, Tokio Pub, on Wednesday, Oct. 31, for a special treat. If you dine in your costume, you'll receive a gift card in the amount of your meal.
Tokio Pub is at 1900 E. Higgins Road, Schaumburg, (847) 278-5181 or tokiopub.com/.
In the mood for a refined Halloween? Consider Morton's Treat Yourself This Halloween three-course menu being served Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 30-31, at the Naperville, Northbrook, Rosemont and Schaumburg locations. For $36, excluding tax and gratuity, choose from starters such as beefsteak tomato and mozzarella salad, prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella, lobster bisque or the chopped house salad, plus a choice of side (including charred broccolini, blue cheese bacon mashed potato or Brussels sprouts). Entree choices include chicken piccata, grilled bistro filet, pork chop, honey-balsamic-glazed salmon or shrimp scampi capellini. For dessert, delight in cheesecake, chocolate espresso mousse or creme brulee. Diners can add a specially priced bottle of Orin Swift Papillon, red blend, Napa Valley to their dinner for $99.
Morton's The Steakhouse is located at 1751 Freedom Drive, Naperville, (630) 577-1372; 699 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, (847) 205-5111; 9525 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Rosemont, (847) 678-5155; and 1470 McConnor Parkway, Schaumburg, (847) 413-8771. mortons.com/.