Dining out: Portillo's heart-shaped chocolate cake is back
It's that time of year again for Portillo's heart-shaped chocolate cake. And this year, feel even better about buying the limited-time confection for $15.99 because a portion of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. The single-layer cakes will be available in restaurants Friday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 17. Pre-order it at portillos.com/ or (866) YUM-BEEF (986-2333). Portillo's has locations throughout the suburbs. portillos.com/
Passero on 'Check, Please!'
Tune in at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, to see Arlington Heights' trattoria Passero featured on WTTW's "Check, Please!" Watch as three Chicagoans compare dining notes on Passero, plus restaurants EMA (River North) and Whisk (West Town) on the show. Passero is at 5 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights, (224) 857-8900 or eatpassero.com/#about.
Wine, dine, unwind
It's time to wine and dine at Pinstripes' four-course wine dinners featuring Louis M. Martini. Pairings include an antipasto platter with Louis Martini Alexander Valley cabernet sauvignon, a poached pears salad with Louis Martini Sonoma County cabernet sauvignon, Colorado lamb chops with Louis Martini Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and chocolate cheesecake with Louis Martini California cabernet sauvignon. The dinner at the South Barrington location is at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8; the Oak Brook dinner is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. Dinner is $60 per person, including tax and gratuity. Reservations are required; limited seats available. Pinstripes is at 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-9300, and 7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, (630) 575-8700. pinstripes.com/.
Restaurant Michael is closing
Some sad news out of Winnetka: After 14 years, Restaurant Michael is closing its doors. "My team and I aren't going anywhere ... stay tuned for details," said Restaurant Michael chef Michael Lachowicz in a prepared statement. The last day of service at the restaurant will be Sunday, March 3. Also, Lachowicz's other venture, award-winning George Trois, will be on hiatus until Thursday, May 2. Restaurant Michael is at 64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, (847) 441-3100 or restaurantmichael.com/.
Olive Garden celebrates National Pizza Day Saturday, Feb. 9, with the chicken Alfredo pizza fritta.
- Courtesy of Olive Garden
National Pizza Day
Saturday, Feb. 9, is National Pizza Day, and Olive Garden is paying homage with its recently added appetizer: the Chicken Alfredo Pizza Fritta. The golden-fried pizza dough stuffed with chicken, three cheeses and Alfredo sauce and accompanied by Alfredo and marinara sauces is $6.99. Plus, there are new Never Ending Stuffed Pastas to try, too, including the new stuffed ziti fritta (ziti stuffed with four cheeses and lightly fried). For $12.99, create your own combo from four stuffed pastas (stuffed ziti fritta, cheese ravioli, asiago tortelloni and mushroom ravioli), four sauces (Alfredo, meat sauce, marinara and five cheese marinara) and five toppings (garden veggies, meatballs, grilled chicken, garlic shrimp fritta, and sautéed shrimp and scallops). Olive Garden has locations throughout the suburbs. olivegarden.com/home.
Chicago Restaurant Week extended
So now you have a few more days to take advantage of Chicago Restaurant Week deals as the event has been extended through Tuesday, Feb. 12. More than 235 restaurants will continue to offer specially designed prix fixe menus, starting at $24 for brunch and lunch and $36 and/or $48 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). See choosechicago.com/restaurants/chicago-restaurant-week/ for details.
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