Dining out: Delicious times await at Chocolate Fest, Backyard Brewfest & more
Chocolate, oh my!
This weekend is truly a chocolate-lover's dream. From chocolate-covered cheesecake, chocolate bacon, chocolate-dipped fruits and frozen hot chocolate to chocolate cotton candy, chocolate popcorn, chocolate fudge, chocolate-filled croissants, chocolate barbecue sauce and more, Chocolate Fest in Long Grove is the place to be Friday through Sunday, May 17-19. If you want to learn more about chocolate, the Chocolate Experience Tent will host live demonstrations, a chocolate carver from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, vendors, activities and more. Plus, there will be chocolate pie-eating contests at 2:30 and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Towner Green. If you prefer something salty instead of sweet, test your stomach at Luke's Hot Dog Eating Contest from 3:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday on the Main Stage. Besides all of the treats, there will be a Kid Zone, a carnival and lots of music across two stages. The fest runs from noon to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $5 each day for those 12 and older; it's free for kids younger than 12.
The fest takes place in downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry Road. For details, see longgrove.org/festivals/chocolate-fest/.
Be one of the first 100 patrons in line at Perry's Steakhouse at 11 a.m. Friday, May 17, to receive a card good for a 79-cent pork chop lunch.
- Courtesy of Perry's Steakhouse & Grille
79-cent pork chop!
It can't be true, right? 79 cents for a pork chop lunch? Yes, on Friday, May 17, Perry's Steakhouse & Grille is feting its 40th anniversary by offering the first 100 guests 21 and older a pork chop lunch, complete with whipped potatoes and homemade applesauce, for only 79 cents. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. Friday, so get there early to ensure you receive a card redeemable for the lunch special.
Perry's Steakhouse & Grille is at 5 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 571-1808 or perryssteakhouse.com/locations/il/chicago/oak-brook/.
More chicken, please
Starting Wednesday, May 15, B.Good is introducing four chef-inspired chicken sandwiches to its core menu. Choose from the chipotle chicken (cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato and chipotle aioli, barbecue chicken (Gruyere, spicy slaw and barbecue sauce), chicken avocado (avocado, lettuce, tomato and Dijon mustard) and sriracha chicken (spicy sriracha slaw, relish, cilantro and mayo). Also, to appeal to a wider range of diets, the chain has a new veggie patty that's vegan and gluten-free. And look for other new items coming to the menu starting May 29, including the Thai noodle salad (tofu, romaine, zucchini noodles, spicy slaw, pecans, spicy coconut dressing and cilantro) and the super green smoothie (mixed greens, kale, cucumber, apple, chia and lemon).
B.Good is at 2555 W. 75th St., Naperville, (331) 213-2705; 1721 E. Golf Road, Schaumburg, (224) 353-4080; and 875 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills, (224) 433-7010, or bgood.com/.
There will be sweet treats galore at the Long Grove Chocolate Festival, returning Friday through Sunday, May 17-19.
- Courtesy of Grimaldi Public Relations
In the mood for a new brew? You just might find what you're looking for at Church Street Brewing Company's second annual Backyard Brewfest, which runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Try beers from more than 15 breweries, including Skeleton Key Brewery, Pollyanna Brewing Company, Penrose Brewing, Energy City Brewing, Alter Brewing Company, 2 Fools Cider, Wolfden Brewing, Will County Brewing Company, Gun Craft Beer, Miskatonic Brewing Company, Itasca Brewing Company, 25 West Brewing Co., Banging Gavel, 2 Fools Cider, Karetas Brewing Co., Elmhurst Brewing Co., Middle Brow Beer Co. and more. Regular tickets, which include 20 tastings and a 5-ounce tasting glass, are $40. VIP tickets, which cost $50, include early entry at noon and special barrel-aged tastings. Expect music from The Backdrops and food from Toasty Cheese Food Truck and Rack House, which will be roasting a whole pig. Fest proceeds will be donated to Itasca Cares: Walk-In Ministry. It's free for designated drivers; donations to Itasca Cares appreciated. Sorry, but no pets or kids allowed. Buy tickets at eventbrite.com/.
Church Street Brewing Company is at 1480 Industrial Drive, Unit C, Itasca, (630) 438-5725 or churchstreetbrew.com/.
Fire and Ice
With only one episode left of HBO's "Game of Thrones," you don't have much time to get Shake Shack's limited-time-only Dragonglass Shake. Available at all Shake Shack locations, the drink is a blend of minted white chocolate custard garnished with shards of Dragonglass. If you really want to try The Dracarys Burger -- a double Monterey Jack cheeseburger topped with bacon and fiery Dracarys Sauce -- you'll have to seek it out at the River North location (66 E. Ohio St., Chicago). Both items will be available through the end of the TV series this Sunday.
Shake Shack is at 1950 Spring Road, Oak Brook, (630) 413-1017, plus locations in Chicago and Skokie. shakeshack.com/.
Summer is right around the corner, and Morton's The Steakhouse is ready with its new three-course Summer Showcase menu. Available from Friday, May 17, through Aug. 15, the $49 meal includes a starting choice of Caesar salad, Taste of Toast (avocado and tomato, classic Waldorf, and pimento and giardiniera) and summer tomato bisque. Entrees include a choice of antipasto salad with grilled jumbo shrimp; crispy chicken Bianco; a 6-ounce filet mignon; and Ora King Salmon with warm farro salad, spinach, roasted peppers and feta cheese. Sides feature charred broccolini, mashed potatoes and summer squash orzo with arugula pesto. For a sweet treat, choose from chocolate mousse, mixed berries with short cake and whipped cream or creme brulee. For an extra $49, add a bottle of Butter Block chardonnay or Communion Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley.
Morton's is 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/.
The 6-ounce filet mignon is a choice on Morton's new Summer Showcase menu.
- Courtesy of Morton's The Steakhouse
Oodles of zoodles
Who loves zoodles? If you've never tried zucchini noodle dishes, now's your chance as Noodles & Company recently introduced two new seasonal dishes. The zucchini and asparagus with lemon sauce includes Roma tomatoes and roasted zucchini, which is then garnished with toasted bread crumbs and parsley, and zucchetti in white wine garlic sauce with balsamic chicken is a combination of zucchini noodles and spaghetti noodles, roasted zucchini, Roma tomatoes, spinach, onion and basil topped with Parmesan cheese and lemon. Noodles also recently added a new, gluten-friendly pipette shell to its menu. It can be subbed into any dish for an extra dollar.
Noodles has locations in Bloomingdale, Buffalo Grove, Crystal Lake, Deer Park, Deerfield, Elgin, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Gurnee, Lake in the Hills, Lincolnshire, Naperville, Oakbrook Terrace, Schaumburg, Vernon Hills, Wheaton, Chicago and other suburbs. noodles.com/.
Sipping Under the Stars
Now that the weather is finally getting warmer, CityGate Grille is inviting wine lovers and neophytes for a night of wine sampling, passed appetizers and live music on the patio. Join the fun from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 23. It's $38 per person, including tax and gratuity. Buy tickets at eventbrite.com/.
CityGate Grille is at 2020 Calamos Court, Naperville, (630) 718-1010 or citygategrille.com/.
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