Dining out: West Side Ramen pop-up takes over Libertyville space in January

West Side Ramen returns

Looking for a new restaurant to try? The pop-up West Side Ramen is returning for its third year with a full takeover of Chrissoulas in Libertyville for the month of January starting Friday, Jan. 6. (Don't worry, Chrissoulas will return when the pop-up ends.) But for now, diners can sup on ramen such as tonkotsu (smoked pork belly, nori, soft egg, bok choy, ramen egg noodle) for $16, chicken shoyu (slow-roasted chicken, chicken broth, soy tare, bok choy, scallion, soft egg) for $16, and The Sumo (double portion of ramen noodle, smoked pork belly, chicken dumpling, kimchi, two soft egg, corn, bok choy, wakame, bone broth, sesame chili sauce and fried garlic for dine-in only) for $36. Also on the menu are apps, bao buns, raw bar items, sake, signature cocktails and more. Hours are 5-9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 5-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 4-8 p.m. Sundays. For reservations, call or direct message on Facebook or Instagram.

West Side Ramen is at 602 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, (224) 433-6290,

The pop-up restaurant West Side Ramen is taking over Chrissoulas in Libertyville for the month of January. Courtesy of West Side Ramen

Honoring seniors

Scottish-inspired Balmoral Restaurant is honoring seniors once again with its fifth annual Seniors Day, meaning anyone 65 and older can dine on a free, three-course meal starting at 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 9-10. Yes, free. And the senior can invite up to three guests to join them for the meal. For the special dinner, chef Joe Schroeder will be serving a choice of chicken liver mousse with crisp toast, shrimp with watermelon and goat cheese, cock-a-leekie soup or a mixed salad to start. Entree options include a choice of Campsie Glen Chicken with Stilton blue cheese, chili and honey grilled salmon, stuffed red pepper or Queen Elizabeth's pork chop; all come with a choice of potatoes and vegetables. End with a sweet treat of Ye Auld Sticky Toffee Pudding, Blairgowrie Raspberry Cream Cranachan, Banoffee Pie Meringue or Perthshire's Strawberry Meringue. Reservations will only be taken over the phone.

Balmoral Restaurant is at 40W099 Route 64, Campton Hills, (331) 901-5224,

The tropical-inspired Island Hopper is one of the new nonalcoholic drinks available at Bar Louie. Courtesy of Bar Louie

Healthy start

If you're taking part in Dry January, Bar Louie is mixing up some new mocktails for the occasion. Try the Island Hopper (orange, guava, passion fruit, sparkling water and lime), Pineapple Ginger Cooler (pineapple, angostura bitters, Fever-Tree Ginger beer and mint) or the Shake-It-Up (freshly shaken brewed iced tea with a choice of mango, strawberry, passion fruit or black cherry puree).

Bar Louie is at 619 E. Boughton Road #A, Bolingbrook, (331) 246-0500; 17W350 22nd St., Oakbrook Terrace, (630) 478-8040; and 5615 N. Cumberland Ave., Chicago, (773) 332-8029;

Winter winner

Now that we're entering the doldrums of winter, Pinstripes is offering a pick-me-up to get you out of the house. The Winter Ticket promotion includes unlimited bocce and bowling now through March 31 for $50. Sounds like a deal.

Pinstripes is at 7 Oakbrook Center Mall, Oak Brook, (630) 575-8700; 100 W. Higgins Road, South Barrington, (847) 844-9300; 1150 Willow Road, Northbrook, (847) 480-2323,

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