Sunday, May 4, 2008

Your Momma . . .


. . . is a very special lady, and her Big Day is May 11. If you haven't made those plans yet, 312 Dining Diva has got you covered with these offbeat dining options:

The Chopping Block. Spend the afternoon cooking a three-course meal with you mom at either location of this popular cooking school. You'll get to make prosciutto-wrapped asparagus; egg, spinach and cheese stuffed crepes with Hollandaise sauce; and a lemon tart with strawberries. 10am at Merchandise Mart (Suite 107, 312-644-6360); 11am in Lincoln Square (4747 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-472-6700). $75 per person.

Geja’s Café (340 W. Armitage Ave., 773-281-9101). They're offering an all-inclusive fondue lunch that includes cheese fondue, a choice of chicken or shrimp, flaming chocolate fondue and Champagne. All moms will also get a free five-minute massage by a licensed massage therapist. Doors open at noon. $30.

Green Zebra (1460 W. Chicago Ave., 312-243-7100). Shawn McClain's contemporary vegetarian-focused eatery serves up a la carte brunch choices like baked cheese fondue with Granny Smith apples and sourdough bread; aged cheddar grilled cheese with tomato-onion chutney; caramelized vegetable hash, roasted tomato vinaigrette, baked eggs; and Challah French toast with black pepper and strawberries. 10:30am-2pm. Prices vary.

Pops for Champagne (601 N. State St., 312-266-7677). Indulge your mom with premium bubbly during the Mothers of Champagne celebration all weekend long. Pair executive chef Andrew Brochu's American progressive menu with a number of champagne specials such as Louis Roederer Brut Premier and Pommery Brut Rosé.

Powerhouse Restaurant and Bar (215 N. Clinton St., 312-928-0800).
Mothers get a complimentary glass of Henriot Blanc champagne from noon to 8pm on their big day when they order from the classic American menu. Enjoy entrees such as slow-roasted chicken thigh with faro, braised artichokes, Swiss chard and sorrel sauce or Walleye Pike with English pea custard, black trumpet mushrooms, white corn and roasted red pepper nage. Prices vary.

Sinha Elegant Cuisine (2018 W. Adams St., 312-491-8200). Transport Mom to Brazil at caterer Jorgina Pereira's weekly exotic brunch/early dinner giving props to her homeland. Dig into filling portions of authentic Brazilian cuisine, dance to the music (with dancers in full costume!) and mingle with others who're there to have a good time. Hopefully the day will be warm so diners may relax on the outdoor patio. 2-8pm. Reservations are mandatory. BYOB; $30.

Vermillion (10 W. Hubbard St., 312-527-4060). Savor a six-course, Indian-Latin seafood supper with delights like lobster bisque, blue corn-crusted scallop, lobster ceviche, tamarind shrimp and Brazilian caldeirada. And if you're looking for something beyond the usual bubbly, get one of their "herb & spice" champagne fizzes (blueberry cardamom fizz, jalapeno cilantro or prickly-pear ginger). Moms get one for free! Noon-3pm; 5-10pm. $55 per person.