Thursday, January 7, 2010

Protect Your Pockets with Dining Deals to Thrill . . .


You're going to have to wait until next month for the third-annual Chicago Restaurant Week, where you'll get three-course meal deals on more than 150 eateries in town.

But what are you going to do in the meantime as you recover from all that spending you did over the holidays?!

A number of restaurants around town feel your pain, so before you head out, make sure you check this guide:


There's a daily $15 Tiffin lunch menu at Wave, at the W Lakeshore hotel. Executive Chef Kristine Subido has created an exotic, three-course treat of dishes that are also healthy. There's a chopped salad of Romaine, tomato, cucumber, crispy pita and Kalamata olives; Wisconsin Fontina croquettes in a smoked tomato sauce; and grilled chicken tikka paired with smoked paprika-glazed vegetables.

If you're looking for something to do right after work, head to River North's Elate, in the new Felix Hotel, for happy hour deals that won't set you back. During the week 4-7pm, if you buy a cocktail in the bar, items are $3. We recommend the Elate Burger with creamed leeks and Applewood bacon, chicken sandwich or BBQ pizza.

Province gets props for a value-oriented offering that's $25 for lunch and $35 for dinner. Plus, if you get there right after work (5-6:30pm), you can snap up free appetizers at the bar. There's also a signature cocktail for $6.

Soup's on over at Southport Grocery & Café, which is offering its soup-and-salad special for $7. Get a half bowl of soup paired with half a salad, or upgrade to the poached shrimp salad for an additional $2. That's available through Friday.

Since the weather's so crappy, you should take a late lunch, go "home" early and head to Pizzeria Via Stato instead. From 2:30 to 4:30pm, they're doing half-price tavern pizzas. We cannot get enough of their crispy thin crusts, which feature yummy toppings like housemade sausage, hand-pulled mozzarella, and seasonal vegetable toppings such as raddicchio, organic fingerling potatoes and roasted fennel.

Province's slow-cooked Alaskan halibut with artichokes, green garlic and preserved lemon. (Photo: Laurie Proffitt Photography)


Instead of hitting up the usual fast-food joint, head to Custom House for their new $5 burger during lunchtime. It's topped with caramelized onions, house-cured bacon and a house-made steak sauce on a poppy seed and fennel bun. Add a side of hand-cut fries for $3.

Right now you probably shouldn't be anywhere near the 900 Shops, but we'll cut you some slack if you're going to Frankie's. Their daily special is $5 glasses of wine and Prosecco, which were all handpicked by Master Sommelier Alpana Singh.

At Nacional 27, you can actually indulge in a three-course dinner paired with a glass of sparkling sangria for only $20.10. Through the end of March, you can take advantage of the offering, which comes with a choice of signature dishes, including smoked chicken empanadas, marinated grilled skirt steak, vegetable paella, farm-raised chicken mole verde and Gunthorp Farms suckling pig.


Now this is a book club we can get down with! Hopleaf hosts Drinking & Writing Volume III, where participants will discuss famous drinking writers as they drink and write. Event includes guest speakers and appetizers. 4pm. $15.

Hold on to those Blackhawks and Bulls ticket stubs, because Viaggio Ristorante & Lounge will give you 25 percent off your meal (tax, tip and beverages not included).


Sushi Samba's lively SAMBABRUNCH includes three cocktails (choose from caipirinhas, Bloody Marys, Mimosas or fresh-fruit Mocktails), plus exotic brunch dishes like Asian pear pancakes, a South American frittata, Kobe sliders and Doce de Leite French Toast. 11am-3pm. $16 for adults; $8 for children.


And cozy neighborhood hang May Street Market offers a budget-friendly feast Monday through Wednesday. You'll get three courses for $25; changes seasonally.


autumnmist said...

Are you sure tonight is the last night for N27's $20.10 deal? Their site seems to list it as being to Jan 8.

312 Dining Diva said...

Check it again. It's written under the FRIDAY listing, which means "tonight" means Friday night.