Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A November To Remember . . .

Sixteen restaurant at the Trump is doing a "Luxury Pork Week" in mid-November.

Don't allow this effed up weather to mess with your mind, November is going to be one fabulous month for food and fun.

First off, we're ready to squeal with delight over the first-ever Luxury Pork Week, going down at Sixteen Nov. 15-21.

Executive Chef Frank Brunacci is quite excited himself about this offering, which takes swine to the finest level. He's acquired a 100 percent milk-fed Porcelet, a Yorkshire breed nourished on a diet of vitamin- and mineral-enriched warm milk; suckling pig (traditionally roasted whole); local Duroc pig from Slagel Farms; and Kurobuta, a unique breed known for its sweet and juicy flavor.

During the week, diners will be able to indulge in a number of pork-focused, a la carte dishes, pork-inspired cocktails (including the Wooden Nickel, made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon and maple syrup, topped with a chocolate-dipped bacon garnish), and a multicourse pork dinner paired with wines 6-9:30pm Nov. 17 (that's $105/$165 paired with wine).

WD~50's Roxanne Spruance will "guest chef" at Chalkboard on Nov. 23. (Photo: Roxanne Spruance)

Speaking of amazing wines, Pinot Days returns Nov. 11-13 to Navy Pier and numerous locations around town. You'll get a chance to sample more than 300 versions of the juicy grape as well as meet the winemakers. We're especially ecstatic that chef Rick Bayless will also be there with his team from Frontera Grill, and pairing vino with his signature Smoky Chicken Tinga Tacos. If that's not enough incentive, how about this: the annual Pinot Days Grand Festival happening on Nov. 13. Get tickets here. Ticket prices vary.

Every little girl (and some little boys!) growing up in the 1980s had a mad crush on R&B singer El DeBarge because of his sexy-ass falsetto and cover boy looks. After some rough years, he's apparently back on top and performing at The Shrine at 9pm Nov. 5. Get there early for the comped cocktails (9-10:30pm) and a spot at the front of the stage. Get your ticket here. $20 in advance; $30 at door.

Up in Lincoln Square at 6:30pm Nov. 23, Chalkboard chef/owner Gilbert Langlois is hosting the first-ever Chalkboard Guest Chef Takeover. He's kicking it off with former Chicagoan Roxanne Spruance—who is currently in the kitchen at New York's innoative WD~50. She'll do five courses, which include Beef Bourguignon made with flap steak, black truffle syrup, maitake mushrooms and potato Napoleon in a red wine reduction. That's $55 per person.

Have a little culture with your cuisine as the Salon Series returns to The Bluebird. Artist Sarah Hicks will be featured, and guests will have an interactive experience of her work as they dine on roast chicken, Lebanese flatbread (spiced ground lamb, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and watercress) and Belgian waffles. Each dish is paired with beer or wine. 7pm Nov. 7, 14. Make a reservation here. $40.

And Cafe des Architectes' Executive Chef Martial Noguier and Pastry Chef Meg Galus are two of many local rock stars set to cook at the annual Food & Wine Entertaining Showcase. Check here for the complete list of chefs, and here for tickets. It happens at the Museum of Contemporary Art 6:30-9:30 Nov. 15. $110 in advance; $125 at door.

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