Monday, October 3, 2011

Annual Dessert Crawl, Stephanie Izard & More!


I'm glued to the television every time Top Chef Just Desserts is in marathon mode.

And the only thing keeping me from losing my mind because I cannot get my hands on any of those desserts is knowing that Andersonville's annual Dessert Crawl happens this fall.

This time, the sugary soiree has three routes (CANDY CANE, GUMDROP and LOLLIPOP), which means you spend $20 ($25 day of event) to check out a number of decadent bites. For example, Hamburger Mary's is doing fried brownies and Twinkies; Taste of Heaven is serving up pumpkin crumble bars; and In Fine Spirits' whipping up mini pumpkin pies with IFS Bourbon Cream.

The Andersonville Dessert Crawl happens 2pm-5pm Oct. 9. Order tickets right here, and pick up the "passport" the day of the event at Swedish American Museum (5211 N. Clark St.).

Speaking of Top Chef, the franchise's biggest star is hosting a major event Wednesday to kick off her national book tour for Girl in the Kitchen (Chronicle Books; $29.95). Of course, because this is Girl & The Goat's Stephanie Izard we're talking about, this will be no ordinary book-launch party. Happening at Salvage One (1840 W Hubbard St.) 7:30-11pm, the event features local culinary stars preparing dishes inspired by Girl in the Kitchen. Top Chef finalist Dale Levitski (Sprout), Gilbert Langlois (Chalkboard), Koren Grieveson (avec), Sarah Levy (Sarah's Candies) and others participate. Tickets are available here, with proceeds benefiting Share Our Strength. $100 per person.

Mercadito celebrates "National Taco Day" with discounted tacos. (Photo: Mercadito)

Apparently, Oct. 4 is National Taco Day and Mercadito wants us all to celebrate in style without breaking the bank. A daylong special is $5.50 for two tacos. They're normally $15.50 for four.

River North's Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar is debuting its fall cocktail menu, and 312DD got a sneak preview of what's coming your way. Eleven new cocktails promise to keep you warm this season, but we especially loved the delightful Kuro Smash of Buffalo Trace bourbon, Hardy cognac, fresh blackberries and ripped terragon.

And a popular wine on Wednesday event returns to Osteria Via Stato. For $20, guests get tastings of 20 wines paired with passed appetizers. It's hosted by wine director Chad Ellegood with commentary throughout the evening. 6-8pm Oct. 12.

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