Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Spread Joy & Cheer To Those Less Fortunate At These Restaurant And Bar Holiday Events


From BIN 36's annual Bubble Bath sparkling wine party to the food drive at Publican, here's where you can spread a little joy:

• A number of the city's top pastry chefs compete in the annual Holiday Rock & Roll benefit at Cafe des Architectes. The likes of Dana Cree (Blackbird), Meg Gaulus (NoMI) and Amanda Rockman (Balena) will present their modern interpretations of the Bûche de Noël, a traditional French holiday dessert. Yours truly will serve as one of the media judges. There will also be savory appetizers, punch bowl cocktails and plenty of holiday jingles from Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press. Proceeds from the $35 ticket benefit Share Our Strength. 6-8pm Dec. 10.

• Indulge in three hours of all the sparkling wine you can gulp down at BIN 36's annual Bubble Bath. In addition to more than 75 bubblies, you'll get appetizers and enough desserts to send you into sugar shock. A portion of the proceeds—as well as retail sales through Dec. 31—benefit Lincoln Park Zoo. 6-9pm Dec. 12. Get the $48 tickets right here.

• The decadent turtle pie at Joe's Stone Crab is the December feature for the Pie It Forward program. Order a slice and $1 benefits the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Lite Bites: What Your Favorite Chefs & Mixologists Are Up To Around Town

Tad Carducci and Paul Tanguay of the Tippling Bros. (Photo: Mercadito Hospitality)

Countdown to Christmas cocktails . . . and more:

Little Market Brasserie's set to open later this month, and we're especially excited about its innovative new beverage program. Of course that program's from the dynamic duo The Tippling Bros.—who are also behind the cocktails at Mercadito and Tavernita. At LMB, they're doing what they've dubbed as "charged cocktails" with five different charger (or soda) flavors made from fresh juices, exotic teas, fruit peels, flowers and herbs. The flavors will be Meyer lemon sour, hibiscus vanilla, smoked salted cream soda, cornflower yuzu and blood orange cinnamon, and they may be combined with the guest's spirit of choice (e.g. gin, vodka, tequila, whiskey). The cocktails will be priced $10-$14. On the menu also will be a number of stirred or shaken specialties such as a Champagne Cobbler, Ginger Smash, and Bengal Sidecar of chai-infused cognac, curacao, lemon, blood orange, and a Bengali Tiger IPA Float.

Curtis Duffy, Michael Muser and the team at Grace have to be ecstatic and anxious at the same time. The long-awaited, fine-dining restaurant finally has an opening date: Dec. 11.

• Save Chrissy Camba! The Bar Pastoral exec chef was sent packing her knives on "Top Chef" last week, but here's a way to bring her back on the show. Don't forget that she was the only Chicago chef on this season!

• Speaking of "Top Chef" contestants, former fiery contender Heather Terhune of Sable Kitchen & Bar has teamed up with Falafill to create an exclusive Mediterranean treat, the December Chefs for Charity Wrap. For every wrap purchased, $1 will be donated to Purple Asparagus, a charity dedicated to nutritional education for families.