Celebrate Your Happy Holidays At These Fine Chicago Food Establishments

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Housebaked buckwheat sourdough baguette at Table, Donkey and Stick.

Table, Donkey and Stick – From the ashes of Bonsoiree 2.0 (the one with Chefs Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark that lasted just a little more than a month), Chef/Owner Shin Thompson re-conceptualized the Logan Square restaurant into an Alps style inn, selecting Chef Scott Manley (Blackbird, Vie) from a rather inventive “contest”Table, Donkey and Stick just opened last night and already have made plans for Christmas Eve (5 PM until 12 AM), as well as New Year’s Eve (4:30 PM until 2 AM).  The restaurant’s a la carte menu, along with some holiday specials (hot chocolate laced with Chartreuse, lots of brandy, and fire – which we’re not sure is a special, but sounds good now that winter has finally hit Chicago).  Table, Donkey and Stick‘s menu is rather affordable (I like to do this math thing where I add up the prices of the entire menu and this one’s just a little over $200 for food alone, so feel free to order the whole menu in honor of me) and sounds damn delicious just reading it.  I can’t wait to go there myself and taste what Chef Manley is working up.  You can make your reservations now here and check out the menu at their website.

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Ploughman’s sandwich at Spencer’s Jolly Posh Foods.

Spencer’s Jolly Posh Foods – This wonderful little store (1405 W. Irving Park) brings as much of the UK to the Chicago area as they possibly can.  I stumbled in there a few months ago and picked up some traditional pork bangers as well as some candy only available in the UK.  They’ve recently begun serving sandwiches (such as the Cheese Ploughman’s, Jolly Posh B.L.T., homemade sausage rolls and scones served with clotted cream and jam), including sausage and bacon butties for you to munch on as you browse the store’s wares.  They also should have some Cadbury’s Advent Calendars left as well.  Also look out for any of the following: Brandy Butter, Mince Pies, Quality Street, Smoked Salmon, Paxo stuffing, Christmas Puddings, Christmas Crackers.  Their store hours are Wed. – Fri. – 11 AM – 7 PM, Sat. – Sun. 10 AM – 5 PM.  Call them up at 312-415-6919.

Frontier – Chef Brian Jupiter is known for working with some pretty wild game (there’s mention on their site about kangaroo chili for New Year’s Day) and the holidays are no different at Frontier.  The restaurant will close early on Christmas Eve and will be closed for Christmas Day, but until then you still have time to enjoy their Twelve Beers of Christmas through to the end of December (see below).

FRONTIER’S TWELVE BEERS OF CHRISTMAS:

1)    N’Ice Chouffe, 10% ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale from Brasserie d’ Achouffe in Achouffe, Belgium

2)    Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale a Old Ale Beer, 7.7% ABV
Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, New York

3)    St. Bernardus Belgium Christmas Ale, 10% ABV

4)    Flying Dog K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale, 7.4% ABV
From Frederick, MD

5)    Southern Tier 2XMAS American Strong Ale Beer, 8% ABV
Southern Tier Brewing Company Lakewood, New York

6)    Goose Island Christmas, 6.2 % (ABV)
12 ounce from Chicago, IL

7)    Yellow Snow IPA Rogue Ales Oregon, 6.5% ABV

8)    Wittekerke Winter White Ale, 7.5 % ABV
A Belgian White (Witbier) from Bavik-De Brabandere, a brewery in Harelbeke

9)    Mikkeller Santas Little Helper 2012, 11% ABV
A 12 ounce Belgian Strong Ale from Mikkeller, a brewery in Copenhagen

10)    Breckenridge Christmas, 7.4% ABV
From Denver, CO

11)    Bush de Noël (Scaldis Noel), 12% ABV
Belgian Strong Ale by Dubuisson, a brewery in Pipaix-Leuze, Belgium

12)    Delirium Noël, 10% ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale from Brouwerij Huyghe in Melle, Belgium

Dessert station at Sixteen

Dessert station at Sixteen

Sixteen – For this holiday, Excecutive Chef Thomas Lents and Executive Pastry Chef Patrick Fahy will be offering up many delights for Sixteen‘s guests.  On Christmas Eve, from 5:30

The Gingerbread Express at Sixteen.

The Gingerbread Express at Sixteen.

PM until 10 PM, guests will choose between the five course ($150, $225 with wine pairings) or ten course ($195, $295 with wine pairings) handcrafted tasting menus.  Sixteen will be open for Christmas Day brunch ($135 for adults and $30 for children eight years and under) from 10:30 AM until 3:30 PM.  The brunch buffet will include artisan breads, vegetables, deli carving stations and desserts.  Chef Fahy will offer up a lavish dessert station offering nostalgic holiday treats.  Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, along with two live reindeer, will also be on hand for the brunch.  These menu prices are before tax, tip and additional alcohol purchases.  Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling the restaurant at 312-588-8030.

 Leopold – The Belgian inspired restaurant, like Frontier, isdoing a 12 Beers of Christmas list throughout the month of December.  Featuring beers from Revolution (Fistmas), Great Lakes Brewing (Christmas Ale on draft), Belgium offerings (St. Bernardus, Brasserie Dupont, and St. Feuillien).  Quantities are limited, but you’re bound to find an awesome beer to pair with Executive Chef Michael Dean Reynolds‘ food.  For more holiday beer information, click here.

BEL 50 – This waffle sandwich shop just opened and they’re offering up unique treats for the holidays.  Get a waffle with white chocolate, peppermint whipped cream, crushed peppermint and vanilla icing drizzled on top and pair it with the peppermint brandy eggnog milkshake (made with Ruth & Phil’s organic vanilla ice cream, eggnog, brandy, Peppermint Schnapps, candy cane pieces and whipped cream).  Bel 50 is open on Christmas Even from 11 AM until 3 PM.

Bistronomic – On Christmas Eve, Chef/Owner Martial Noguier will feature a French-inspired, three-course prix fixe menu from 5 PM until 10 PM.  Diners will be able to select one appetizer, one entree and one dessert from several options (see full list below) for $49 (before tax, tip and beverages).  The price for two courses for children is $20 and $10 for those under five years of age.  Christmas Eve reservations are required and can be made by calling 312-944-8400.

Bistronomic Christ Eve Prix Fixe Menu

Appetizers

Local Delicata Squash Veloute, crème fraîche  /parmesan / brown butter
Maine Diver Sea Scallop, wild mushroom  / leek marmalade  / truffle oil
Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi, house-cured duck confit / fresh date / balsamic ginger sauce
Cured Baby Coho Salmon, fingerling potato salad / Tobiko caviar / lemon crème fraîche
Fennel & Arugula Salad, clementine segment / Capriole goat cheese  /  citrus vinaigrette
Mixed Green Salad, baguette croutons / fresh herbs / hazelnut vinaigrette

Entrees

Braised Venison Tournedos, persimmon / celery root mousseline/ foie gras
Walleye Pike, brussels sprouts / oxtail pinot noir reduction
Veal Medallion, ginger glazed carrot / mandarin orange supremes / toasted cumin
Winter Squash Ravioli, almond  / parmesan shaving/ butternut squash nage
Prime Short Ribs, braised salsify / bresola / country mustard

Desserts

Mandarin Orange Crepes Suzette, turbinado sugar / grand marnier sauce
Date & Apple Clafoutis, brown butter / cavaldos creme anglaise
Baked Alaska, poached pear  / bittersweet chocolate sauce

The Florentine – Executive Chef Chris Macchia offers a seasonal pre-fixe menu on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, along with the a la carte menu.  The three-course pre-fixe menu is $65, wine pairings are an additional $25 ($45 for reserve wine pairings).  Pre-fixe menu items will include: La Ribolitta cannelini beans, ciabatta, tuscan kale, olio nuovo, Crostata speck, ribiola, quince, winter greens, Ravioli swiss chard, ricotta, pine nuts, brown butter, sage, Oca Arrosto roasted goose, wild rice, poached pears, brussel sprouts, pomegrante and Panforte.  Reservations can be made by calling 312-660-8866.

Michael Jordan’s Steak House – Open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Executive Chef James O’Donnell will offer diners special menu items.  For Christmas Eve, there will be a 16 oz. 60 day dry aged prime rib roast with red wine jus and pickled horseradish ($42) along with the regular a la carte menu.  For Christmas Day, that same prime rib roast will be available for the same price, as well as wild mushroom black truffle bread pudding with crème fraîche ($10), peppermint ice cream sundae with Hillary’s hot fudge sauce, crushed candy canes and flourless chocolate cake  ($9).  Call 312-321-8823 for reservations.

Tavernita – We can’t stop talking about how much we love Tavernita around here, but here’s another reason to visit Ryan Poli‘s temple of Spanish food goodness: Drinks!  The Tippling Bros., you know, those guys that do all of the drinks at Tavernita (as well as all of Mercadito Hospitality Group‘s restaurants), have created a warm Quixote cocktails ($11), featuring Spanish brandy, sherry, Grand Marnier and yellow chartreuse, delivered through their kegged cocktail system.  While drinking, sample some of Tavernita‘s new seasonal items such as Delicata Squash with apple, quinoa, mahon cheese, and espelette pepitas ($8); or La Bomba de Barcelona, made with braised short rib, potato puree, mojo picon and cilantro aioli ($12). For a longer escape, guests may select from the full menu of crudos, en pan and platos.  Call 312-274-1111 for more information.

WAVE Restaurant – More holiday drinking can be had at WAVE this holiday season.  New cocktails offered along with Executive Chef Greg Elliott‘s food menu are:  Crème Brulee Martini: Vanilla Vodka, Butterscotch, Bailey’s, Cream, Caramel Tuille, Spiked Apple Cider: Caramel Vodka, Grand Marnier, Chilled fresh apple cider, Cinnamon, Mocha Mint: Kahlua, Creme de menthe, Creme de cacao, whipped cream.  WAVE will be serving their a la carte menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day along with some seasonal specials from Chef Elliott.  Call 312-255-4460 for more information.

51eKK0WDC-L._SL500_AA300_Osteria Via Stato -Oh boy does this one sound good.  I’ve wanted to go to someone’s house who does The Feast of Seven Fishes since I first heard about the tradition.  For $48,95 per person (tax and tip is extra), Executive Chef David DiGregorio offers diners the following (the a la carte menu is also offered):

ANTIPASTI
House-Marinated Olives
Roasted Garlic with Balsamic Vinegar
Baccala Spread with Crostini
Celery, Walnut and Parmesan Salad
Rhode Island Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers
Grilled Octopus with Fingerling Potatoes

MAIN COURSE
Jumbo Flounder with Lemon, Capers and Brown Butter
Seafood Stew with Shrimp, Seared Scallops, Market Fish and Toasted Ciabatta Bread
Linguine with Gulf Shrimp and Spinach
Pan Roasted Scallops and Wild Mushroom Risotto
Salmon with Artichokes, Herbs and Lemon

DOLCE
House-Made Truffles and Almond Macaroons
Ricotta Cheesecake with Wild Huckleberry Sauce
Chocolate Tart
House-Made Gelati- Caramel, Gianduia or Eggnog

For more information or to make reservations, call Osteria Via Stato at 312-642-8450.

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