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Saturday, December 2

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Random Tue Feb 11 2014

For the Lovers, The Haters and Those In-Between: The 2014 GB V-Day Round-Up

Dimo's Anti-Valentine's
Valentine's Day is around the corner, and nothing screams more predictable about the equally anticipated yet dreaded holiday than sappy, pretentious dinners and bad chocolate. While there's plenty of those out there this season, we wanted to provide some other options for spending America's most loved holiday. (Hint: it involves beer, pizza, square dancing, vodka and Russians. Not in that particular order, though.)

For the Nontraditional Lovers Who Like To Eat

You both met at a rock concert, find dissecting frogs cool and spend your Friday nights watching reruns of Walking Dead, but you still like to eat a proper meal. Head to Atwood, where Executive Chef Derek Simcik will be preparing a special "Beats of the Heart" four-course tasting menu inspired by everything heart themed with one course actually including a carnivorous heart. Cost is $55/person and $20/person additional with wine pairing. Get the below, a bottle of champagne and a night at the Kimptom Hotel with the "My Heart Skipped a Beat" package. Book online or call 877-294-9712 and mention rate code HEART.

1st Course: Hearts of Palm butter-popcorn, crab
2nd Course: Artichoke Hearts scallops, cauliflower, mushroom and artichoke oil
3rd Course: Pig Heart pork tenderloin, sausage, caraway spatzle, endive marmalade
4th Course: KOVAL Bourbon smoked loganberry cake, malted brown-butter "dirt," loganberry glass

Punch House
Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding are on your rotating playlist and you both wish you grew up in a different generation. The new Punch House is the place to be for their Love Boat Yacht Rock Party replete with special Valentine's Day Punch and sounds from DJ Los Sunny Daze. Don boating clothes to get a free glass of punch, and if you want to pony up and make it a night, Dusek's upstairs is doing a five-course prix fixe menu including oysters and caviar, seared scallop and roasted dove. Price ranges from $65 (dinner only) or $80 (dinner with beer pairings or $90 (dinner with wine pairings). Reservations can be made at 312-526-3851.

For the Singles Ready to Mingle

Heartland Cafe
If all-you-can-eat dessert table and barn dancing sound like the best place to spend Valentine's Day, you'll want to put on your dancing shoes and head to the Valentine's Barn Dance at Heartland Cafe. Come prepared to dance squares, pairs and lines with live music by Mudflapps and a live caller, Jo Mortland, then refuel with an all-you-can-eat dessert table. Called dances from 9 to 10:30pm and live music until midnight. $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Purchase tickets here.

For the We Just Love Love...And Russians

Will's Northwood Inn -- Carnie Cupid, Love Fest
Calling all couples, singles and anyone who just likes to have a good time. Will's Northwood Inn, 3030 N. Racine Ave., is hosting its first ever Carnie Cupid, Love Fest complete with music, makeup and magic as well as a live game show, raffles, pie eating and selfies. $40 includes cocktails, beer, wine and small bites from 9-11. Cash bar and flip cup challenges start at 11 pm until close.

Duran's European Sandwiches -- From Russia With Love and Vodka
We all know that Russians do it best... vodka that is, and Inna Feldman-Gerber from locally produced Real Russian Vodka, Tracy Miller of Duran European Sandwiches (529 N. Milwaukee Ave.) and food blogger Tatiana Abramova have joined forces in From Russia With Love and Vodka, a free dining and drinking event in celebration of all things Eastern European and delicious. The event, from 3 to 5pm, welcomes all statuses and includes snacks to nosh on, teas and of course, vodka. RSVP at Attendees must be 21 to attend.

For the Haters and the Who Gives a Care, Let's Just Drink Beer

Dimo's/Greenbush -- Beer & Pizza: A Love Worth Celebrating
Pizza and beer are a match made in heaven, and if regret and vindication are where your current love status resides, why not celebrate a culinary match that actually works the day before Valentine's Day at the Dimo's/Greenbush collaboration event -- Beer & Pizza: A Love Worth Celebrating.

Dimo's Wicker Park, 1615 N. Damen Ave., will be pairing five original slices with Greenbush's limited release beers, including a Dimo's-inspired Mango IPA beer named "Regret" with a special slice featuring pork belly, pickled radish, blistered chilies, and a soy citrus glaze, aptly named "Vindication" to match the bitterness. And to add more love to pizza and beer nirvana, the dough will be made from Greenbush's brewing yeast. Purchase $35 tickets in advance here or $40 at the door.

Jerry's -- IPA Bring in the bitter Double IPA Day
If your last break-up left you more bitter than a warm Three Floyd's Zombie Dust, Jerry's Sandwiches wants you to be their Valentine for their Double IPA Day, featuring beers that take the phrase bitter to a whole new level. The event will include Bell's Hopslam Ale, Pipeworks' Ninja vs Unicorn, Lagunitas' Sucks and Solemn Oath's Death By Viking. The event takes place at both the 1938 W. Division St. and 5419 N. Clark location.

Photo credit: Dimo's Pizza

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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