The Chicago Luxury Chocolate Salon—featuring wine samples, recipe demonstrations and, of course, chocolate samples from various companies—took place in the Grainger Ballroom of the Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan, on Sept. 7. Among the vendors present were Cyndy's Sweet Treats ( which sells, among other things, caramel apples and hand-dipped items in such flavors as banana cream ) , rr Chocolats ( showcasing Dark Valrhona chocolate with items such as basil and raspberry ) , Katherine Anne confections ( with its creme de menthe truffles ) , Sweet Margy ( toffees ) , Mayana Chocolate and Coco Delice. Divine Chocolate promoted delicious items as well as the fact that its products are made with only fair-trade cocoa beans from Ghana, while Ghirardelli unveiled new flavors such as milk chocolate with almonds. Lastly—and, perhaps, most unexpectedly—Nespresso ( a branch of Nestle ) showed its espresso and capucchino machines, complete with capsules filled with various flavored coffees.
Photos by Andrew Davis.
"The Andersonville restaurant Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark, will take part in the Green City Market's Localvore Challenge Sept. 11-24. The challenge asks restaurants to offer at least one 100-percent local dish every day during the two-week event to help the public meet the challenge of eating only local foods for two weeks during the peak of the growing season. Chef Paul Fehribach said in a statement that " [ m ] ost of our guests have no idea that our meat and dairy are 100% pasture-raised and almost entirely local, and our produce has been 75% local since June. When they order a pork chop with brandied cherries, wild mushrooms, and squash dumplings, or fried squash blossoms with pimiento cheese, it's 100% local, but we haven't touted that"we want the food to stand on its own." See www.BigJonesChicago.com .
"Lawry's The Prime Rib, 100 E. Ontario, will offer a "Mamma Mia Dinner-Theatre Package" on Sunday, Sept. 28. The menu"inspired by Mamma Mia and other ABBA hits"includes, among other things, a "Greek Islands" appetizer of garlic hummus and pita; "Super Trouper" soup of Greek chicken, lemon and rice; and "The Dancing Queen" entree.Read more story below....
For $160 per person ( includes tax and gratuity ) , guests will enjoy a live stage performance of Mamma Mia at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress, at 2 p.m., followed by a themed dinner at 5 p.m. at Lawry's. To order the package, call Sharon Fine at 312-787-5000, ext. 25.
"Il Fiasco, which closed in July, is slated to become Tapas Las Ramblas, 5101 N. Clark, a small-plates eatery.
"Garrett Popcorn is commemorating the Chicago Cubs' success ( fingers crossed that they make the playoffs ) with special tins. These two-gallon tins, filled with Garrett's CaramelCrisp" or rich CheeseCorn", are available at Cubs.com and range in price from $56 to $59. Prices do not include shipping. Garrett has several locations throughout the Loop and one at O'Hare International Airport; see www.garrettpopcorn.com .