Illinois

Aloha Poke Expands Across the Country

Chicago's Aloha Poke Co. has announced new locations in Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Minnesota (Minneapolis), Southern California (Marina Del Rey, Costa Mesa, San Diego and Los Angeles), three locations in Miami and one in Washington D.C. Since its opening in March 2016 in the Chicago French Market, has expanded around Illinois, and plans to open in Denver were made earlier this year.

New Venue Comes to Shore at Chicago’s North Avenue Beach

Hello readers,

The tides are turning with new venues in Chicago, with some of the most creative spaces we’ve seen opening in recent years. The brand-new Shore Club is one of those standouts. The seasonal structure, placed square on the sand near North Avenue Beach and with floor-to-ceiling windows offering unobstructed views of Lake Michigan, evokes a coastal vacation feeling many would travel to exotic locations to find—but is right in our own backyard.

Signature Drink: Paper Airplane

Nestle into fall with this frothy whiskey drink from Marshall’s Landing. The “Paper Airplane” is just one of many craft cocktails offered by the new lounge and restaurant located in the Merchandise Mart. Customers will also find chef-inspired seasonal menus, artisanal coffee and a fullservice bar in a casual, vibrant atmosphere. The spot, named for the famous Marshall Field and operated by the DMK Restaurant group, also has catering options, private meeting selections and customized event spaces available.

Jar Bar Serves Desserts in Easy-to-Serve Glass Jars

Business has been booming at Jar Bar since they opened in downtown Northbrook in May. Hungry customers are reeling over the deliciously hip meals from the healthy, fast-casual restaurant that prepares all options in creative packaging. Now, event planners can also join in the fun with the Cake Jar catering program, offering customizable dessert options in convenient glass jars that have various layers outfitted with company or wedding colors. 

Portillo’s Brings Back Lemon Cake, Rosemont Baseball Team Gets A Name

Hello readers,

Everyone asked and Portillo’s listened! After a plea by a Reddit user that went viral, the popular Chicago-based restaurant group brought back its cult classic lemon cake after a 10-year absence for a limited run this summer. They have since extended the availability window through August (and maybe permanently, if we can dream).

Portillo's Announces Maple Grove Location

Portillo's Chicago-style restaurant, which recently opened its first Minnesota location in Woodbury, has announced details on its newest location on Elm Creek Blvd., in Maple Grove. Portillo's currently has 50 locations in seven states.

Eat Up! Pheasant Run Resort Chef Shares Personal Recipes

Hello readers,

Need some creative meal ideas for your next meeting or event? Chef Tiffany, of St. Charles’ Pheasant Run Resort, is sharing some of her favorite recipes for summer—though these work just as well all year-round. Here we pick one that we think you’ll enjoy; find her full recipe deck here.

Bacon Wrapped Dates with Apricot Glaze (yield tw0 per person)

Ingredients:

Meet Sheila Lakhani Gilani, Lakhani Hospitality

If the walls could talk at the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Niles, it would tell the incredible story of the family behind Lakhani Hospitality that owns and operates a small portfolio of hotels in the Chicagoland area. Chief Operating Officer Sheila Lakhani Gilani proudly tells the story of her father, Mansoorali, who left his home in Pakistan at the young age of 19 with just a few dollars in his pocket.

Director's Circle Package Now Available at Cambria Chicago Loop - Theatre District

Starting June 13, Chicago's newest contemporary hotel, Cambria Chicago Loop – Theatre District now offers the Director's Circle Package. Managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, the Cambria Chicago has 199 stylish gues trooms; a game room with shuffleboard, foosball and TVs; a fitness center; 2,600 square feet of function space with AV capabilities, customizable menus and valet parking; and two luxurious suites, where one has an 18-foot high original cathedral window.

Event Snapshots: Grand Chef’s Gala Cooks Up Something Special

February marked the 20th anniversary of the Grand Chef’s Gala, an annual black tie event that benefits the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This special “Platinum Affair” continued the tradition of the popular event, which, in addition to being a major fundraiser, is also regarded as one of the city’s best culinary gatherings. It draws upwards of 50 noted chefs and mixologists such as Blackbird’s Ryan Pfeiffer, RPM Steak’s Doug Psaltis and Monteverde’s Sarah Grueneberg, who provided signature plates and cocktails. 

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