January 26, 2012 - CHICAGO - Chicago Restaurant Week, produced by the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau (CCTB), returns for its 5th annual culinary celebration featuring value pricing at more than 230 restaurants throughout the Chicago area, including nearly 80 new participating restaurants and tasty special events. Supported by the CCTB's restaurant members, the 10-day dining festival runs from February 17 through February 26 and will feature prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33/$44 for dinner, excluding beverages, tax, and gratuity.
The annual Restaurant Week is an opportunity to pay tribute to Chicago's masterful chefs and give diners an opportunity to experience the multitude of flavors in the city while bringing business to establishments during a typically slower time of year.
New to the Chicago Restaurant Week scene are the much-acclaimed Bar Toma, GT Fish & Oyster, Michael Jordan's Steakhouse, NoMI Kitchen, Paris Club, and Table Fifty-Two along with dozens of other fresh faces. The growing list of participating restaurants has already exceeded last year's achievement. For a complete list of participating member restaurants visit www.eatitupchicago.com.
Prix fixe menus aren't the only way to celebrate the city's extraordinary dining scene during Chicago Restaurant Week. Chef Stephanie Izard will host the First Bites Bash, the official kick-off event for Chicago Restaurant Week presented by United Airlines and benefitting The Greater Chicago Food Depository, on Thursday, February 2, 2012 6-9 PM at Chicago Union Station. The kick-off event will feature 50 of Chicago's best chefs and restaurants. Visit www.FirstBitesBash.com for ticket information.
Additionally, eight unique Chicago attractions will feature food-themed events during Chicago Restaurant Week and the weeks to follow. These Taste Adventures include:
CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATIONSatisfy your cravings for unparalleled architecture and food at Chicago Architecture Foundation's Appetite for Design luncheon February 26 at Roka Akor, voted one of the Top Ten Sushi Spots in the US by Bon Appetit. Enjoy a three-course lunch prepared using fresh, natural ingredients by renowned Head Chef Ce Bian in a spectacular space which uses simple materials of wood, rock, and old nails.
CHICAGO DETOURSQuench your thirst while you listen to stories of prohibition, jazz, vice, social clubs, and more during Chicago Detours' Good Times Historic Bar Tour. You'll stop for libations, light appetizers, and story-telling at historic bars and other venues during this guided two-hour and 15-minute 1/2-mile walking tour (90 percent indoors). Guests will also receive a valuable gift packet. Kids under 18 not recommended. Tours run on many dates in February.
THE HARRIS THEATER FOR MUSIC AND DANCEPick up food from Chicago's finest food trucks at Harris Theater's Eat to the Beat event March 1 for a one-hour lunchtime performance by the Music Institute of Chicago, the area's most acclaimed performing arts academy.
LOOKINGLASS THEATRE COMPANYSee Rick Bayless, one of the country's most celebrated chefs, take the stage at the Lookinglass Theatre in Cascabel. Billed as a play of "dinner, daring, desire," this production takes dinner theater to luscious new heights March 21 through April 22. Expect delicious, magical cuisine, heart-stopping circus acts, and a story about a house chef who's in love with a woman with no appetite.
PULLMAN SLEEPER CAR COMPANYDiscover what rail travel was like in its golden age during three unique Dining with Pullman events. From your vantage point aboard a 1950s-era dome car, you'll dine while taking in the passing prairie landscape. You'll also get to visit two restored Pullman sleeping cars. Enjoy this three-hour jaunt for dinner February 17 or 18 or for brunch February 19.
THE REDHEAD PIANO BARPull out all the pops at The Redhead Piano Bar's Uncorked! Champagne on February 15. You'll indulge your passion for bubbly with a super-sized champagne flight accompanied by snacks and a discussion about champagne.
THE SECOND CITY
Laugh it UP and enjoy scrumptious pizza during matinee or evening shows of The Second City's hilarious History of Sex or Sex, Love & The Second City at UP, the legendary comedy clubs newest venue. Pizza and performance packages are available for lunch or for dinner on select February dates.
Junior chefs will learn how to prepare an ocean-friendly snack as well as how fishing and the seafood choices they make impacts our oceans during Shedd Aquarium's February 9 Sustainable Seafood Cooking Class for Kids. Families will leave this hands-on evening session at Dirk's Fish & Gourmet Shop with new knowledge and tools for enjoying sustainable seafood.
The economic impact of Chicago's annual dining festival continues to grow. Chicago Restaurant Week 2011 proved to be the most successful Restaurant Week yet with a 17% increase in participating restaurants. The economic impact of the promotion was $19.68 million, serving 377,000 diners at 207 restaurants over the course of ten days.
There's much to celebrate when it comes to Chicago's culinary craft. As one of the world's leading restaurant cities, Chicago continues to rack up accolades, including five prestigious Five-Diamond awards from the AAA for 2012, and 22 Michelin awards and 56 Bib Gourmand nods for "Inspectors' Favorites for Good Value" for 2012.
For more information on Chicago Restaurant Week and the special Taste Adventures, visit www.eatitupchicago.com. Also, stay up to date by following @ChooseChicago on Twitter and selecting "LIKE" on ChooseChicago's Facebook page. Visitors to the Facebook page can enter for a chance to win one $100 gift certificate awarded daily beginning February 1.
Chicago Restaurant Week is sponsored by 101.9fm THE MIX, American Express, Belvedere Vodka, Blue Moon, Chicago magazine, Chicago Tribune, Groupon, KEY - This Week in Chicago magazine, Metromix, Moet & Chandon, RedEye, United Airlines, and Yelp.
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