Mother's Day may be all about mimosas and flapjacks, but Father's Day skews burlier with emphasis on bacon, steak and other stereotypically delicious dad fodder. Here are some top picks for Father's Day feasting this year in Chicago.
Things are getting manly at Tanta, River North's zesty Peruvian enclave (below). The hearty "Manliest Menu" features a slew of a la carte dishes befitting a hulking Father's Day appetite, with dishes like cebiche poderoso (shrimp, scallops and crispy soft shell crabs in coral and sea urchin leche de tigre), tiradito primavera (razor clams in jalapeno and avocado leche de tigre), crispy pork shank with aji planca adobo sauce and black bean-avocado solterito salad, and osso bucco beef shank stew with chicha morada, aji amarillo sunchoke puree, and roasted cipollini onions. The "Manliest Menu" is available June 19-21, aka Father's Day proper.
Does your dad enjoy selfies? How about a free dinner? If you answered yes to either, then you should pay a visit to Mercat a la Planxa on June 21 to snap a selfie for the chance to win dinner for two at the South Loop's preeminent Spanish haunt. Diners who brunch with dad on Father's Day are encouraged to take a selfie in front of a Mercat-branded banner using a selfie stick provided by the restaurant. Once you post the photo to social media using the hashtag #mercatchicago, it will be entered into a contest for best selfie, as determined by the team at Mercat. The winning dad gets a gift certificate for dinner at their choosing.
It's swizzles galore at Scofflaw on Father's Day, as the bar is set to feature a slew of swizzle cocktail recipes from a bevy of Chicago bartenders on June 21. In lieu of the regular cocktail menu, the drink list for the day will feature special drinks such as Swizzle Town from Peter Vestinos of The Betty (Ron Botran, Finest Roots Mastiha, Combier Apricot, Creole bitters, orange, mint); She's Your Daughter from Jess Keene of Barrelhouse Flat; and The Drifter (El Dorado 5 year rum, Old Granddad Bonded Bourbon, Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao, maple, cinnamon, lime, mint), Momisette Swizzle from Cody Modeer of Ward Eight (North Shore Absinthe, orgeat, lemon, soda); Gold Coast Swizzle from Cristiana DeLucca of Maple & Ash (Cruzan Dark Rum, Blackstrap Rum, Grand Marnier, Velvet Falernum, orange bitters, lime); and Sink/Swizzle from Wade McElroy of Sportsman's Club and Pub Royale (Banks 5 year Rum, absinthe, pineapple, lime, honey, angostura).
Steak and eggs are quintessential dad food. Get your fix in style at The Bristol (pictured at top), which is augmenting its regular brunch menu with the protein-packed dish on special. It features pan-seared skirt steak with farm egg, sauce bearnaise, and crispy Bristol potatoes.
Another solid option for Father's Day brunch is Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba. The Spanish Lincoln Park legend is serving up "Tapas for Papas" this year, with small plates like deviled eggs with bacon, waffle-battered chicken sticks, and short stacks of pancakes. There's also a special kids' menu, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, and more.
Barbecue-splashed meatloaf is just the ticket to warm your dad's heart this Father's Day. The Meatloaf Bakery is here to please, featuring a special Father Loaf for the holiday. Made with a blend of beef and pork, the meatloaf is accented with Smoke Daddy's sweet & smoky BBQ sauce and a topping of cheesy taters.
In other barbecue news, The Dawson is offering a special BBQ plate for Father's Day, outfitted with a 1/2 rack of baby back ribs, marinated steak bites, Mexican-style corn on the cob, smoked brisket, crimson slaw, and french fries. Available for both brunch and dinner on June 21, the meaty behemoth is ideally matched with their bar special, a Pop's Old Fashioned cocktail made with House Barrel Knob Creek, bitters, sherry, Demerara, and orange. Between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Father's Day, there will also be live music on the patio, complete with mai tai cocktails and peel & eat shrimp.
If your dad is a bacon-lover, and of course he is, Bohemian House has his cravings covered. During brunch on Father's Day, dads can enjoy a complimentary order of the restaurant's signature thick-cut BOHO Bacon, applewood-smoked with black pepper and maple. Follow that up with some standout brunch dishes like an open-faced schnitzel sandwich, Bavarian pancakes, and smoked beef tongue hash.
Photos: The Bristol; Tanta; Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba; Bohemian House