Chicago's favorite epicurean celebration is a little over a month away! Chicago Restaurant Week, Jan. 30 - February 12, is 14 days of dining heaven that showcases the city's finest culinary talent - more than 250 restaurants will be offering special prix fixe lunch and dinner menus this year.
Before chowing down next month, pick up a ticket to First Bites Bash, the official kick-off event of Chicago Restaurant Week. Join Choose Chicago inside the magnificent Great Hall at Chicago Union Station, January 29, where diners can enjoy savory and sweet tastings from more than 50 of Chicago's most celebrated chefs and restaurants.
Alpana Singh, First Bites Bash host
Restaurateur & master sommelier Alpana Singh will host this year's event, from which a portion of the proceeds will benefit Inspiration Corporation - this Chicago-based non-profit provides social services, employment training and placement, and housing to people affected by homelessness and poverty.
Here are some photos of what to expect from this year's First Bites Bash blowout, and don't forget to read our tips for a great experience at the bottom.
Chef Chris Gawronski, Acanto | First-time First Bites Bash participant
Café Ba-Ba-Reeba | Chef Matt Holmes
Quartino | Chef John Coletta
First Bites Bash 2014 | Great Hall, Union Station
Check out FirstBitesBash.com for the latest event updates such as participating restaurants, beverages and even a sneak peek at the menu (coming at a later date) so you can figure out what restaurants you don't want to miss! You can also check out videos of participating chefs on the website.
Use the official hashtag #FirstBites on social media and take some photos of your favorite bites!
Here are some pro-tips for a sucessful First Bites Bash experience:
- Make sure to bring a printed ticket - there are two areas for check-in and coat check (one at the front entrance and one downstairs) so if one is backed up, go to the other!
- Make sure to grab your menu with a floorplan on the back so you can strategize accordingly.