by Rachel Azark
Celebrating its fifth year, Restaurant Week is back and better than ever. This year the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau is proud to announce over 230 restaurants participating, 65 of which have never participated before. Running Feb. 17-26, Chicagoans and those lucky tourists braving our somewhat mild winter, can dine at some of the champagne budget restaurants with their beer budget money. Restaurants will be offering $22 lunch menus and $33/$44 dinner menus. Below are five of the new restaurants to hit Restaurant Week.
Craving a hamburger and a glass of wine? This burger joint is not your normal diner, as it serves upscale burgers and offers a wine bar. For lunch, you can have your choice of five different sides like bacon wrapped dates or chili-honey chicken wings. They are offering a main entrée of four different specialty burgers and you can have your choice of veggie, turkey or sirloin meat. Included is their dessert of the day. For their dinner, it’s the same thing but they add your choice of a soup or salad.
Looking for a divine steakhouse for dinner? When some steaks in this great city cost $44 just in and of themselves, it’s kind of awesome that for $44 you can get a three-course meal at III Forks. Start with loaded baked potato soup or a Caesar salad, and then have your choice of a USDA prime filet mignon, pan seared Atlantic salmon, or prime double cut pork chop. Finish out the meal with bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream and bourbon pecan caramel sauce.
Don’t fret if you’re a vegetarian, because Restaurant Week offers great choices for you too. Green Zebra is only doing dinner, but they offer a contemporary vegetarian experience. Located in West Town, the food is prepared by the James Beard award-winning Chef Shawn McClain. Their dinner menu is $33 per person and offers four courses. The third course consists of sage spaetzle, root vegetable pot pie or sunchoke risotto. Feed your sugar craving with chocolate pavé or a Meyer lemon tart.
How about enjoying great Southern hospitality with Chefs Art Smith and Julie Latsko? Art Smith was once Oprah’s personal chef, and you can be sure she’s used to eating like a queen. Enjoy a three-course dinner for $44 per guest. It consists of Southern favorites like peanut fried green tomatoes, cornmeal crusted catfish, and Southern pecan pie.
Craving a little bit of sushi? A mother-daughter duo offers pan-Asian cuisine for both lunch and dinner at Anna’s. For the $22 lunch menu, have your choice of five different soup or salads to start. Then for your starter pick one of 11 that includes things like spider maki and seared ahi tuna. For the main dish, try anything from tilapia to Mongolian steak to Malaysian curry rice. At dinnertime for $33 their dinner menu expands with even more dishes. They claim a happy ending at the end of their menu. Take that as you will.