You better be-LEAF it: autumn is officially here. From pumpkin spice-filled drag queen performances on Mag Mile and fall-themed vegan dining experiences to a Fall Harvest Festival pop-up event with Parks and Recreation’s Li’l Sebastian and more, we are rounding up fun fall events, dining options and activities in Chicago for local foodies!
ENO Wine Room
ENO Wine Room is officially extending its Pour Decisions drag brunch series through the end of the year. Every Sunday, guests will be offered bottomless mimosas, an entrée from the new brunch menu created by Executive Chef Craig Couper and appearances by drag entertainers. Hosted by Chicago’s own Fox E. Kim, ENO Wine Room’s Pour Decisions will feature weekly themed performances by Alex Kay and Mikki Miraj, with pop-in performances by several RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni. Autumn themes include: Pumpkin Spiced Ladies, It’s Britney, Witch, Scream Queens, Harry Pocus, Monster Mash Halloween Bash, Canadian Thanksgiving, Hashtag Squash Goals and 50 Shades of Gravy. Doors open at 12 p.m. and the Drag show runs through 2 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, though guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online for $45.
Geja's Cafe has debuted its three-month wine festival Giro d’Italia, going on now through Saturday, November 30. Throughout these three months, wine enthusiasts of all calibers will be offered selections from the largest boot on Earth, complemented with Geja’s 3 course Premier Fondue Dinners. Geja’s wine list will be available by the glass and the bottle at promotional prices.
Replay Lincoln Park
Replay Lincoln Park recently transformed into the town of Pawnee, Indiana for a Parks and Recreation pop-up experience! Guests are invited to celebrate like a Pawneean at several themed events including The Harvest Festival, a Glitter Factory Breakfast Buffet, a Mouserat Concert, trivia, bingo and more. The Harvest Festival will occur on Friday, October 4 with a special appearance by Li’l Sebastian at 6 p.m.. The pop-up will feature custom artwork and several photo opportunities at Pawnee destinations including the Department of Parks and Recreation, Shoe Shine Stand, Li’l Sebastian’s Stable, Eagleton Fence, the Pit and the World’s Smallest Park, plus bites inspired by JJ’s Diner and Sweetums and specialty cocktails like Galentine’s Day, The Ron Swanson and Snake Juice.
Chef Christian Fantoni of Casati’s has challenged Master Pinsa Chef Daniele Papa to fly in from Rome for a Pinsa Pizza Showdown on October 8 – and guests are invited to witness Chef Papa will go head to head with Chef Fantoni to determine whose Pinsa, an take on traditional pizza which offers 90% less carbs, fat and gluten. All day, diners will be offered a four-course meal handcrafted by both Chefs, featuring two entrée Pinsas and two dessert Pinsas, for just $24 per person. Each guest will have the chance to vote to determine which Chef takes the crown.
ROOH Chicago is celebrating Diwali with a four-course tasting menu available Sunday, October 27. This special menu has been crafted for guests to have a Diwali experience, courtesy of Executive Chef Sujan Sarkar and Chef de Cuisine Sahil Sethi, and features dishes like Dahi Puri, Tuna Tostada, Tandoori Chicken, Chocolate Rum Ball and so many more. The ticketed experience is $85 per person, including taxes and gratuity.
In partnership with Master Sommelier Roger Bissell, ROOH Chicago will host UNWINED, a curated social experience, on Tuesday, October 15. This event will include a Happy Hour from 5PM-7PM, as well as a seated four-course dinner from 7:30PM-9:30PM. Patrons can choose to attend one or both events. Happy Hour will include passed hors d'oeuvres prepared by Executive Chef Sujan Sarkar and Chef de Cuisine Sahil Sethi and wine hand selected by Roger Bissell. To purchase tickets to the event, please visit Eventbrite.
Kouzina at The National Hellenic Museum
Kouzina will be hosted by and held at The National Hellenic Museum on November 7 at 6:30 p.m. Chicago chefs and restaurants will come together to create dishes that feature “a twist on the classics,” highlighting each restaurant’s cuisine, with a hint of Greek inspiration. Over 700 guests will attend to eat, drink and celebrate. Proceeds from Kouzina benefit the museum’s vast efforts to offer rich and diverse programming including new exhibits, educational classes, activities and programs. Tickets to Kouzina can be purchased for $100 in advance by visiting their website or for $125 at the door.
A new American cuisine dining destination, Harbor, is sailing into the heart of the South Loop, opening Fall 2019. Located in the former Gioco space at 1312 South Wabash, Harbor reinvents traditional American fare with a locally sourced menu and beverage program, both influenced by the Great Lakes and the founders’ personal passion for sailing. The menu will feature savory dishes prepared on a rotisserie, grill and hearth oven in an open view kitchen for guests to enjoy and watch as chefs prepare their plates.
Michael Jordan's Steak House
In honor of the release of Michael Jordan’s proprietary blend, 2016 Barrel 23, Michael Jordan’s Steak House, located inside the InterContinental Magnificent Mile at 505 N. Michigan Ave, will offer guests a three-course Domaine Serene pre-fixe dinner menu complete with wine pairings Friday, October 18 through Sunday, October 20. Barrel 23 is a rare blend of Pinot Noir, crafted to unique specifications and made exclusively for Michael Jordan’s personal cellar and steakhouse in collaboration with Domaine Serene. The wine will be first tasted at a wine dinner on Thursday, October 10. Tickets to the Domaine Serene wine dinner are available for purchase online.
The Michael Jordan’s Steak House Domaine Serene pre-fixe dinner menu features three courses for $125 per person, beginning with Crab Bisque with Ginger, Lemongrass and Coconut paired with Domaine Serene Multi-Vintage r Rose v. XI. The second course includes Waygu Carpaccio with Calabrian Chili Oil, Pecorino Romano, Mint and Arugula, which perfectly pairs with Domaine Serene’s 2016 Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay. The experience concludes with the third course of Dry-Aged Ribeye with Aligot Potatoes, Glace De Viande Aged Balsamic and offers guests the chance to taste the 2016 Barrel 23 Pinot Noir.