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Mariano's Virtual Tastemaker Events 

With Black History Month in February, Mariano's has announced a line-up of events celebrating influential members in the Black food community.

Feb. 9th: Mariano's Tastemaker Chef Brian Jupiter 

Join Brian Jupiter of Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods and Frontier Chicago to cook and connect at home. Brian will be demonstrating how to make his signature Crawfish Hushpuppies. Sign up here.

Feb. 18th: Local Vendor Essie Marie's with Itiona Scott 

Itiona Scott, owner of Essie Marie's Dressings & Marinades, joins Mariano's in a celebration of Black History Month to demonstrate Chile Lemon-Lime Salmon Fajita Salad with Cilantro. Essie Marie's is a women-owned and run local black business. Sign up here.

Feb. 22nd: Local Chef James Sanders of Dirty Birds Southern Chef James Sanders of Fuze Catering and Dirty Birds Southern Kitchen joins Mariano's for a special Crab & Lobster Stuffed Shells demonstration. Cook along at home by signing up here.

SAVE THE DATEFeb. 26th Join local vendor Goode Foods with Chef Dominique Leach of Lexington Betty. Event link coming soon.

Live Music Celebrating Black History Month at Mariano's 

As a part of its Black History Month celebrations, Mariano's is taking a dive into the amazing music of Chicago. 

Mariano's has put together a line-up of DJs that will be examining genres of music that have been either created in Chicago or refined here making them what they are today. Each weekend in February, Mariano's will be highlighting a specific genre at the Bronzeville store: House Music (Feb. 6/7), Blues (Feb. 13/14), Soul (Feb. 20/21), and Gospel (Feb. 27/28).

Performances are from 4pm - 8pm. The schedule of events is below:

Bronzeville Mariano's (3857 South Martin Luther King Drive)
2/5: Duane Powell
2/6: Lee Farmer
2/7: Stacy Kidd
2/12: DJ World
2/13: DJ INC
2/14: DJ Moe
2/19: Son Dervis
2/20: Jeff Da Illest
2/21: Jay Too
2/26: Tone B. Nimble
2/27: Tony Wyldchyld
2/28: Sadar Bahar

West Loop Mariano's (40 South Halsted Street)
2/5: B Real
2/6: J Imani
2/12: Kevin Burns
2/13: Larry Miller
2/19: Gemini Jones
2/20: DJ Lady D
2/26: Jeff Da Illest
2/27: DJ World

Ukrainian Village Mariano's (2021 West Chicago Avenue)
2/5: DJ World
2/6: Kevin Burns
2/12: Larry Miller
2/13: B Real
2/19: Eddie Mills
2/20: B Real
2/26: DJ INC
2/27: Larry Miller

New City Mariano's (1500 North Clybourn Ave, #C104)
2/5: Gemini Jones
2/6: B Real
2/12: DJ Lady D
2/13: J Imani
2/19: DJ World
2/20: J Imaini
2/26: Larry Miller 
2/27: Kevin Burns

Lakeview Mariano's (3030 North Broadway, Suite 100)
2/5: Larry Miller
2/6: Eddie Mills
2/12: B Real
2/13: Eddie Mills
2/19: Larry Miller
2/20: DJ World
2/26: Eddie Mills
2/27: B Real

Bucktown Mariano's (2112 North Ashland Avenue)
2/5: DJ INC
2/6: DJ Lady D
2/12: Eddie Mills
2/13: DJ World
2/19: J Imani
2/20: DJ INC
2/26: B Real
2/27: Eddie Mills

Mardi Gras Specials at French Quiche

Before we dive into Lent, we don't want to forget Mardi Gras. French Quiche will be offering King Cakes from February 12-16. King Cakes will be available in Individual ($9) and Full ($28) sizes.

Marianos Black History Month
Mariano's is a supporter of a variety of black-owned vendors and businesses. (Flyer courtesy of Mariano's)

King Cake Donuts and Paczkis at Scratchboard Kitchen

  • Tuesday, February 16 from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m
  • $12 to $40

To celebrate Mardi Gras, Scratchboard Kitchen will open for special hours on Tuesday, February 16 from 7:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. with themed items available for take-out or curbside pickup. Executive Chef Grace Goudie has created Mardi Gras items with a twist including King Cake Donuts (topped with purple, green and gold sprinkles; one dozen for $30) and Paczkis (filled with house-made raspberry hibiscus jam; one dozen for $40). Guests can also purchase a Donut and Paczkis Combo Box with two King Cake Donuts and two Paczkis for $12. A Box of Coffee from Chicago-based Metric Coffee Co. will be available for $30. The 96-ounce box of Metric Big Riff serves 10 and comes with cream, a variety of sweeteners, 10 cups and 10 lids). 

To place a take-out or curbside pickup order for Mardi Gras, visit TOCK. 

NOLA Music Trivia, Themed Specials and “Kiddy Gras” at The Rambler

  • Tuesday, February 16
  • $3 to $14 food and drink specials 

The Rambler will celebrate Fat Tuesday in their weatherproofed beer garden with menu specials like a Shrimp Boil Plate with shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes ($16), Blackened White Fish Po’ Boy ($12), Shrimp Po’ Boy ($12), Chicken Po’ Boy ($12), and Gumbo-laya ($5). Drink specials will include $8 Hurri-cones, an alcoholic shaved ice Hurricane cocktail snow cone. The Rambler’s “Kiddy Gras” kids menu will include $3 fish sticks and $4 kiddi hurri-cone snow cones. Menu items are available while supplies last. 

Starting at 7 p.m., guests can participate in New Orleans-themed music trivia. It will be free to join, and prizes will be awarded throughout the evening.

The Goddess and Grocer Purim Offerings

This year, the Goddess and Grocer is celebrating Purim—dubbed the Jewish Mardi Gras—with a festive holiday feast. The menu includes a la carte festive favorites including Spinach + Feta Filo Triangles, Rainbow Latkes, Braised Beef Brisket, Fragrant Rice Pudding, and more. For those celebrating with a larger gathering, The Goddess and Grocer offers a Falafel Pita Family Kit for 4 with Chicken Matzo Ball Soup, falafels, lettuce, tomato, Israeli salad, pickled cabbage, tahini, tzatziki, hot sauce, pita, lemon rice, and hamentashen—a traditional cookie associated with the Jewish holiday.

All catering offerings are available for pick-up or delivery. To place an order, call 773.292.7100 or visit Delivery is available for orders $100 or more and starts at $20. FREE pick up is available at the River North, Gold Coast, Bucktown locations between 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Additional Purim Menu Highlights: 

  • Hearty Minestrone Soup - $7

  • Potato Latkes (6) with applesauce and sour cream - $15

  • Natural Whole Roasted Chicken with apricot and rosemary glaze - $9

  • Persian Style Aubergine Bake with feta - $30

The Rambler Shrimp Boil Plate 2
The Rambler will celebrate Fat Tuesday in their beer garden with menu specials like this Shrimp Boil Plate! (Photo courtesy of The Rambler Kitchen + Tap)

Brown Sugar Bakery Pop Up at Nordstrom's 

From now until the end of the month, check out Brown Sugar Bakery's pop up shop inside the Michigan Avenue entrance of Nordstrom's. Stephanie Hart, owner of Brown Sugar Bakery, has curated a line of gourmet, hand-crafted chocolates called "LIFE IS SWEET", in addition to recently introducing new cake flavors. The pop up shop is open every Saturday and Sunday in February from 11am-3pm. 

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Stephanie Hart, owner of Brown Sugar Bakery, has curated a line of gourmet hand-crafted chocolates called "LIFE IS SWEET"​. (Photo courtesy of Brown Sugar Bakery)

Wixter Market’s Mardi Gras Gumbo Special Brings NOLA to Chicago

From March 14-17, buy any two 12 oz bags of Wixter Seafood, get one bag of Wixter Seafood Mussel Meat FREE (a value of $9.99).

Wixter Seafood’s Mussel Meat is meatier and more flavorful than common mussels. Meticulously monitored and grown in their ideal native waters on the north shore of New Zealand, Mussels provide up to 40% of your daily recommended iron intake, are a source of heart-healthy omega-3 acids, and are well known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Since these tender, sweet Mussels are already blanched, you can quickly add them to any soup, pasta, or gumbo —  in honor of Mardi Gras in New Orleans!

Also, check out the new website here with Wixter Seafood and Wixter Market combined into one convenient sit to shop, discover and learn through transparent tracking, recipes and more.

Wixter Seafood Frozen Product Vertical Mussel Meat V1
Wixter Seafood’s Mussel Meat will go great with your Mardi Gras dish! (Photo courtesy of Wixter Market)

La Josie Celebrating National Margarita Day February 22

La Josie (740 W. Randolph St), the family-owned Mexican restaurant and mezcal bar in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, will celebrate National Margarita Day on Monday, February 22 with a specialty cocktail to benefit The Camila Foundation, a new Chicago nonprofit dedicated to supporting Latina empowerment in Little Village and Pilsen.

The Tepache Margarita ($14) is made with tequila, tepache, lime, agave and pineapple salt. $2 from each margarita sold will be directly donated to The Camila Foundation. The margarita will be available for carryout, delivery and indoor dining.

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The Tepache Margarita will be available for carryout, delivery and indoor dining. (Photo courtesy of La Josie)

Chef Erick Williams Offers Collaborative Shoebox Meals Honoring Black History Month

Owner/Chef Erick Williams (Virtue Restaurant, Chicago Proprietor) has teamed up with Patrick Coleman (Beans & Cornbread in Metro Detroit) to nourish mind, body and soul as they collaborate to offer Shoebox Meals that impart important lessons in American History. The boxes, created three years ago by Coleman, depict trailblazing Black Americans and a variety of historic moments in our nation’s fight for equity, diversity, and social justice.

Offered for dine-in and carryout, the two chefs – while miles apart – are collaborating to further Coleman’s inspiring effort. Proceeds from each sale will go directly back to each restaurant’s hard-working teams during this time of industry turmoil. Guests may also opt to contribute additional funds to the relief effort at the time of placing their orders. While Coleman’s shoebox meal will include Beans & Cornbread favorites like his wings and catfish, Williams created Virtue’s shoebox to reflect his signature Southern-American style:

Virtue’s Shoebox Meal ($22): Fried Chicken + Collard Greens + Hot Sauce + Biscuits

These special shoeboxes pay tribute to the true stories that Coleman’s Mother and Great Grandmother described taking the train during the Jim Crow era. Unable to eat in the dining car due to segregation, they would pack a shoebox filled with a homemade fried chicken lunch for their journey. A moving example of both resourcefulness and resilience, Williams was inspired by Coleman’s work in sharing this important story and asked to team up for a dual-city effort during Black History Month.

The shoeboxes are only available Wednesday, February 17 to Sunday, February 28 and can be ordered for dine-in at Virtue Restaurant (1462 E. 53rd Street) or carryout. Visit for more information.

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Virtue’s Shoebox Meal ($22) Fried Chicken + Collard Greens + Hot Sauce Biscuits (Photo courtesy of Lindsey Becker)

Fat Tuesday To Go with Heaven on Seven

Heaven on Seven on Wabash, the authentic, Cajun restaurant of chef/owner Jimmy Bannos is excited to celebrate Fat Tuesday with Mardi Gras carry-out specials including a Hurricane-filled Dinner for 2 package.

Mardi Gras Party Package for 2

·         3 quarts of anything on the Heaven on Seven Mardi Gras menu

·         Mini King Cake from Slapdash Bakery (serves 2)

·         32 oz of Heaven on Seven’s Signature Hurricanes (~4 drinks)

·         $150 for 2 ($125 package without Hurricanes)

Why limit the fun to just one day?!  Order Heaven on Seven Mardi Gras specials available for pick-up on:

·         Friday, February 12

·         Saturday, February 13

·         Fat Tuesday, February 16!

Diners can order some of Jimmy’s Famous Mardi Gras Special through Heaven on Seven’s Facebook Page, through Heaven on Seven’s Instagram or Chef Jimmy Bannos’ Instagram account. 

Or order a la carte from the menu below. 

Pick up will be at the Purple Pig (444 N Michigan Avenue).

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Jimmy’s Famous Mardi Gras Special Menu (Courtesy of Heaven on Seven)


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