What's on Oriole's newly minted non-alcoholic pairings program, and which guest chef is cooking a kaiseki dinner at Naoki? That and more in this week's dining news....
Oriole Expands Its Beverage Program to Include Non-Alcoholic Offerings
Award-winning bartender Julia Momose (formerly of GreenRiver) has joined the West Loop's newest two Michelin-starred restaurant, and brought with her a unique non-alcoholic pairing option ($75 per person) that complements sommelier Aaron McManus's curated wine pairings. The thoughtfully crafted beverages include "Malt," which is comprised of toasted Belgian biscuit malt, banana, banana skin tea, nutmeg, and Emperor's Snow Chrysanthemum tea to pair with the sourdough and capellini course; or the "Red Wine," a blend of Lapsang Souchong, Emperor's Ice Wine Elixir, and verjus rouge that’s meant to be enjoyed with the squab breast course. 661 W. Walnut St., 312-877-5339
Head to Lettuce Entertain You's intimate sushi concept on March 23 for a unique six-course kaiseki (Japanese "haute" cuisine) dinner created by guest chef Hisanobu Osaka, who recently helmed sister restaurant Intro's lauded Japanese Trattoria menu. Here, the offerings ($98 per person) include Japanese wagyu A5, sake, Japanese whiskey, and much more; call to reserve as space is very limited. 2300 N. Lincoln Park W., 773-868-0002
One of the city's hottest fried chicken purveyors has added a two-variety "Lunch Box" special to its lineup of lunchtime offerings. The Lunch Box One ($10) features your choice of five entree options, including a two-piece order of fried chicken with honey butter and corn muffins or "The OG" chicken sandwich, and a side, like pimento mac 'n' cheese or creamed corn. Meanwhile, Lunch Box Two ($12) offers more premium entrees, such as the camchi fried chicken sandwich or the sandwich of the month, and a side of your choosing. Both lunch boxes are available for dine in, pick up, or delivery through Try Caviar. 3361 N. Elston Ave., 773-478-4000
In honor of two years in the biz, this California-inspired Wicker Park staple is running a limited-edition cocktail menu packed with guest favorites from over the past two years, previous offerings, and even a few far-out concoctions. The menu runs through April 30, and includes the Banana Cobbler made with Oloroso sherry, banana syrup, lemon, and dehydrated bananas, the gin-based Flash in the Pan with tart cherry, black pepper, grapefruit, and mint, and the Asleep In The Deep, which combines mezcal, scotch, grapefruit, cinnamon, and sea foam. 1749 N. Damen Ave., 773-697-3315
Roka Akor Hosts "A Taste of Southern France" Dinner
Join this acclaimed Japanese steakhouse on March 29 at 6:30 p.m. for a six-course robatayki-style meal ($120 per person) paired with French wines that have been carefully selected by guest sommelier Tony Rossi of neighboring Enolo Wine Cafe. The dinner begins with Kumamoto oysters splashed with shiso, ponzo, and chili and jumbo Madagascan prawns with chili-lemon vinaigrette, paired with Domaine Colin, Cremant de Limoux, and progresses through courses of grilled sea bass in a peppercorn broth and bone-in NY strip with truffle aioli. The meal concludes with a warm chocolate cake accompanied by caramelized peanuts, caramel sauce, and coffee ice cream that's served with a 2001 Domaine de Rancy, Rivesaltes Ambre, Cotes du Roussillion. 456 N. Clark St., 312-477-7652