Finally, the time of year for which we drool in anticipation has almost arrived.
Chicago Restaurant Week is on the docket for Feb. 1-10. Designed to promote the restaurant industry and drive traffic to participating establishments during a typically slow time of year, diners will enjoy delicious, "value priced" menus for lunch and/or dinner throughout the city during those ten days, according to Choose Chicago, which coordinates the event.
"Chicago Restaurant Week 2012 proved to be the most successful Restaurant Week yet," the website states. "With 265 participating restaurants throughout Chicagoland, we saw a (28 percent) increase in participation over (the previous) year ..."
The promotion made a more-than $20.9 million impact on direct spending in Chicago-area restaurants. Around 444,000 diners flocked to participating eateries for specials, it says.
Lunch menus during Restaurant Week are $22 a piece and dinners are either $33 or $44.
To make it easier for you to create your game plan, we've combed the Restaurant Week options that will be found right here in Lake View. Peruse the following list and be sure to scroll through the attached PDFs and photos, which feature the menus in detail.
Oh, and Bon Appétit!
D.S. Tequila Co., 3352 N. Halsted St.
D.S. Tequila is offering a fixed, two-person, "three-round" menu with highlights including "Texas Trash Can Nachos" and 7 Allen Brothers Prime Beef Burgers. Diners can also choose any dessert on the regular menu as part of Restaurant Week.
Fiorentino's Cucina, 2901 N. Ashland Ave.
Located in the heart of Chicago's Lake View neighborhood, this family-run restaurant has a flair for rustic soulful Italian cuisine—it's authentic Italian simply prepared, according to choosechicago.com. It's offering two fixed menu options during Restaurant Week—one for $44 per person and the other $33. The highlights? How about a medley of shrimp, mussels, clams and calamari in a rich tomato broth? Or perhaps, a filet mignon will suit you.
Halsted's Bar & Grill, 3441 N. Halsted St.
A quality bar and grill with one of Chicago's hottest patios, Halsted's is offering Restaurant Week diners a jam-packed $33 fixed menu. Take your pick from four starters, four entrees and three desserts. The ginger orange glazed salmon really caught our eye. It's pan seared and served with your choice of two sides; thought the chef recommends the garlic sautéed spinach and potatoes lyonnaise.
Hearty Restaurant/Hearty Boys Caterers, 3819 N. Broadway St.
Hearty is described by Choose Chicago as "American comfort revisited with vintage craft cocktails and an all-American wine list." Its featured fixed three-course menu is $33 per person and features gems like braised short ribs with black pepper spaetzle, roasted butternut squash and fried onion; and a carmelized apple and pear cobbler.
Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club, 3700 N. Halsted St.
Restaurant Week diners visiting this supper club will pick from three different entrees on a $33-per-person set menu. All will be served the "Kit Kat Salad" and tiramisu for dessert. We'd opt for the southern-style fried chicken served with collared greens, banana horseradish puree and a cayenne, maple glazed waffle. But hey, what do we know?
Mia Francesca's, 3311 N. Clark St.
Keeping fans on their toes, Mia Francesca's Restaurant Week menu had not yet been set as of Jan. 9. But you can expect its delicious northern Italian fare, comfortable surroundings and friendly service, according to Choose Chicago. Its menu typically rotates every other week in order to offer fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Socca, 3301 N. Clark St.
Socca's mouth-watering $33 three-course menu is decided for each diner—there's only one option under each course. They include an arugula caesar salad with a hard-boiled egg, pickled red onion, crushed croutons and paremsan; ricotta gnocchi which includes braised chicken thighs, escarole, butternut squash and parmesan chicken broth; and for dessert, our favorite—the caramel goat cheese cashew gelato sundae served with chocolate sauce and toasted coconut. Count us in.
Taverna 750, 750 W. Cornelia Ave.
Like Mia Francesca's, Taverna 750 is holding out on a menu—for now. Known for its entrees that are meant for sharing, the portions are generous and prices are very affordable, according to Choose Chicago, which urges readers to stop in for great food and cocktails.
Yoshi's Cafe, 3257 N. Halsted St.
"For 30 years, Yoshi Katsumura's artistry has melded Asian-French textures and flavors to create the singular cuisine of Yoshi's Cafe," says Choose Chicago. Its Restaurant Week menu had not yet been set as of Jan. 9, but guests will likely receive the quality they've been come to expect from Yoshi's.