Dining Out: News and notes on Chicago’s restaurant scene

Here’s some of what’s happening in the Chicago area’s vibrant dining scene.

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Steve Chiappetti was recently appointed executive chef at The Albert Chicago.

Steve Chiappetti was recently appointed executive chef at The Albert Chicago.

Courtesy The Albert Chicago

Steve Chiappetti, a native Chicagoan and long-time area chef, who has owned or sat at the helm of more than half a dozen area restaurants, returns to Chicago’s thriving food scene as the newly appointed executive chef at The Albert Chicago, located in Hotel EMC2, 228 E. Ontario St.

Chiappetti, whose ancestral roots are steeped in the Italian and French cultures, is presenting a menu reflective of, but not limited to, his heritage — spotlighting dishes such as: gnocchi with fresh tomato basil sauce and pesto; lasagna with spicy lobster, roasted tomato, spinach, lemon and cream reduction; and tagliatelle with braised veal, beef and Parmesan in a Chianti reduction. A daily rotation of risottos is also a menu regular.

A dessert menu highlight— olive oil cake (sweetened with flowered honey with pistachio, sweetened cream and orange curd). Book reservations at OpenTable.com.

Chef James Menendez of Albion Manor and Parlour.

Chef James Menendez of Albion Manor and Parlour.

Barry Brecheisen Photo

Chef James Menendez has been named executive chef of Albion Manor and Parlour, 1480 W. Webster Ave. The seasoned chef, who brings with him experience from Chicago’s Grace, Sixteen and Moody Tongue restaurants will feature dishes with seasonal flare. He also plans on launching a tasting menu. Visit thealbionmanor.com.

Bar Roma, 5101 N. Clark St. In honor of National Meatball Day on March 9, Chef Freddie Ramos and staff are hosting the Third Annual Meatball Eating Contest. The event gets underway 7 p.m. with participants revving up to polish off a bowl of the chef’s spaghetti and meatballs. The first to finish receives a $100 gift card. There is a $20 entry fee. Second and third place prizes will be awarded. Visit barromachicago.com.

Bob’s Pizza, 1518 E. Harper Ct., brings some “Pilsen-style” flair to Hyde Park, long known for its mecca of restaurants. However, if you’re a pizza and beer person beware: the pizzeria is good to go for food but has yet to obtain its liquor license, which is expected to be up and posted in the upcoming weeks. What to expect on the bar menu: rum spiked adult frozen orange Tang; Bob’s Irish Coffee Milkshake; pineapple Mezcal margaritas and standard pizza-pairing beer — Old Style is the choice. Visit famousbobspizza.com.

Bob’s Pizza executive chef and partner Matt Wilde.

Bob’s Pizza executive chef and partner Matt Wilde.

Madeline Cox Photo

Chef Ryan Pfeiffer has big plans as the new culinary director of Dusek’s Tavern, 1227 W. 18th St. Ryan plans to launch two dining experiences: a curated program featuring a rotating selections such as mussel and oysters; smoked trout Caesar and seasonal dishes (available beginning March 10). Pfeiffer will also offer a menu of casual dishes with his popular smash burger and variety of sandwiches (available beginning March 3). Visit dusekschicago.com.

Morton’s “A Taste of Two Legends” wine dinner: Morton’s the Steakhouse (participating locations), host “A Taste of Two legends,” wine dinner 6:30 p.m. March 11. The event features wine pours of: Justin Rosé; Justin Sauvignon Blanc; Justin Cabernet Sauvignon; Justin Justification Red Blend and Justin Isosceles Red Blend. The cost is $169 per person (without tax and gratuity). Visit mortons.com.

The Royal Sonesta Chicago Downtown river dyeing viewing event: Royal Sonesta Chicago, 71 E. Wacker Dr., hosts a river dyeing event 8 a.m. to noon March 11 in its penthouse, giving guests a birds-eye view of the festivities below. In addition to a perfect view — there will be breakfast food items and Irish inspired cocktails. Tickets are $75-$120; visit sonesta.com.


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