Monday, February 20, 2012

Celebrate Chicago Restaurant Week!

To many people, the middle of February simply means winter, but for Chicago restaurants, this time of year is a cause for celebration. February 17 through 25 food enthusiasts’ favorite event: Chicago Restaurant Week. During this week, many restaurants in Chicago offer special prix-fixe menus for diners to experience some of their favorite restaurants or discover new favorites for a great value. With the amount of great restaurants in Chicago, choosing from the long list of participating restaurants can be daunting. Here are some of our favorite suggestions.

Francesca’s restaurants have three Chicago locations participating in Restaurant Week. Francesca’s Bryn Mawr (1039 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Chicago, IL 60660; 773-506-9261), Francesca’s on Taylor (1400 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL 60607; 312-829-2828) and Francesca’s on Chestnut (200 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, IL 60611; 312-482-8800) will all feature special Restaurant Week menus for lunch and dinner. The four-course lunch menu is $22 per person. The lunch menu includes Bruschetta alla Romana served with a cup of their soup of the day, a choice of Francesca Salad or Asparagus Salad, an entrée choice of Ravioli ai Spinaci or Pollo alla Romana, and a dessert choice of Tiramisu or Profiteroles. Francesca’s five-course dinner menu starts with a choice of Bruschetta alla Romana or Calamari fritti. The menu continues with a choice of Francesca Salad or Asparagus Salad, a pasta choice of Ravioli ai Spinaci or Rigatoni alla Bolognese, and an entrée choice of Pollo al Limone or Tilapia con Funghi. The menu concludes with a choice of Tiramisu or Profiteroles. The dinner menu is $33 per person.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (25 E. Ohio St., Chicago, IL 60611; 312-329-9463) features a Restaurant Week menu for dinner. Their three-course menu is $44 per person. The first course is a choice of Newport Beach Clam Chowder or Fleming’s Salad with cranberries and candied walnuts, tossed in a lemon balsamic vinaigrette. This is followed by entrée choices which include a Petite Filet of their most tender filet beef, Double Breast of Chicken baked in a white wine, mushroom, shallot and thyme sauce, or Scottish Salmon served with a barbeque glaze and three mushroom salad. Diners have a choice of Mashed Potatoes with blue cheese, parmesan peppercorn or roasted garlic or Creamed Spinach as their side. The menu ends with a choice of two of Fleming’s amazing desserts, Crème Brule, creamy Tahitian vanilla bean custard with fresh seasonal berries or Cheesecake with white chocolate and blueberries.

Chicago Restaurant Week is not the only week to celebrate great dining in Chicago, but it can certainly make the experience more fun and a little easier on your wallet. For a full list of participating restaurants and menus, visit the Restaurant Week website.

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