Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two Valentine’s Day Drink Recipes from Bello Tea at the Chicago French Market

Spending Valentine’s Day at home or going to a potluck party? Bello Tea at the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., Chicago; 312-380-0707), has offered up delicious recipes for two tasty Valentine’s Day drinks. The Bello Mojito is made with delicious hibiscus spearmint tea, freshly squeezed lime juice, sparkling water and finished with a touch of sweetness. For an adult only beverage, try your hand at making Lara’s Caipirinha Bubbly ‘’Champagne.’’ This easily prepared drink combines Bello Organic Lara’s Caipirinha Herbal Tea with sparkling juice or champagne with a fresh strawberry. Look below for step by step instructions on how to prepare both of these drinks.

Bello Mojito
Serves 2
§  8 oz. of Bello Hibiscus Spearmint Tea  
§  1 oz. of Fresh squeezed lime juice
§  2 oz. of Simple Syrup ( ½  water, ½ sugar)
§  1 oz. of Sparkling Water
§  Fresh mint
§  Slices of lime

Brew Hibiscus Spearmint Tea and chill it until ready to prepare. In a martini shaker, muddle mint and lime slices together. Add simple syrup, lime juice and tea. To that add ice and shake well. Strain it into a martini glass and add sparkling water. Garnish with a mint sprig and a slice of lime. For a fun twist add your favorite rum. Substitute sugar with agave, if preferred.

Brewing Hibiscus Spearmint Tea
Add 2 tsp. of Hibiscus Spearmint tea to a tea pot then add 8 oz. of boiling water. Let it brew for 5 minutes. Strain and chill.

Lara’s Caipirinha Bubbly ‘Champagne’

§  1-2 oz. of Bello Organic Lara’s Caipirinha Herbal Tea
§  6 oz. of Sparkling Juice or Champagne
§  A fresh raspberry or strawberry

Pour Sparkling Juice or Champagne into a glass. Add Lara’s Caipirinha tea and garnish with fresh raspberry or strawberry.

Brewing Organic Lara’s Caipirinha
Add 3 tsp. of Lara’s Caipirinha to a tea pot, and then add 8 oz. of boiling water. Let it brew for 5 minutes. Strain and chill. It yields 4-8 servings.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Family Friendly Valentine's Day at Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook

Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd. Northbrook, IL; 847-205-4433) is the perfect family friendly place to spend Valentine’s Day. This restaurant focuses on locally grown fresh and organic ingredients.  Chefs Sarah Stegner and George Bambaris invite families to enjoy Valentine’s day by ordering off the regular menu, no special Valentine’s pricing. Entrées like the Lake Superior White Fish with Portobello mushrooms, sautéed broccoli, and lemon butter sauce ($21) and Crispy Half Duck from "Maple Leaf Farm" with rainbow Swiss chard, herb stuffing "cake" and sautéed pear ($28) are two of the tasty treats that await you at Prairie Grass Cafe.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Maxwell’s at the Club’s Valentine's Day Prix Fixe Dinner

On Valentine’s Day, Maxwell’s at the Club (500 N. Kingsbury St. Chicago IL) is offering a Prix Fixe four course meal, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. You and your guest will be treated to an appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. Appetizers include the choice of Pan Roasted Scallops and Cocoa Crusted Pulled Pork. Types of salads available include Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese and Baby Red Romaine. The entrée course will feature Petite Filet and Lobster Tail, Pan Roasted Snapper, Roasted New York Strip Loin and Rotisserie Amish Chicken.

For dessert, choose from a Pistachio and White Chocolate Torte, Ginger Crème Brûlée and more. Make your reservations for Maxwell’s Valentine’s Day Dinner, $45 a person, by calling (312) 527-5800 ext. 301.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bistro Voltaire Offers Special Valentine's Day Prix Fixe Menu

Bistro Voltaire (226 W. Chicago Ave. Chicago IL; 312-265-0911), Chicago’s most romantic French bistro nestled in the heart of River North, is offering a special three course Prix Fixe Menu for Valentine’s Day curated by Chef Farid Oualidi. The first course offers a choice between Risotto aux arômes de truffes (truffle scented risotto and porcini mushrooms), Salade de Jambon et melo (fresh melon and cured ham salad, parmesan tuile and port reduction), Potage d’asperges a lachaire de crabe (asparagus veloute topped with crab meat) and Huîtres gratinées (baked fresh oysters with Champagne Sabayon).

The second course is an exquisite selection of Filet Mignon au Roquefort (roasted beef tenderloin, Potato Anna, baby vegetables, blue cheese sauce), Loup de mer Provencal (seared Mediterranean Sea bass, braised cherry tomatoes, baby artichokes, bouillabaisse sauce, olive tapenade) and Magret de Canard aigre doux (pan roasted duck breast, glazed apples, wild rice cake, sweet and sour reduction).

The menu speaks for itself yet the romanticism is magnified by the warm decor and cozy Parisian bistro atmosphere. To finish up this meal, only truly decadent dessert options will do. Take your pick of Charlotte aux fraises, Mousse au Chocolat and Fruit de la Passion parfait.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Saigon Sisters at the Chicago French Market is Part of the New F.I.T. City Initiative

Saigon Sisters at the Chicago French Market is proud to announce its place on the list of a new initiative called F.I.T. (Fresh, Innovative, and Tasty) City led by the Chicago Department of Health. This program supports restaurants that are conscious of having healthy yet tasty options for diners to choose from. For more information, visit 

In other Saigon Sisters news, the popular Hen House sandwich has been named as one of Chicago Magazine’s top 50 sandwiches. To help mark the honor, they are offering the Hen House sandwich for $1 off when the Chicago Magazine list is mentioned. This offer is available one time only per person through January. 

As the year starts anew, Saigon Sisters wants to take a moment to thank its customers for supporting them and all the vendors at the Chicago French Market. Being a small business, the owners had a great opportunity to complete an intensive training on entrepreneurship through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. The program is designed to help small businesses grow and prosper, thus creating more jobs to help stimulate the economy. To learn more about this federally funded program, ask Mary Aregoni of Saigon Sisters or visit http://

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Flip Crêpes Introduces New Flip Frӧz Yogurt at the Chicago French Market

A new frozen yogurt has made its way to the Flip Crêpe booth at the Chicago
French Market. Flip Frӧz is a cultured frozen yogurt that is lightly sweetened with honey, blue agave and vanilla. This low fat and gluten free snack can be purchased in a cup, fruit bowl or parfait with granola and seasonal fruit (reg. $5.99 lg. $6.99).

Monday, January 14, 2013

EJ Sushi Now Offering Party Platters at the Chicago French Market

Looking for the perfect dish to create a lasting impression with your party guests? EJ sushi is now offering party trays and platters to help add some variety to your upcoming events. Whether it’s a Super Bowl party or a business lunch or dinner, EJ Sushi has an assortment of sized trays to help cater the event. The large trays contain 50-115 pieces of assorted rolls and sushi. For smaller shindigs, the 34-80 pieced mixed set might be the perfect option. For pricing information and to place an order, call 312-599-4575.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wisma Offers January Savings and New Menu Items at the Chicago French Market

It’s widely known that Wisma is the perfect place to pop in during lunchtime to pick up a pre-made gourmet meal. During the month of January, Wisma at the Chicago French Market is extending savings to its loyal customers by offering 25% off all Wisma brand items every day and 50% off sandwiches on Tuesday and Thursday. These promotions are available from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with the sandwich offer running all day on Saturday. Some new and tasty menu items to try with this promotion are: Vegetable Lasagna ($11), Shells Carbonara ($9), and the Spicy BLT Sandwich ($9).

Friday, January 11, 2013

River North Business Association Winter Soiree January 16


You thought there was nothing left to celebrate? Join the River North Business Association at its Winter Soiree post-holiday party, 6-9 p.m. January 16 at John Barleycorn, 149 W. Kinzie St. in River North. The cost is $50. Register on-line at the River North Business Association website.

The new River North John Barleycorn opens its second floor to RNBA with plenty of food, drinks and fun including door prizes, music and goodies galore.
RNBA is partnering with the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago to help ensure that critically ill and injured children feel special every day of the year. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Soiree and exchange it for an extra door prize ticket for additional chances to win the prize you want. As patients come and go year round, there is always a need for toys, so please donate if you can.
Want to make it a night? The Holiday Inn Mart Plaza has a block of rooms priced at $79 so you can stay just steps from the event. Register by calling (312) 529-1112 and asking for the River North Business Association Winter Soiree rate. Rooms are limited so book today!

 Thanks to John Barleycorn and Preferred Sponsor
Erie LaSalle Body Shop and Car Care Center


Doctors for Visual Freedom Offering Exclusive Custom WaveFront Lasik for Blue Cross / Blue Shield members only

BluVision LASIK and PRK Laser Discount Plan* from Doctors For Visual Freedom. 


Custom WaveFront LASIK for just $2995. That's $2000 less than the normal price. There is no additional cost or paperwork. But, you must be a current Blue Cross/Blue Shield member to receive this low price. Our surgeon, Mark I. Golden, MD, FACS, FICS is a board certified ophthalmologist and an early pioneer in the field of LASIK Laser Vision Correction.  He has performed more than 23,000 procedures and will perform your procedure using the Visx® Star S4 Laser – the very latest in LASIK technology. He will also personally perform all of your pre-operative and post-operative care. Call 312-291-9680 to schedule an appointment.

How the plan works:

  • Call to schedule the required comprehensive eye examination and find out if LASIK is right for you.  
  • You will be given Valium to relax you prior to surgery.  The procedure takes less than ten minutes for both eyes and there is no pain.
  • Post-operative visits are one day, one week, one month, three months and six months. Enhancements (fine-tuning) are included for two years with an eye examination at one year.
  • Payment must be made prior to surgery either by cash, credit card, or check.  Financing is available for a small additional charge.
    *Limited to patients with low to moderate eye prescriptions. BluVision and Doctors For Visual Freedom are not affiliated with Blue Cross/Blue Shield.


Routine Eye Exams are essential for good eye health.
Our thorough, personalized, "no-wait" exam can be scheduled at your convenience...even the same day. With our easy to get to location and discounted parking (on the Magnificent Mile) you can protect your vision and get some shopping done all at the same time. We accept most insurances. Make your appointment today.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bello Tea Offers Toast to a Healthier 2013 Tea Demos

Bello Tea at the Chicago French Market is introducing its first round of complimentary tea samplings and demos called “Toast to a Healthier 2013.” Owner Tammy Reddy is dedicated to educating the masses about the health benefits of tea and the different varieties to suit individual taste preferences. The demo series will take place on three days during the month of January, each with three timeslots available (see below for times). Class size is limited, to sign up visit the Bello Tea booth at the Chicago French Market or at All participants will receive 10% off all Matcha and accessories after each session. 

January 12 and 26
Session 1 – 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Session 2 – 1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Session 3 – 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
January 15
Session 1 – 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Session 2 – 2:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Session 3 – 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday Brunch, Baby Back Ribs Night and More at Maxwell’s at the Club

Maxwell’s at the Club (500 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago IL; 312-527-5800) has long been the in-house eatery for Chicago’s East Bank Club. Chef Mike Lodes has developed weekly specials to intrigue a variety of appetites. No membership is necessary to enjoy any of these taste bud tempting meals.

Sunday Brunch
What’s better than Sunday brunch after a long work week? Maxwell’s at the Club offers its long time club tradition to the public, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. The menu includes a full omelet bar, a roast strip beef loin carving station, freshly made waffles, herb roasted salmon, salads, seasonal fruit and much more. This special brunch is priced at $28 for ages 11 years old and up, $12 for ages 7 -10, $6 for ages 4-6 and complimentary for ages 3 and under.

Baby Back Rib Night Thursdays
Imagine a pound-and-a-half slab of mouthwatering baby back ribs, served with corn on the cob, smashed potatoes and coleslaw. The only thing that could make this image more tempting is the price tag of $18. This special barbeque dinner is available Thursdays at Maxwell’s.

Italian Night Fridays
From an extensive buffet of Caprese Salad and Eggplant Caponata antipastos to the rich entrée items of Grilled Swordfish and Fire Roasted Chicken Breast, Maxwell’s at the Club’s Italian night will transform your evening into a flavorful culinary journey. Every Friday enjoy an exceptional selection of Italian antipasto, pastas, entrees and desserts for $28 ages 11 and up, and $12 ages 10 and under.

The dinner specials don’t end there, Chef Lodes also offers a Tuesday Lobster Tails special ($38.50), featuring cold-water twin lobster tails served with seasonal vegetables. Wednesday features Small Plates ($24) providing a choice of three picks off the special menu which includes Seared Ahi Tuna, Oysters on the Half Shell and Pork Belly Sliders. The evening is highlighted by the Flamenco guitar styling of Gypsy Influence. Reservations for any of these special meals can be made at (312) 527-5800 ext. 301 or at Start the New Year off right by taking advantage of the culinary treats at Maxwell’s at the Club.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Live Music This January at the Chicago French Market

Thursday, January 10 – Lunch Hour Music with Annalee Hooson
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Complimentary
A Chicago French Market favorite Annalee Hooson is back to perform her original and easy listening cover songs. Listening to a live performance by Hooson, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. January 10 is a perfect way to unwind during your lunch hour. 

Wednesday, January 16 – Lunch Hour Music with Dean Milano
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Complimentary
Dean Milano is a songwriter, musician and the author of The Chicago Music Scene: 1960’s and 1971’s and will be playing a lunch hour concert at the Chicago French Market. Make you lunch hour special, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. January 16 by mixing up your work day with a special performance by a talented artist. 

Wednesday, January 30 – Lunch Hour Music with Matt Cantlon
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Complimentary
Chicago musician Matt Cantlon has been singing and playing rock, pop and country music on his guitar for more than 20 years. In addition to doing solo acoustic gigs he also plays in the popular duo, The Acoustic Generation. Cantlon averages about 200 live performances a year and is a prolific song writer spanning a variety of genres. Catch him from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on January 30.

Vanille Patisserie to Offer Galette Des Rois Cake through January

To celebrate a time-honored tradition in France and throughout the world, Vanille Patisserie will be baking a special Galette Des Rois (Three Kings Cake). This specialty cake is part of a religious custom where a Feves or trinket is hidden inside, and the finder of the prize is named king or queen of the feast. Through the month of January, pick up Vanille’s Galette Des Rois, a crisp pastry filled with almond crème and baked with the imported Feve inside (8-inch cake $32).

Second Lillie's Q Location in Chicago to Open in Chicago French Market Late January

Lillie’s Q chef/owner Charlie McKenna will open a second Lillie’s Q location in Chicago featuring award-winning competition BBQ and Southern favorites inside the Chicago French Market in the West Loop (131 N Clinton St) in late January.

 At the Lillie’s Q Chicago French Market location, McKenna’s will serve about half of the same menu he serves at his Lillie’s Q restaurant in Bucktown. One dish that will only be available at the Lillie’s Q in the Chicago French Market will be scratch-made kettle chips dusted with either pimiento cheese powder or Lillie’s Q “Carolina Dirt” BBQ rub.

The Lillie’s Q in the Chicago French Market will serve food from 10am until 7pm Monday thru Friday, and 10am until 4pm on Saturday. Cash and all major credit cards will be accepted as payment.

McKenna opened the Lillie’s Q location in Bucktown in July 2010. He also co-owns and helped open the first Lillie’s Q with his parents in Destin, Florida, in 2008. McKenna – a former sous chef at both TRU and Avenues in the Peninsula Hotel – won the prestigious Memphis In May BBQ competition in 2007 in the whole pork shoulder category and placed in Top Ten every year from 2006 through 2010 and finished 12th in 2011.


KETTLE CHIPS Pimiento Cheese Powder or Carolina Dirt  2
 PIMIENTO CHEESE  Cheddar, Pimientos, Jalapeños  5
 BOILED PEANUTS  Seasoned Peanuts  4
 BAKED BEANS  Pork Drippings  4
 COLLARD GREENS  Greens, Ham Hock  5
 STONE GROUND GIRTS  Housemade Bacon  5

BRUSNWSICK STEW  Tomato, Smoked Pork, Smoked Chicken, Corn, Lima Beans  7

Q SALAD  Boston Bibb Lettuce, Southern Caviar, Tomatoes, Avocado, Red Onion, CB Croutons  8
Pulled Chicken or Pulled Pork + 2  Tri-Tip +5

 ~ Q~
PULLED PORK SANDWICH  Smoked Pork, Brioche Bun  7   Southern Style + 1
PULLED CHICKEN SANDWICH  Smoked Chicken, Brioche Bun  8   Southern Style + 1
TRI-TIP SANDWICH  Smoked Beef, Brioche Bun  8   Southern Style + 1
HOT LINK SANDWICH  Smoked Hot Link, Brioche Roll  8   Southern Style + 1
QUARTER CHICKEN  Breast, Wing, Carolina Dirt  8
 PULLED PORK  ½ lb/1 lb  9/17
 PULLED CHICKEN  ½ lb/1 lb  13/21
 TRI-TIP  ½ lb/1 lb  10/18
 HOT LINK  ½ lb/1 lb  10/18
 BABY BACK RIBS  Carolina Dirt, Apple Glaze  Four Bones  9 ~ Eight Bones  15 ~ Twelve Bones  19

CRAWFISH ROLL  Crawfish, Tarragon, Tomato, Shallots, Brioche Roll  12

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Delightful Pastries Debuts Drunken Doughnuts and Butternut Squash Soup

Delightful Pastries has expanded its menu of sweet confections with the introduction of Drunken Doughnuts. The liquor infused selections are: Vanilla bean with Vodka Custard, Chocolate Custard made with a Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and Passion Fruit with a Grand Marnier Jelly ($3 each).

Also, to warm up on those cold winter days, Delightful Pastries also has added a fun twist on a classic soup. The new gluten free Butternut Squash soup is made with a touch of chicken paste and comes with a piece of bakery fresh bread (16 oz. $4.75).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Le Cafe du Marche to Open January 7 at the Chicago French Market

A special taste of France is set to debut at the Chicago French Market this Monday January 7. From the owner and chef of Bistro Voltaire in River North, Le Cafe du Marche will feature French cuisine including hot and cold sandwiches like the popular Croque Monsieur (sliced ham, Gruyére cheese and béchamel sauce $7.00), Le Chasseur (duck confit, caramelized onions and lettuce $9.00) and Sandwich Maison (country pâté, grainy mustard and pickled onions $8.75). 

The menu also features La Quiche Lorraine with a side salad (baked quiche, bacon and
Swiss cheese S7.50). A trio of salads will be offered including a Mesclun (mixed baby greens, tomatoes, cucumber, cranberries and walnuts $6.75), Epinards (baby spinach, grapefruit segments, red onions and feta cheese $6.75), and a classic Caesar (chicken, romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan with Caesar dressing $7.00). Les Soups offered is a choice between Organic Tomato Basil, Organic Lentil, Classic Chicken and Soup du Jour ($4.50 each). Beverages also will be available including Hot Cocoa and Frappe. This January go on a multi-sensory French journey as you make your way through the traditional sandwiches, quiches, soups and salads at Le Cafe Du Marche.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Three Kings Epiphany Cake Tasting at the Chicago French Market

Epiphany or Three Kings Day is being celebrated at the Chicago French Market. The Epiphany tradition is taken part in by many families across the world in a variety of ways. Some by moving their wise men closer to the crib each day that Epiphany nears. Other families exchange small presents to symbolize gifts that were bestowed by the three wise men. But most bake a special cake (Galette) with a hidden Feve or trinket. Come enjoy this French tradition, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. January 5 and receive a complimentary piece of Epiphany cake to see if you become the king or queen for the day.