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New Executive Chef at Spiaggia + Other Chicago Dining News Bites

New Executive Chef at Spiaggia + Other Chicago Dining News Bites

Chicago Dining News Bites features tips and items, that’s dropped in our inbox, on Chicago’s exciting dining scene. Got a tip or news?  Click here and let us know.

Eddie V’s Happy Hour

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, (521 N Rush Street) is known for its luxury dining experience, but did you know they offer some pretty great happy hour specials from 4 to 6 p.m. in their V Lounge?  If you love to eat and drink, for a reasonable price especially during happy hour, read on. Eddie V’s has some potent drinks and delicious bites choices.  Oyster dishes served on the half-shell ($7-$8) like: raw East Coast Oysters – served on ice, accompanied by cocktail and mignonette sauces ($2/oyster) or the Asian Fusion Oysters – two half-shells, topped with ponzu, pickled ginger, sesame seeds and micro greens ($7). Not into the raw bar selection, there’s the mini filet sandwiches for $9 and a melt in your mouth Salt and Pepper Shrimp – battered and wok seared with spicy soy ginger vegetables. In the drinks department, if you love a bit of a kick, the spicy margarita is not blow your mouth on fire but certainly lives up to the name. There are four other cocktail and four wines options to choose from priced under $10 for happy hour. 

Fun fact: Eddie V’s Prime Seafood has seafood flown in from pristine waters around the world, premium hand-carved steaks PLUS live music every night in their V lounge. or call (312) 595-1114 for more information.

Spiaggia Announces New Executive Chef

photo credit: Courtesy

Chef Tony Mantuano’s Spiaggia, which was recently awarded a Michelin star, and Café Spiaggia announced Eric Lees will take over from the outgoing executive chef Joe Flamm, as the restaurants’ new Executive Chef. Lees, a Spiaggia veteran of nearly three years having joined the team in 2016, will follow Top Chef Winner Joe Flamm’s reign as Executive Chef. Though Lee is set to take on the role starting beginning October 1, his new menu will not debut until October 25. To really get ready and prepare for the role, Chef Lees recently traveled to Italy to gather inspiration and get deeper know how on Italian fare, and cooking techniques. Lees has brought back even more knowledge of the key flavors and techniques that he aims to impart on his upcoming menus. His love for fresh seafood and sourcing unique varietals of the best local ingredients will bring his personal signature to the dining experience.

Spiaggia hosted a special passing the torch diner on September 21. The 5-course dining experience walked guests through the storied restaurant’s story and also a sneak peek at what’s in store for the future.

“Eric is a Chef who embodies the passion for Italian cuisine and the artistic mind needed to lead this culinary charge…His skill level, combined with his consistent culinary vision and charisma, are what make me so proud to see him next in line as Executive Chef” says Mantuano. 

In his new role as Executive Chef of Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia, Lees aims to stay consistent with the core principles that have created the restaurants’ sterling reputations, while artfully imparting nods to his personal culinary style.



Mariano’s is collaborating with local Chicago artist Dorian Sylvain for a new mural in the Bronzeville neighborhood titled Color Me Southside. They are inviting community members of all ages  to participate in this one-of-a kind art project on Saturday, October 5th from noon to 4 p.m.,  to paint on the AfriCOBRA Community Wall. Painting the mural will allow community members to learn about the artists as well as some of the cultural history of the South Side of Chicago. Mariano’s Bronzeville location currently features artwork by Chicago-based, multi-disciplined artist, Hebru Brantley and exterior murals by Chicago-based artist and urban planner, Chris Devins. The murals highlight famous Bronzeville residents such as Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Lorraine Hansberry.

“Color Me South Side” is Sylvain’s homage to the legacy of Bronzeville and the Black Arts Movement in Chicago. Sylvain’s inspiration are two vital voices of the Black Arts Movement during the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. AfriCOBRA, a visual artist collective and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founders of free music. These energies manifested in Bronzeville in 1967 in the painting of the “Wall of Respect,” sparking a mural movement across America.

Sunda New Asian Chicago Celebrates Filipino American History Month

Did you know that Filipino American History Month, a celebration of the many ways that Filipino Americans have contributed significantly to American history, is in October? In celebration of this, Sunda Chicago will be celebrating all month long with a line-up of events and specialty offerings including a first-look, charity benefit on Friday, October 25 for Dec’s new documentary project for PBS Food. Roots. Guests can enjoy new menu items inspired by different Filipino regions, Plus two new dates (Saturday, October 19 at 12 p.m. and Tuesday, October 29 at 6 p.m) have been added for the restaurant’s Kamayan Feast event series.

photo credit: courtesy

CityTap Chicago Pumpkin Smash

To ring in the fall season, City Tap is going full force on all things pumpkin and hosting its first Chicago Pumpkin Smash on Saturday, October 12. The event will take place during brunch hours (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.) and feature a massive 200 pound+ pumpkin keg, pouring out $10 Wild Onion Pumpkin Ale. Guests can also enjoy live musical entertainment, a keepsake pumpkin glass with a drink purchase and a free mini pumpkin decorating station during the event.

A one-time Pumpkin Smash menu will be featured, highlighting pumpkin favorites like:

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll: cinnamon-maple cream cheese frosting, candied pecans ($8)
Pumpkin Pancakes: cinnamon butter, pepitas, maple syrup, candy corn ($10)
Roasted Pumpkin Salad: mixed greens, dried cherries, goat cheese, candied pecans, fennel, cider vinaigrette ($16)
Tandem Smackintosh Cider ($7)
Ace Pumpkin Cider ($7).


Danielle Jonas was feted with a perfect birthday bash by her hubby, Kevin Jonas during their Chicago tour stop. Jennifer Hudson also celebrated her birthday on September 12 at the city’s celeb hotspot. Chicago Cut steakhouse welcomed the NFL Sunday Night football squad.


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@taochicago baby ! @ifightdirty @dilianalee

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Molly’s Cupcakes To Open South Loop Location

Molly’s Cupcakes is opening a new location in Chicago! The new shop will open in the South Loop (1150 S. Wabash Avenue).The grand opening celebration will take place on Friday October 4, 2019 from 8am-10pm, guests will have the chance to enter several contests. One special guest has the opportunity to win one free cupcake every week for a year (restrictions apply)! The team will also award Molly’s t-shirts for guests who take the award-winning Instagram photos (tag @MollysCupcakes_SouthLoop). From 8am-2pm, mini cupcakes and La Colombe coffee will be given out to all visitors.

Molly’s South Loop menu will feature a mix of cupcakes and treats and is known in particular for their famous Center-Filled Cupcakes. Popular flavors include: Peach Cobbler, Cake Batter, Crème Brule, Cookie Monster, Blueberry Cheesecake, and many more creative flavors! Guests can also choose to create their own cupcakes.

In addition to cupcakes, Molly’s offers cookies, Krispy-treats, brownies, pies, cheesecakes, and other daily treats. All items are baked daily in small batches and from scratch.

Hubbard Inn Re-Opens

photo credit: rendering

A fixture on Hubbard Street for almost a decade, Hubbard Inn (110 W. Hubbard St.) will reopen October 25, 2019 after months of renovations bringing a new concept to River North. While still incorporating beloved elements from the original Hubbard Inn, guests will enjoy an evolving cocktail experience and artistic presentations of worldly-influenced American fare from Executive Chef Eric Babalu (Punch Bowl, City Works; bio available below) as they move throughout the establishment.

The first floor will be the most reminiscent of the original Hubbard Inn, though after a complete revamp, the bright, inviting and versatile space will be anchored by a center island bar surrounded by comfortable and relaxed booth seating. The modern yet rustic setting will feature a mix of cream and exposed brick walls that are original to the building. Open for dinner seven days a week, the menu will feature shareable American fare with a worldly twist and a focus on classic and seasonal craft cocktails. Chef Babalu’s menu approach will be elegant in flavor and playful in presentation with items like butter poached Maine lobster cake served in its own claw, oversized semolina and braised short rib ravioli, and veal meatballs topped with a parmesan tuile that is shattered tableside.

A throwback to the original concept, Hubbard Inn’s popular Saturday and Sunday brunch will make a comeback as well as their happy hour raw bar, though with a slight twist as Chef Babula introduces Personalized Raw Bars featuring the guest’s choice of oysters, crab legs, shrimp and more served in a custom wood crate over glowing ice.


Osteria Downers Grove

photo credit: Instagram

Osteria, an authentic Italian trattoria with a modern twist will open in Downers Grove mid October. The restaurant is presented in collaboration with Bravo’s Top Chef Fabio Viviani and the Doubletree Suites By Hilton Downers Grove. Osteria features craft cocktails and tradition authentic Italian dishes using locally sourced ingredients with signature dishes including Asiago Gnocchi with Fennel Sausage and Roasted Mushrooms, Grilled Rack of Lamb with Farro Risotto and Chianti Demi, Homemade Ricotta & Truffle Purses, and Pork Chop Milanese with Arugula, Pickled Onion and Charred Lemon.



Chicago Dining News Bites features tips and items that’s dropped in our inbox on Chicago’s dining scene. Got a tip or news?  Click here and let us know.

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