What to Eat in Chicago This Week (and What to Wash It Down With)

Sample the strawberry harvest, have a whole hog, and raise a glass (or two) at a pair of local craft beer celebrations.

Photo: Courtesy of visitlonggrove.com

Chocolate covered strawberries are just one of the many berry delicacies you can sample at the Long Grove Strawberry Festival. 

Tuesday, 6/18: In preparation for Bon Appétit’s Chicago Gourmet festival in September, the Illinois Restaurant Association has organized a series of wine and spirits dinners. This week, the kitchen at Green Zebra (1460 W. Chicago Ave., 312-243-7100) will serve up a 7-course vegetarian meal, with each course focusing on a different seasonal ingredient. Tickets are $65 and dinner starts at 7 p.m. Call Green Zebra to place reservations.

Wednesday, 6/19: Pork lovers can head to Topaz Cafe (780 Village Center Dr., Burr Ridge, 630-654-1616) to enjoy a “whole hog” dinner for $65 this Wednesday. The five-course menu was created to showcase various cuts of local, free range pork sourced from Faith’s Farm in Bonfield, IL. Enjoy belly confit and beer braised shoulder along with beer pairings from Boulevard Brewing Co. Reservations are required and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, 6/20: This spring, Berghoff Brewing began to rebrand its product in attempts to catch up with the modern trends of Chicago’s craft beer culture. Some of the new brews have already hit shelves around the city, such as the seasonal Solstice Wit. On Thurday, the brewery will officially relaunch the brand at Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden (3258 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-281-4989) from 6 to 9 p.m. Try the new brews and some twists on classic recipes (Berghoff Red has been reformulated into Reppin’ Red Ale) for $5 per draft.

Friday, 6/21: Nothing signals the start of summer’s growing season like a bowl of fresh-picked strawberries. Kick off this sticky season at the 29th Annual Long Grove Strawberry Festival in Long Grove’s historic business district. Gates open at 10 a.m. Friday and the fest runs through Sunday evening. Try a sample of strawberry bliss from vendors selling strawberry ice cream, donuts, baked goods and the fresh berries themselves. Admission is $5. 

Saturday, 6/22: Calling all beer snobs: Chicago’s craft beer journal Mash Tun is throwing it’s third annual festival and beer sampling. Stop by the Bridgeport Art Center (1200 W. 35h St., 773-247-3000) from 2 to 6 p.m. to sample some of the 60+ ales available from breweries such as Breckenridge, Deschutes, Stone and more. Local chefs and food trucks will provide food vending. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased here. The price includes a tasting glass and membership to the Mash Tun Society.

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