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What To Do in Chicago Dining: Four Events and a Spirits Festival

The second Craft Spirit Week is here, restaurants are set for Oktoberfest, and a collaboration between OON and Slurping Turtle.

Photo: courtesy koval distillery

Chicago’s own Koval Distillery is just one of the craft spirits featured at Wednesdays Independent Spirits Expo. 

Monday, 9/23 – Saturday, 9/28: Today marks the beginning of Chicago’s second annual Craft Spirit Week. Six days of tastings, dinners, and workshops welcome spirit enthusiasts to engage with craft distillers and fellow artisans. For a full list of events, check out the festival’s website.

Wednesday, 9/25: The main event of Craft Spirits Week is the Independent Spirits Expo, being held this year at the Hilton Chicago (720 S. Michigan Ave., 312-922-4400) from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $60 for the night of seminars and small-batch booze.

Wednesday, 9/25: The Farmer Series at Lincoln Park’s Gather (4539 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-506-9300) is a partnership between the restaurant and a different local farm each month, culminating in a night of dinner specials made only with ingredients from that farm. This month’s grower is Nichols Farm & Orchard; an à la carte menu of seasonal specials is available through the evening, with the option of a five-course dinner an eight-course for dinner ($45, $60).

Thursday, 9/26: OON Restaurant (802 W Randolph St., 312-929-2555) hosts a night of collaboration between its executive chef Matt Eversman and Slurping Turtle’s executive chef, Aaron Cuschieri. Tickets for the seven-course tasting dinner cost $80, with an optional alcohol pairing for $30. Dinner lasts from 5 to 10 p.m.

Saturday, 9/28: Westmont’s Standard Market (333 E. Ogden Ave., 630-366-7030) kicks off Oktoberfest with a midday celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Buy a Bavarian-style pretzel platter or a German-style bratwurst for $4 or a commemorative Standard Market stein with beer in it for $12. An authentic German oompah band will be on hand to provide live music.



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