Tuesday, April 8
In honor of National Empanada Day, Nacional 27 (325 W. Huron St., River North, 312-664-2727) will pass around free samples of their stuffed pastry pockets—and offer orders of them for half-price from 5 to 7 p.m. (they’re normally priced between $6-$8.) If you tweet about the event using the hashtag #EmpanadaDayN27, you’ll also get a free apple-cinnamon empanada for dessert.
Wednesday, April 9
It’s the penultimate night for this season of Soup & Bread, the weekly shared meal at the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia, Bucktown, 773-227-4433). Each week on Wednesday evenings, a rotating series of professional and amateur chefs cook up a soup based on a theme, diners pay what they want (or can), and the proceeds go to hunger-relief organizations or food pantries. Tonight, Jill Barron of Mana Food Bar will be one of the cooks on hand making soups inspired by the theme “Smells Like Chicken,” and all the proceeds will go to the Night Ministry.
Friday, April 11
Make your drinks go hyperlocal—like, from a brewery set up in a spare bedroom at the home of one of your dining companions—at the Home Brew Dinner at 2 Sparrows (553 W. Diversey Pkwy., Lincoln Park, 773-234-2320). The five-course meal features beers from several local homebrewers, including 2 Sparrows bartender Ryne Schofstal. Get a reservation for the $55 dinner by calling the restaurant.
Saturday, April 12
More than 100 small-scale food makers from all over the world will converge on the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., West Loop) for Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival, taking place from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The line-up for this free fest is heavy on the dairy (the cheesemakers include Dutch Girl Creamery, Cypress Grove Chevre, and Hidden Springs Creamery), but you can also visit with charcuterie masters, brewers, and even makers of goat milk caramels.
Sunday, April 13
End the weekend on a porky note at Carriage House (1700 W. Division St., Wicker Park, 773-384-9700). This week’s edition of their new Sunday Supper series, where you share a classic Southern dish family-style along with sides and dessert for $30, is a pig picking (a traditional full-hog barbecue). Sides include hush puppies, mac and cheese, and collard greens. Call the restaurant to make a reservation.