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What to Eat and Drink in Chicago This Week

There are cookouts, birthday parties, and even a meatball-eating contest.

Dining room at Vie
Dining room at Vie   Photo: Jeff Kauck

Monday, August 11

In honor of Vie’s (4471 Lawn Ave., Western Springs, 708-246-2082) tenth anniversary, Paul Virant’s suburban spot has put together a five-course menu of greatest hits—from crispy gnocchi with mushrooms and ricotta to fried quail with grilled sweet onions and creamy buttermilk chive dressing—which will be available through Saturday for $80.

Thursday, August 14

Italian beef, cannoli, and pizza—it can only be Festa Italiana, which kicks off on Taylor Street tonight and goes all weekend long. The festivities include a meatball-eating contest and a grape-stomping area, where you’ll be able to go barefoot and squish grapes into juice like a real wine-maker.

Saturday, August 16

Don’t worry—the lobster at the Great American Lobster Fest, which takes place at Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave., Streeterville) today and Sunday, is being flown in from the Atlantic coast daily. You can pre-order a lobster dinner through August 12 here.

Sunday, August 17

For a cookout minus the whole “manning the grill forever” part, swing by Chop Shop (2033 W. North Ave., Wicker Park, 773-537-4440) between 1 and 4 p.m., where chef Joshua Marrelli will be joined on the patio by Patrick Sheerin of Trenchermen to prep a meal of sausages, sides, and beer from Piece Brewery. A portion of the $25 ticket will benefit Common Threads.

Or if you prefer your afternoon entertainment to be a little cheesier, there’s also a tenth birthday party for Pastoral (2945-47 N. Broadway, Lake View, 773-472-4781), complete with blue cheese popcorn, pizza, and a cash bar from 1 to 4 p.m.

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