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What to Eat and Drink in Chicago This Week

Crayfish boils, coffee-covered brunches, and more dining excitement to seek out.

Arroz gordo at Fat Rice
Arroz gordo at Fat Rice   Photo courtesy Fat Rice

Tuesday, February 17

Happy Mardi Gras! Stuff yourself silly at a crayfish boil at the Southern (1840 W. North Ave., Bucktown, 773-342-1849), where $15 gets you as many servings of the stuff as you can handle plus either one Abita beer or a Hurricane cocktail. Swing by after 6 p.m.

Or if you want to get in both Fat Tuesday feasting and new restaurant exploration on the same night, Luella’s Southern Kitchen (4609 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Square, 773-961-8196) will have live music from Lee Alec Barrie from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. as well as specials such as seafood gumbo and oyster po’boys for the evening.

Wednesday, February 18

Now that Mardi Gras is done with, move on to the next food-heavy holiday: Chinese New Year. Fat Rice (2957 W. Diversey Ave., Logan Square, 773-661-9170) will run a special feast for two through Saturday night as well as during weekend brunch: For $88 total, a dining duo can get dumplings, steamed mussels, arroz gordo, and a bucket of Tiger Beer tallboy cans.

Thursday, February 19

Learn how to take nuts and seeds and turn them into a seriously smooth beverage at a class at Pure Juice Café (24 S. Evergreen Ave., Arlington Heights, 847-873-0942), where the staff will turn everything from almonds to pumpkin seeds into milk. The $25 entry fee gets you samples and a take-home strainer bag, and the class starts at 7 p.m.

Sunday, February 22

Get an extra caffeine jolt with your brunch at La Sirena Clandestina (954 W. Fulton Market, West Loop, 312-226-5300) thanks to a one-day-only collaboration with artisanal coffee roastery La Colombe. The black stuff will make an appearance in all sorts of special dishes: coffee French toast, carbonara with a coffee-poached egg, and more. The menu goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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