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There’s News of Crabs, Crêpes, and a Quest for a Hot Dog Emoji

The openings and morsels in Chicago dining this week could nix that whole post-holiday detox idea.

Crab cake at Shaw’s Crab House   Photo: courtesy Shaw's Crab House

Openings

Open now: Ravenswood Q (1800 W. Irving Park Rd., Ravenswood, 773-472-1800), which officially opened on one of the coldest days in Chicago history, Monday. Except, they’re shut thanks to a bout of frozen pipes—a note on their Facebook page says they’re temporarily closed until they can get running water again.

Open now: Lost in the holiday shuffle was the quiet reopening of La Crêperie (2845 N. Clark, Lake View, 773-528-9050), the café run by Germain Roignant for more than 40 years, now with new partners from the nearby Scottish pub Duke of Perth. Read a heartwarming story about Roignant’s journey in the Chicago Tribune.

Friday, 1/10: Think of 42 Grams (4662 N. Broadway St., Uptown, no phone) as a very intimate dinner party, says Alexa Welsh. She and her husband, Jake Bickelhaupt (Alinea, Schwa, Charlie Trotter’s), will turn their underground dining series born from their apartment known as Sous Rising into a regular, sit-down dinner spot for 10 people at a time in a retail spot near their building. The first $155 tasting menu and BYO dinner on Friday is sold out, but future diners can expect a meal wholly based on what inspires Bickelhaupt on any particular day—no menus get posted in advance. Book a reservation via their website.

Morsels

As if there could possibly be something missing from the sprawling Chop Shop (2033 W. North Ave., Wicker Park, 773-537-4440), the butcher/deli/restaurant/bar/event space has added a raw bar with snow crab claws, East and West Coast oyster varieties, and Maine lobster.

Post-holiday detox be damned. Snag a three-course prime rib dinner on Sundays at Fleming’s (25 E. Ohio St., River North, 312-329-9463; 960 Milwaukee Ave., Lincolnshire, 847-793-0333) for $29.95 from now until February 2.

It’s the return of the annual Crab Festival at Shaw’s Crab House (21 E. Hubbard St., River North, 312-527-2722; 1900 E. Higgins Rd., Schaumburg, 847-517-2722), which means deals on crustacean meals: $33 for Maryland-style crab cakes, $48 for a pound of Alaskan golden king crab. Each also comes with clam chowder, cole slaw, au gratin potatoes, and a slice of Key lime pie.

We spoke with Michael Kornick for an update on DMK Burger & Fish (815 Noyes St., Evanston), the cross-pollination of DMK Burger and Fish Bar slated to open near Northwestern’s campus in early February. He says to expect the best of both places—fries, tater tots, and plenty of shakes, plus five to six options each for burgers and fish sandwiches—in a model that could be easily replicated near other college campuses. “Everything we do is not designed to be a one-off,” he says.

There’s now a very important push underway by the folks at Superdawg (6363 N. Milwaukee Ave., Jefferson Park, 773-763-0660; 333 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, 847-459-1900) to add a hot dog to the lexicon of smartphone emoticons known as emoji. You can already text a tiny illustration of a piece of sushi or a chocolate-chip cookie to friends, among dozens of other choices, but hot dogs have remained mysteriously absent from the emoji options. “Furthermore,” reads the petition started by general manager Laura Ustick, “ketchup shall not be used in the making of this hot dog emoji.” Sign the petition here.

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