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This Week in Chicago Dining: Three New Restaurants To Scope Out

Plus: Half Acre comes to Bowmanville, cheap steaks at Gibsons, and a fundraiser for a beloved chef.

Steak at Gibsons   Photo courtesy Gibsons

Openings

Open now: Hyde Park continues to hop with the addition of Plein Air Cafe (5751 S. Woodlawn Ave., 773-966-7531), a coffee/bakery/lunch spot hybrid with tartines, Pleasant House Bakery pies, and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. They’re currently only open from breakfast until 2 p.m., but starting next week, they’ll stay open until 8 p.m. during the week and 6 p.m. on weekends.

Open now: More fish: The Eddie V’s Prime Seafood chain set up its first Midwestern outpost inside the Shops at North Bridge (521 N. Rush St, River North, 312-595-1114).

Open now: Ani (3056 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincoln Park, 872-206-8553), a “brother” restaurant to Japanese go-to Arami, is home to the Chitown Ramen, an Italian beef-inspired bowl with shaved beef ribeye and housemade giardiniera.

Morsels

Do you know where the Bowmanville neighborhood is? If you like beer, you will soon. Half Acre Brewery has purchased a second space at 2050 W. Balmoral Ave. in the small enclave (for reference, it’s north of Lincoln Square, west of Andersonville, and bounded by Rosehill Cemetery.) In a letter to customers on their website, they say the new building, a few minutes’ walk from their current location, will allow them to expand their distribution and add more events. No word yet on the project’s timeline.

In celebration of their 25th birthday, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse (1028 N. Rush St., Gold Coast, 312-266-8999; 2105 S. Spring Rd., Oak Brook, 630-954-0000; 5464 N. River Rd., Rosemont, 847-928-9900) is kicking off 25 days of raffles and rotating specials (including $25 bottles of their house Cabernet Sauvignon) tomorrow. The best deal of the bunch comes April 21, though, when every steak on their menu will be $25 all day long—including their 32-ounce Gibsons 42 Chop, which normally runs for $99.

This Monday, several Chicago chefs are coming together for a fundraising dinner in honor of Chicago Firehouse chef Dean Zanella, who has been dealing with the tragic passing of his wife earlier this year from complications after giving birth to twin daughters. The dinner itself is sold out, but you can still contribute to a fund in her honor here.

Update (3/27): We just got word that a few tables have opened up for Monday’s benefit dinner at HotChocolate (1747 N. Damen Ave., Bucktown, 773-489-1747). The chefs scheduled to be on hand include Bill Kim, Heather Terhune, Giuseppe Tentori, Tony Priolo, and many more. Tickets are $200, and heads up: They’re cash or check only, so they can go straight into a trust fund for Zanella’s daughters. The reception starts at 6 p.m., the sit-down meal starts at 7 p.m., and there’s a silent auction planned as well. Call the restaurant to add your name to the guest list.

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