Twisted Hippo (2925 W. Montrose Ave.), a new brewery in Albany Park, is open for business. It’s got a super funky, brightly colored space, 13 beers on tap, and a full menu serving lunch through dinner. The space previously housed Finch Kitchen.


The Whistler (2421 N. Milwaukee Ave., Logan Square) has a new head bartender: Marina Holter, who comes from the rooftop bar atop the Ace Hotel. She’s already begun revising the menu, introducing cocktails like the "Opening Credits," which features a popcorn fat-washed sherry base.

Goose Island ran a much-publicized promotion, inviting guests to try to kick a 43-yard field goal in exchange for a year of free beer. The idea was, it seems, to humble some of the fans who were trashing Cody Parkey of the Chicago Bears, who famously missed a game-winning kick. While Goose Island had to back out of giving free beer at the last minute (there were some unexpected legal issues), the event went on this past Saturday. Surprise: No one made the kick.

The Jean Banchet Awards took place this past Sunday. All of Chicago’s leading culinary lights were in attendance, and the event was a lovely tribute to the strength of our culinary world, with only a couple of jokes about whether our dining scene has lost its mojo. In a surprise upset, Winnetka restaurant George Trois won best restaurant, beating out Avec, Acadia, and Oriole. The full list of winners is online.

Do you love donuts? Then buy tickets for Donut Fest, coming up on January 27. Held at Chop Shop (2033 W. North Ave., Wicker Park), the event features tastings from a ton of different bakeries and restaurants (the list has 13 and is growing), along with coffee, swag, and more. Tickets are $35 or $50, depending on whether you want VIP early access.