Thursday, March 27
In celebration of National Paella Day, Mercat a la Planxa (638 S. Michigan Ave., South Loop, 312-765-0524) will be offering all of theirs for half-price. You can get the Paella Valenciana, which comes with chicken ropa, chorizo, artichoke tomato salad, and saffron aioli toast (pictured above) for $21. If you’re considering attending, the restaurant recommends a reservation in advance, as the paella takes 45 minutes to prepare once it’s ordered.
It’s also International Whisky Day (so many foods to celebrate, so little time), and Untitled (111 W. Kinzie St., River North, 312-880-1511) will be doing a globally inspired tasting event to celebrate. $40 gets you samples of the brown stuff from labels like Balvenie, Laphroaig, Woodford Reserve, and Miyagikyo. Get tickets here.
Saturday, March 29
Bread pudding French toast is decadent enough. But at the new Saturday brunch at III Forks (180 N. Field Blvd., Lakeshore East, 312-938-4303), you can top that dish off with seared foie gras for an extra $11.
Dietary restrictions are no match for the Vegan Vortex, a monthly pop-up market at the all-vegan Paper Moon Pastry (3523 W. Fullerton Ave., Logan Square). Small food businesses, many of whom also focus on gluten-free foods, will be on hand to sell their wares from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, along with vintage clothing vendors, jewelry makers, and more.
Sunday, March 30
Some brew vocab: A firkin is a fun-to-say word for a barrel that stores ale that’s cask-conditioned (i.e. not pasteurized and processed). At the first-ever What the Firk? Firkin Festival at Headquarters Beercade (2833 N. Sheffield, Lake View, 773-665-5660). Beer lovers can taste limited-edition firkin offerings from 25 different breweries, including Half Acre, Bell’s, and Great Lakes. Buy $40 tickets here.