Monday, May 12
Toast to the Loire Valley at Oceanique (505 Main St., Evanston, 847-864-3435), where a $30 three-course menu paying homage to the French region’s wines kicks off today and runs through May 24. You’ll get a glass of either a sparkling Vouvray or a Chinon-Cabernet Franc to sip alongside dishes such as a wild Maine skate with pea tips and fennel.
Friday, May 16
Chicago Craft Beer Week kicks off on May 15 (look for a rundown of can’t-miss events later this week), and for the celebration of all things hoppy, the Franklin Tap (325 S. Franklin St., Loop, 312-212-3262) will be overhauling their beer selection Friday for their Chi-PA Day, putting the spotlight on 11 locally made IPAs on draught and in bottles and cans.
Saturday, May 17
Lottie’s Pub (1925 W. Cortland St., Bucktown, 773-489-0738) will be fête-ing its 80th year in Chicago with some crazy-cheap specials, most notably 80-cent draft beers all day long and 80-cent burgers from noon to 4 p.m. If you can’t make it until Sunday, that's the day for 80-cent mimosas.
Feel like party-hopping tonight? It’s also the 20th birthday of the Smoke Daddy (1804 W. Division St., Wicker Park, 773-772-6656), and their three-day birthday party culminates in a Saturday pig roast buffet and hoedown. In addition to live music, you can get a plate of brined and roasted suckling pig with sides for $15.
Sunday, May 18
Brush up on your cocktail fundamentals at the first of the Violet Hour’s (1520 N. Damen Ave., Wicker Park, 773-252-1500) cocktail classes, called “From Stir to Smash.” This will cover the basics of drink-making, from bar tools to liquor selection, and the sizable $150 price tag includes three cocktails, drink samples, and light food. E-mail email@example.com to make a reservation.