Now open: Summer House Santa Monica (1954 N. Halsted St., Lincoln Park, 773-634-4100), the newest restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You chef Jeff Mahin (previously behind Do-Rite Donuts), is up and serving its contemporary, Californian-inspired cuisine.

Thursday, November 7: After a surprise soft opening Friday following a successful round of inspections, the Asian-American hybrid barbecue spot with a rockabilly soundtrack from Bing Zhou and the team behind John Barleycorn called Old Crow Smokehouse (3506 N. Clark St., Wrigleyville, 773-537-4452) is officially opening.

Monday, November 11: The first Chicagoland location of Houston-based steak house chain Perry's Steakhouse & Grille (5 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, 630-571-1808) starts searing at the Oakbrook Center.


More from our Charlie Trotter archives: our first-ever review of Charlie Trotter’s from January 1988, and a look back at our reviewers’ notes from the restaurant over its 25-year history. Plus, watch dining editor Penny Pollack talk about Trotter’s legacy with CBS Chicago reporter Dana Kozlov on last night’s news (there’s also an interview with Trotter protégé Matthias Merges, whose new restaurant, A10, opened its doors in Hyde Park last night.)

The Chicago Humanities Festival wraps up this week, and more than a few of the remaining events on Sunday have a food focus, including a talk from Rick Bayless at 11 a.m., a panel discussion on urban farming at 1:45 p.m., and a conversation between Mother Jones agriculture writer Tom Philpott and Butcher & Larder owner Rob Levitt. Visit their website for more information and to buy tickets.

Thanks to a newly acquired liquor license, the Old Town location of brunch spot Kanela (1552 N. Wells, 312-255-1206) has debuted a cocktail menu, from lazy-Saturday staples such as mimosas and bellinis to a seasonal caramel-apple cider spiked with vodka.

Even the desserts at Epic (112 W. Hubbard, River North, 312-222-4940) are getting in on Movember. Their featured dessert, a tiramisù cake ($12), is topped with a chocolate-covered mustache sugar cookie, in solidarity with the charity whose mission is to raise awareness and money for men’s health issues by encouraging men to grow mustaches for the entire month. (Epic will just be giving part of the proceeds from the dessert to Movember’s fundraising efforts.)