by Julia Thiel
SushiSamba Rio celebrates Brazil's independence day Friday night with performances of samba and capoeira at 9 and 10 PM, and a special menu of Brazilian-inspired dishes including an "independence roll" and Brazilian short ribs.
Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto makes two local appearances this weekend, the first at Kendall College on Friday. From 2-4 PM, he'll demonstrate cooking tuna pizza and daikon fettucine with tomato-basil sauce, followed by a tasting with wine. It's $39. On Saturday he'll be signing Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking at Fox & Obel from 1-3 PM. There's a cooking demo beforehand, but it's full, as is the waiting list.
Julia Flynn Siler signs The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty at a wine tasting at the Book Stall, 7 PM Friday. She'll also speak at a noon luncheon at the University Club of Chicago.
The Windy City Wine Festival, Friday and Saturday at Daley Bicentennial Plaza, features more than 250 wines, plus cooking demos, seminars, and live music. Pastry chef Gale Gand and sommelier Belinda Chang discuss the art of pairing wine and dessert, and the Bolla U.S. Pizza Team performs tricks ranging from "freestyle dough tossing" to the largest dough stretch. The $25 ticket price includes 10 tastings and a souvenir wine glass; $15 "designated driver" tickets are also available.
Fresh oysters, Guinness, and live music are among the offerings at Guinness Oyster Fest this Saturday in Roscoe Village from noon to 11 PM. Suggested gate donation is $5.
Harvest Fest 2007, Saturday from 10 AM-2 PM at the Kilbourn Park & Organic Greenhouse, offers free activities including tips on cooking and gardening, a natural dye demonstration, face painting, and a scavenger hunt.
The Green City Market's Localvore Challenge, which urges people to eat only locally produced food for one week, kicks off Monday. To help you out, there's a discussion forum (somewhat less sleepy than before, thanks to a prize for participation) and a list of local brands and where to find them, plus participating restaurants offering locally produced menu options. On Sunday, September 16, there'll be a $20 celebration brunch at Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook.
On Wednesday, Flat Top Grill begins a promotion offering a one-cent bottle of Crow Canyon wine (chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon) with the purchase of an "Asian Taste" appetizer, two stir-fry entrees and one dessert. The deal is good for dinner Wednesdays at all Chicago locations and continues through November 14.
Starting Wednesday and continuing through Friday, 17 West at the Berghoff hosts its annual Oktoberfest, 11 AM-9 PM daily. There'll be live music, German food, and, of course, beer.