This Week's Food and Drink Events | Bleader

This Week's Food and Drink Events


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Italian dining, gingerbread houses, beer and truffle pairings, and more.

After cookbook author Julia della Croce prepares hors d'oevres, chef Frank Mnuk uses her recipes as inspiration for a five-course Italian meal, starting at 6:30. Della Croce will also chat with diners and sign copies of her latest book Italian Home Cooking. 6 PM, Pensiero Ristorante, 1544 Oak, Evanston, 847-475-7779, $100.

More than 30 local confectioners, restaurants, and caterers—including Blommer Chocolate, Cookie Bar, and Terry’s Toffee—participate in World of Chocolate, the annual fund-raiser for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Tickets cover a buffet, open bar, and music by DJ Mark Picchiotti; raffle prizes include a year’s worth of chocolate courtesy of the event’s honorary chair, Danish chocolatier Fritz Knipschildt. 6-10 PM, Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan, 312-334-0917,, $100-$150.

The theme for this year’s Gingerbread House Competition, open to amateur bakers and pastry school students, is “Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.” Spectators are welcome to view the contestants’ creations. RSVP to 1-3 PM, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, 20 E. Chestnut, 312-726-2419, ext. 208.

Chef Paul Kahan and beer director Michael McAvena were inspired to create tonight’s beer and truffle menu after a visit to California-based North Coast Brewing, whose beers accompany tonight’s meal. Five truffle-centric courses (subject to last-minute change) include dry-aged smoked duck breast with sausage, dried apricot, and black truffles, and corned beef tongue with black truffle and black pepper. Reservations are encouraged; dinner is served between 5 and 10 PM. The Publican, 837 W. Fulton, 312-733-9555, $125.

Starting in December and running through 2/28, fondue spot Geja’s celebrates a three-month-long champagne festival, with featured wines from vineyards like Roederer Estate. Today, a tasting of seven champagnes kicks off the festival. 1 PM, Geja’s Cafe, 340 W. Armitage, 773-281-9101, $30.

A screening of Living Downstream, a documentary about the relationship between health and environment based on the memoirs of ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, is followed by a discussion with Terra Brockman, founder of the Land Connection. Uncommon Ground serves a three-course meal that includes an entree choice of “faux pho” (vegetarian) or shepherd’s pie. 6:30 PM, Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark, 773-929-3680, $25.

At the annual Bin 36 tasting Bubble Bath, there will be more than 75 champagnes and sparkling wines on offer, all available for sale at a 20 percent discount. Executive chef John Caputo supplies the hors d’oeuvres. 6-10 PM, Bin 36, 339 N. Dearborn, 312-755-9463,, $50.

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