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Chicago Restaurant Week to Start Earlier, Last Longer

By Janet Rausa Fuller | January 13, 2014 6:41am
 More than 280 restaurants will offer deals during Chicago Restaurant Week Jan. 24-Feb. 6.
Chicago Restaurant Week 2014
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CHICAGO — Chicagoans may not have ventured out to eat much during the arctic snap, but they can make up for missed meals during the seventh annual Chicago Restaurant Week, Jan. 24 to Feb. 6.

The dining event starts earlier this year. It's four days longer, too — a mutual decision made by the restaurants and Choose Chicago, the city's tourism arm overseeing Restaurant Week, said spokeswoman Meghan Risch.

That's 14 days of dining deals at 280 (and counting) restaurants, 40 of which are participating for the first time.

Restaurants will offer $22 lunch menus and dinner menus for $33 or $44, not including drinks, tax and tip.

Most of the menus are three courses, but some dinner menus are four, including at Trenchermen in Wicker Park and iNG in the West Loop.

Some restaurants will offer optional wine pairings. Topolobampo in River North suggests wine pairings for each course on its $22 lunch menu for an additional $15.

Diners can gussy up their meals in other ways, too. There are six side dishes from which to choose ($6 each) on the special dinner menu at Balsan in the Waldorf-Astoria Chicago. At Cafe des Architectes in the Sofitel Chicago, you can ask for shaved truffles over any course for $20, or get diver scallop and filet mignon "enhancements" on the celery root soup and short rib entree for $8 and $10, respectively.

There are extra incentives for first-time, Uber-transported diners, with $1 going to the Greater Chicago Food Depository for each first ride taken during Restaurant Week. Diners can get that first ride free (up to $25) by using the code CHICAGORW when they sign up with the car service.

More details about Restaurant Week and a list of participating restaurants are on the Choose Chicago website.