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Chicago Restaurant Week: 17 Lincoln Park Restaurants Offer Special Menus

By Kyla Gardner | January 24, 2014 10:04am | Updated on January 24, 2014 3:45pm
 Chicago Restaurant Week will run from Jan. 24 to Feb. 6. Seventeen restaurants are participating in Lincoln Park with prix fixe menus.
Restaurant Week Lincoln Park
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LINCOLN PARK — Seventeen neighborhood restaurants are offering special menus as part of Chicago Restaurant Week.

The event, overseen by Chicago's tourism office Choose Chicago, will start earlier and last longer this year, stretching from Jan. 24 to Feb. 6, a full two weeks. Restaurants will have $22 prix-fixe lunch menus and $33 or $44 dinner menus. Those prices do not include drinks, tax or tip.

Here's a sampling of dishes you can taste at restaurants around the neighborhood:

1. Aquitaine
2221 N. Lincoln Ave.

Aquitane offers a three-course $33 dinner menu with entrée options of turbinado glazed salmon, pan seared duck breast, apple cider braised pork shoulder or savory tart with sundried tomato, asparagus and goat cheese.  Desert includes amber cake or homemade cinnamon ice cream.

2. Balena
1633 N. Halsted St.

Balena offers Italian fare sourced from Midwestern farms, and was named one of the Top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S. in 2013 by Gayot.com. Executive Sous Chef Joe Frillman said the restaurant brings back "greatest hits" dishes from the previous year that no longer appear on the regular menu. Among the items are trippa alla parmigiana, celery root agnolotti, salt and pepper chicken thighs and chocolate and polenta tart. Diners can choose three courses for $33 or four courses for $44.

3. Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba
2024 N. Halsted St.

The Spanish-style restaurant has a $22 lunch menu with tapas choices of shrimp with garlic, skewered chicken and chorizo sausage, or rioja-braised short ribs. The $33 dinner offers two tapas for a first course and then more tapas or chicken or seafood paella for the second.

4. Chez Moi
2100 N. Halsted St.

Choose from lobster bisque or a baked pear salad for an appetizer at French bistro Chez Moi and pulled duck confit shepherd's pie with caramelized onions or the restaurant's famous cassoulet for an entree. The prix fixe dinner is $33.

5. Geja's Cafe
340 W. Armitage Ave.

The legendary fondue restaurant serves up a variety of meats (or tofu and veggies) to dip in melted cheese. All prix-fixe menu dinners include salad, cheese fondue, an entreé, chocolate fondue and coffee.

6. Gemini Bistro
2075 N. Lincoln Ave.

Gemini Bistro offers a $33 menu with options of pork chop lyonnaise with cipollini onions, fingerling potatoes and herb demi-glace and crème brûlée. The $44 menu includes grilled marker swordfish with garlicky spinach, oven-dried tomatoes and lemon beurre blanc and New York cheesecake.

7. Goose Island Brewpub
1800 N. Clybourn Ave.

The famous Chicago brewery has put together a beer and dinner pairing menu for Restaurant Week with Belgian Style Wild Ales Lolita, Juliet and Madame Rose paired with ricotta prosciutto, porchetta and flourless chocolate cake, respectively.

8. Mon Ami Gabi
2300 N. Lincoln Park W.

The traditional French bistro has a $33 dinner menu that offers entrées of trout amandine with lamonds and brown butter and classic beef bourguignon with buttered noodles, carrots, pearl onions and bacon, among others.

9. Perennial Virant
1800 N. Lincoln Ave.

The $33 dinner menu at the restaurant from Executive Chef Paul Virant allows diners to enjoy grilled rushing waters trout or pan roasted chicken sausage for a second course, and tiramisu or frozen key lime pie for dessert.

10. R.J. Grunts
2056 N. Lincoln Park W.

R.J. Grunts, the first Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, is participating in a $22 lunch and $33 dinner. Pick from buffalo, hot, super hot or BBQ wings for an appetizer with a burger and all-you-can-eat salad bar for the main dish. There's also dessert. Dinner includes a glass of wine.

11. Riccardo Trattoria
2119 N. Clark St.

Riccardo Trattoria specializes in Tuscan and Milanese cuisine and offers a choice of 18 entreé options for Restaurant Week. Pasta dishes from the restaurant's namesake chef include tortelloni al pesto stuffed with ricotta and spinach, pumpkin ravioli mantovana and prawn and leek ravioli in lobster bisque cream sauce.

12. Rustic House
1967 N. Halsted St.

Chef Jason Paskewitz presents maple leaf duck l'orange, flat iron au poivre and three-hour cured salmon as choices on Rustic House's $44, three-course menu. Wood-grilled octopus with picholine olives, tomato confit and charred greens is a first course choice for adventurous diners.

13. Standard Market Grill
444 W. Fullerton Parkway

Standard Market Grill has both a lunch and dinner menu with everything from burgers to Tuscan kale pizza and a honey-mustard chicken sandwich. Appetizer choices include chicken tortilla soup and chips and guacamole.

14. Stella Barra Pizzeria
1954 N. Halsted St.

The artisanal pizzeria offers two pies on its restaurant week menu: proscuitto and farm egg and handmade chitarra pasta. The prosciutto includes fresh mozzarella, chili flakes and a sunny-side up egg, while the chitarra pasta pizza is topped with slow roasted pork ragu and mint.

15. Summer House Santa Monica
1954 N. Halsted St.

The neighborhood newcomer opened its California-inspired restaurant in November, and for its first Chicago Restaurant Week menu puts together wood-grilled striped bass and slow braised pork shank as choices of entreé. Dessert features roasted pineapple crostata.

16. Tarantino's
1112 W. Armitage Ave.

Tarantino's specializes in Italian fare and offers five dishes for the main course during Restaurant Week: buccatini pasta with meatball in tomato sauce, fusilli pasta with sausage and spicy tomato cream sauce, chicken parmesan, pork chop with grape chutney, rosemary whipped potatoes and Napa cabbage, or the fish of the day. The menu is $33.

17. Vinci Restaurant
1732 N. Halsted St. #1

Vinci's menu offers a large menu for Restaurant Week with six antipasti options, eight second piatti choices and six desserts. Selections include roasted baby eggplant, marinated hen and tiramisu.