Celebrate National Sandwich Month Buona, The Original Italian Beef

 

CHICAGO – August 10, 2017 – August is National Sandwich Month and Buona is celebrating the roots of the Italian beef – the National Sandwich of Chicago. Opening his first restaurant in 1981, Buonavolanto family patriarch, Joe Sr., was among a group of Italian immigrants who made the Italian beef sandwich a staple of Chicago’s food culture. Earlier this year, Buona family members joined fellow Italian beef pioneers from Al’s Beef on National Italian Beef Dayfor a roundtable discussion on the origins of the sandwich. The group shared stories about the early days when Al’s was called “Al’s BBQ”, and gave credit to Pasquale Scala for making it possible for many family business to open beef stands (see infographic) and to Joe Sr.’s brother Carlo (“Uncle Junior”), who founded the iconic Mr. Beef on Orleans and was instrumental in helping Buona develop the authentic, all-natural recipe its family follows to this day. Watch excerpts from the roundtable discussion here.

Buona will feed Chicagoans’ love of their local sandwich with these specials during the month of August.

  • From August 9-August 15: every “Big Hurt” sandwich ordered the way White Sox great Frank Thomas likes it, earns an entry into a competition for a Frank Thomas autographed jersey.
  • August 16 – August 22: every “Rizzo Way” sandwich ordered the way Cubs Firstbaseman   Anthony Rizzo likes it, earns an entry into a competition to win an Anthony Rizzo autographed jersey.

About Buona Restaurants
The first Buona restaurant began serving Chicago’s original Italian beef in Berwyn, Ill. in 1981. The Official Italian Beef of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, Buona has direct ties to the origination of Chicago’s iconic Italian beef sandwich, and has helped bring it some national attention by spearheading the creation of National Italian Beef Day. Founded by Buonavolanto patriarch Joe Buonavolanto, Sr., the group has remained family owned throughout its expansion – furthering a legacy that is equal parts family values, innovation, and adaptation. Today Buona is a next-generation beef stand – a place that is the perfect blend of old-school indulgence in Chicago classics and next generation menu choices – made with a focus on fresh, scratch-made food. While the menu has expanded, the original Italian beef recipe has not been compromised – for the three generations of Buonavolantos who are active in the company, compromise and quality are never uttered in the same breath.

Buona’s Italian beef sandwich has won several awards and accolades since its inception, including USA TODAY’s 10BestThe Chicago Tribune’s Best Italian Beef in Chicago, Steve Dolinsky’s Essential Italian Beef Joints in Chicago(land)Eater’s 11 Essential Chicago Italian Beef Restaurants, Berwyn’s Best, West Suburban Living’s Best of the WestThe Daily Herald’s Reader’s Choice Award. Buona retail products are now sold at Target, Jewel, Mariano’s, Aldi and Peapod.

For more information, visit Buona online at www.buona.com, like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
For more information, visit Buona online at www.buona.com, like on Facebook or follow on Twitter or Instagram.

Kudos to the city, the chefs, the restaurateurs, and all front-and back-of-the house folks who make the Chicago culinary scene awesome!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/restaurants/ct-chicago-bon-appetit-restaurant-city-of-year-2017-story.html#nws=true

National Sandwich Month

Did you know August is #NationalSandwhichMonth? Before you go running to Buona, check out their impressive history!

Have a SWEET birthday Anthony Rizzo!

iHeart Radio Loves Buona Beef!

Fred and Angi from iHeart Radio love Buona Beef – and so do we!


Celebrate the First Total Eclipse of the Sun in Nearly 100 Years with a Box of Astrological Chocolates

LAKE COUNTY, IL. (July 31, 2017) –The Chocolate Sanctuary, Lake County’s acclaimed restaurant, lounge and chocolate shop, introduces their Zodiac Chocolate Collection just in time for the total solar eclipse on August 21st ­– the first in nearly a century. Many astrologists believe that eclipses bring on the unexpected, forcing earth dwellers into action…like looking for surprises in a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump was wont to do.

 

The whimsical selection of handcrafted chocolates with unique treats tailored for each astrological sign. The beautifully packaged collection sells for $27, and includes one chocolate for each sign along with a description of how each candy appeals to a corresponding zodiacal archetype. Sign-specific boxes containing four pieces of an individual sign’s chocolate are also available for $9. Perfect for birthday gifts and celebratory gatherings like showers, office parties and more, the collection includes twelve house-made artisanal chocolates designed for each of the astrological signs:

 

  • Capricorn – Vanilla Bean Truffle (December 22-January 19)
    Earthy Capricorn is a traditional sign that likes to keep things simple. Experimenting isn’t always in their constitution – they’ll find pleasure in the elegantly simple vanilla bean truffle.
  • Aquarius – Birthday Cake (January 20 to February 18)
    Aquarius is friendly, committed to social causes and loves surprises and spontaneity. What better treat than a birthday cake?
  • Pisces – Irish Cream (February 19 to March 20)
    Pisces go to great depths to experience transcendent bliss. Is there a better path than a blend of chocolate, cream and liqueur? We think not!
  • Aries – Cookies ’N Cream (March 21-April 19)
    While Aries possess a strong sense of adventure, their derring-do stops in the area of food.  As the first sign of the zodiac, their childlike spirits gravitate toward “kid” foods. Cookies ’N Cream anyone?
  • Taurus – Champagne Truffle (April 20-May 20)
    Taurus is an earth sign ruled by Venus, the goddess of beauty and pleasure which means they tend to gravitate toward the finer things – especially when it comes to food and drink. Toast their good taste with a champagne truffle.
  • Gemini – Some Like It Hot (May 21-June 20)
    Gemini tastes can swing to extremes. They burn through energy as quickly as they burn through interests – so a blend of sweet and hot perfectly suits their twin desires.
  • Cancer – Grasshopper (June 21-July 22)
    Cancers have never met a cream-based dish they didn’t like. Comforting themselves with food is a Cancer pastime – they simply love decadent delights. The rich and creamy flavor of a grasshopper truffle is pure Cancer heaven.
  • Leo – The Peanut Butter Dome (July 23-August 22)
    Glamorous and theatrical Leo dreams of performing in a domed stadium! Seeking instant gratification and loving decadence, Leos will go gaga for the Peanut Butter Dome.
  • Virgo –Raspberry Truffle (August 23-September 22)
    It’s got fruit in it, and that’s healthy! Or so the health-conscious (and slightly neurotic) Virgo will rationalize as they pop these in their mouths.
  • Libra – Salted Caramel (September 23-October 22)
    The sign of balance loves the sweet-and-salty contrast of this truffle, as it lets them flip-flop between opposite flavors – never having to decide on just one.
  • Scorpio – Espresso Truffle (October 23-November 21)
    Sultry Scorpio is the zodiac’s most mysterious sign. The mingling of rich chocolate and elegantly bitter espresso sates their intensity.
  • Sagittarius – Honey Lavender Caramel (November 22-December 21)
    Sagittarius loves binging on over-the-top treats, and this somewhat exotic mix of flavors is right up their alley.

The Zodiac Collection is available at the retail shop inside the Chocolate Sanctuary Restaurant and Lounge. The individual chocolates can be found here.

 

For more information or to make a reservation call 224.944.0808. Reservations can also be made on OpenTable.

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About The Chocolate Sanctuary

The Chocolate Sanctuary celebrates the cocoa bean in its many forms. Brunch, lunch and dinner selections include a variety of beautifully plated main courses, appetizers, drinks and desserts that incorporate the restaurant’s namesake ingredient alongside delicious options where chocolate is optional – or non-existent. The food is complimented by a selection of craft cocktails, along with a carefully curated selection of wine and craft beer. In addition, the restaurant sells artfully packaged house-made craft chocolates, signature chocolate bread and a variety of chocolate-inspired gift items. Private event space at The Chocolate Sanctuary can accommodate from 10-150 guests. The Chocolate Sanctuary has received the Open Table Diner’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2017, and was named “One of the Area’s Most Romantic Spots” by WGN TV’s Marcus Leshock.

 

The Chocolate Sanctuary is located at 5101 Washington Street, Gurnee, IL 60031.

Hours: Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday Brunch: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m and Sunday Dinner: 4 p.m.-9 p.m.

 

For more information or to make a reservation, visit http://www.thechocolatesanctuary.com. Like The Chocolate Sanctuary on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or Instagram.

Check out Blast’s creative work for the CrossTown Beef for BuonaBeef

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants Opens Ninth Chicagoland Location in Oak Park

CHICAGO –July 11, 2017 – Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, a lifestyle brand that encompasses one of the largest Wine Clubs in the world, opens ninth Chicago area location in Oak Park on July 17, 2017. The new restaurant is located at 950 Lake Street in downtown Oak Park. Cooper’s Hawk is an award-winning winery, restaurant, artisan market and Napa-style tasting room concept with headquarters in Countryside Illinois. The company was founded in 2005 by CEO Tim McEnery.

“Oak Park is an historic and beautiful urban village,” says John Inserra, President of Cooper’s Hawk. “We look forward to becoming part of the fabric of this vital community – a place where people gather to unwind and reconnect over a great meal and a glass of wine.”

The concept is built upon McEnery’s passionate belief that food and wine hold the power to forge lasting connections. His restaurants are home to 250,000+ Wine Club members, who enjoy limited production Wines of the Month, unique travel and dining experiences, and many other benefits.

The Oak Park culinary team is proudly led by Nick Odell, who has been with Cooper’s Hawk since 2015. Odell works closely with Executive Chef Matt McMillin to ensure the utmost in quality and presentation of the expansive contemporary American menu. Utilizing peak of season ingredients, the restaurant’s scratch kitchen selections include a carefully crafted array of food and wine pairings, each listed with a bin number to guide guests’ selections of their perfect wine match. Some menu favorites include:

  • Candied Bacon & Artisan Cheeses – Trio of Cheeses: Stracciatella, Salemville Bleu, Sartori Parmesan, Honeycomb, Black Fig Jam, Grilled Polenta Crostini – Optional Pairing flight features Cooper’s Hawk Lux Sparkling, Viognier, Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Gnocchi Bolognese with braised short rib – San Marzano Tomatoes, Pancetta, Burrata Dolce, Extra Virgin Olive Oil – BIN 40 Super Tuscan
  • Southern Hot Chicken – Open-Face Buttermilk Biscuit, Creamy Bleu Cheese Slaw, House-brined Bread & Butter Pickles, Classic Mac and Cheese – BIN 75 Cooper’s Hawk White
  • Pan Roasted Barramundi – Blistered Green Beans, Grape Tomatoes, Ginger Rice, Thai Lemongrass Sauce; a version of this dish also appears on the restaurant’s under-600-calorie Life Balance menu – BIN 70 Unoaked Chardonnay
  • Shrimp & Scallop Risotto – Sweet Corn, Asparagus, Peas, Spinach, Parmesan, White Truffle Oil with Carnaroli Rice – BIN 30 Cooper’s Hawk Lux Sparkling
  • Wild Mushroom-Crusted Chicken – Sweet Corn And Pea Risotto, Shiitake Mushroom, Spinach, Lemon Butter – BIN 74 Cooper’s Hawk Lux Chardonnay

 

The company has won nearly 450 wine awards, importing grapes from the best vineyards across the globe and producing over 40 varietals in its Countryside, Il winery. Crafted to please a range of palates, Cooper’s Hawk wines include selections that are accessible for those new to the world of wine, as well as complex and full-bodied options for more seasoned drinkers. In addition to the wine menu, guests can choose from a selection of craft cocktails and sangrias made with Cooper’s Hawk wine. These include inventive takes on a classic Collins cocktail (Harvest Peach Collins made with Slaughter House Whiskey), a Caipirinha with Cooper’s Hawk Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as creative martinis such as a Blood Orange Paloma Martini (Casa Noble Tequila and Cooper’s Hawk Prosecco).

The restaurant’s design evokes the architecture of California wine country, welcoming guests into an environment that encourages conversation over food and wine. The expansive 12,000-square-foot space includes a lively tasting room and market, indoor dining for 225 people (inclusive of bar area seating), outdoor dining for 38 people, and a private event space that can accommodate up to 40 people.

Local Oak Park firm Aria Group Architects Inc. made the most of the urban setting afforded by the Oak Park location in the design of the restaurant. The firm has been the company’s design partner for 10 years, designing 29 locations.

“We are thrilled to be a part of bringing the Cooper’s Hawk experience to our home town,” says Dan Bernatek, Aria Project Lead for Cooper’s Hawk Oak Park. “This unique location gave us the opportunity to blend the raw look of exposed concrete columns and lofty wood ceilings with an overall feel of California wine country.”

Cooper’s Hawk Oak Park located at 950 Lake Street in the Vantage Apartments complex, a location that affords quick access from Chicago and the western suburbs.

Address:
950 Lake St.
Oak Park, IL 60301

 

Hours of operation are:

Monday – Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Friday & Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

 

About Cooper’s Hawk:

Redefining the modern casual dining experience, Cooper’s Hawk is an unparalleled combination of restaurant, winery, Napa-style tasting room, and artisanal retail market. The innovative concept partners with some of the best grape growers in the world to craft the award-winning Cooper’s Hawk wine collection. Additionally, Cooper’s Hawk boasts one of the country’s largest Wine Clubs, a life-style driven monthly affiliation offering exclusive wines, events, and privileges.

 

More:

Website: www.chwinery.com

Twitter: @chwinery

Instagram: @chwinery

Facebook: www.facebook.com/coopershawk

 

The Crosstown Classic Finds a Crosstown Cause – Buona Beef Is Asking Fans To Choose Sides To Support The Battle Against Cancer

CHICAGO (July 19, 2017) – Buona, Chicago’s Original Italian Beef and the official beef of the Cubs and the White Sox, is expanding the crosstown competition beyond the confines of Chicago’s ballparks to raise money for a crosstown cause: knocking cancer out of the park! Buona has been a proud supporter of the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation for two years, and is urging Chicago baseball fans to get in on the action by voting for their spokesperson’s favorite sandwich – the Frank Thomas “Make It Hurt” Italian beef (baptized and topped with hot giardiniera), or the “Rizzo Way” with cheese and red gravy. Buona will donate ten cents to the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation for every vote – their goal is to get at least 50,000 fans to participate, raising $5,000 for the cause. Northsiders, Southsiders and out-of-towners can vote between now and July 30th at TheCrosstownBeef.com and by going to any of Buona’s 19 locations to order a “Big Hurt” or a “Rizzo Way” sandwich.

 

To cast your vote go to TheCrosstownBeef.com and be sure to Check out the Crosstown Commercial.

 

 

About Buona Restaurants

The first Buona restaurant began serving Chicago’s original Italian beef in Berwyn, Ill. in 1981. The Official Italian Beef of the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox, Buona has direct ties to the origination of Chicago’s iconic Italian beef sandwich, and has helped bring it some national attention by spearheading the creation of National Italian Beef Day. Founded by Buonavolanto patriarch Joe Buonavolanto, Sr., the group has remained family owned throughout its expansion – furthering a legacy that is equal parts family values, innovation, and adaptation. Today Buona is a next-generation beef stand – a place that is the perfect blend of old-school indulgence in Chicago classics and next generation menu choices – made with a focus on fresh, scratch-made food. While the menu has expanded, the original Italian beef recipe has not been compromised – for the three generations of Buonavolantos who are active in the company; compromise and quality are never uttered in the same breath.

 

Buona’s Italian beef sandwich has won several awards and accolades since its inception, including USA TODAY’s 10 BestThe Chicago Tribune’s Best Italian Beef in Chicago, Steve Dolinsky’s Essential Italian Beef Joints in Chicago(land)Eater’s 11 Essential Chicago Italian Beef Restaurants, Berwyn’s Best, West Suburban Living’s Best of the WestThe Daily Herald’s Reader’s Choice Award. Buona retail products are now sold at Target, Jewel, Mariano’s, Aldi and Peapod.

 

For more information, visit Buona online at www.buona.com, like on Facebook or follow on Twitter or Instagram.

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The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet Brings Wine & Whimsy To Randolph Restaurant Row

Tri-level Bar & Bistro Offers Multifaceted Options For Celebrating Life’s Simple Pleasures

CHICAGO (July 19, 2017) – The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet (“The Lunatic”), a bar and bistro that celebrates life with wine, spirits and culinary delights, brings a unique blend of whimsy and wisdom to Randolph Street. The three-level, 7,000-square-foot establishment located at 736 W. Randolph Street serves brunch, lunch and dinner, and features a late night happy hour. The concept, inspired by Shakespeare’s iconic A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is the brainchild of Managing Partner and Sommelier Tom Powers, who was behind some of the district’s pioneering restaurants (Vivo, Marche, Red Light). The Lunatic is a neighborhood oasis in the trendy area, serving elegantly balanced wines, thoughtful craft cocktails and highly inventive sharable plates at reasonable prices. Their late night happy hour (Monday-Friday from 10 p.m. until Midnight) features a small plates menu and weekly cocktail and wine specials.

 

Executive Chef Jessica Nowicki (Naha, Brindille) respects the integrity of the fresh ingredients that are the building blocks of her menu. Diners will find unusual takes on bistro classics that let subtle flavor profiles shine through. Some menu favorites include:

  • Brunch
    • French Toast w Raspberry & Cream Cheese Stuffed Brioche
    • La Quercia Prosuitto Sandwich on a Croissant with Cheddar Cheese
    • Fried Egg & Arugula Salad
    • Roasted Wild Mushroom Quiche
  • Lunch-
    • Grilled Cheese on Brioche with Brie, Prosciutto & a Pear Compote
    • Roast Beet & Smoked Trout Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette, Arugula & Toasted Hazelnuts
    • The Lunatic Burger with a Double Patty, Hooks Cheddar, Garlic Aioli, House Pickles, Lettuce & Tomato (available all day)
  • Dinner-
    • Yukon Gold Potato Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms, Marcona Almonds & Mache
    • Sea Scallops with La Quercia Prosciutto, Citrus Beurre Blanc, Fava Beans & English Peas
    • Lamb Lollipops with Ramp Pesto, Herb Salad & Greek Yogurt

The bar offers a diverse selection of bottled and taps wines. Powers is uniquely focused on wines that are balanced and elegant, with representation from the United States and across Europe. By-the-glass selections include:

  • Avinyó, Pet Nat, , Penedes, Spain, NV
  • Qupe Chardonnay, Y Block, Bien Nacido, Central Coast, 2014
  • Xarmant, Txokolina, Arabako, Basque, Spain, 2016
  • Tablas Creek, Patelin de Rose, CA 2016,
  • Movia, Ribolla Gialla, Slovenia, 2012
  • Au Bon Climat, Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara, 2015
  • Domaine du Grand Bouqueteau, Chinon, 2012

Wine enthusiasts will be delighted by the diverse selection of over 200 wines by the bottle, including the American and European classics along with an impressive showing of more adventurous offerings like orange wines and pet-nats. Selections include:

  • Au Bon Climat, Hildegard, Santa Maria Valley, 2012
  • Guisseppe Quintarellii, Secco Cá del Merlo, 2015
  • Jean Foillard, Morgon, Côte du Py, 2015
  • Hirsch, Pinot Noir, San Andreas Fault, Sonoma, 2013
  • Olga Raffault, Chinon, Les Picasses, 2007

 

“The Lunatic brings something entirely different to the area,” says Powers. “We offer an array of unique craft cocktails and a beautiful selection of wines in a range of price points, and a menu that has a distinctive rustic elegance. Chef Nowicki’s seasonal dishes include delightful and beautifully prepared options. In her Executive Chef position, Jessica has communicated a sense of balance, integrity and elegance that belies her 28 years. She is one of the emerging talents in the American food scene.”

 

The Lunatic’s décor spans three levels, and evokes the Shakespearian imagination inherent in the three character aspects (Lunatic, Lover, Poet) contemplated Act V, Sene I, of his famous Midsummer Night’s Dream-themed work. Guests are greeted by The Lunatic bar upon entry – a long and lovely expanse where neighbors, friends and strangers gather for wine, cocktails and small bites. The Lunatic bar opens into the first floor dining room, which seats 36 guests. The upper floor Skylight Room houses The Lover’s bar and dining space that are at once airy, elegant and comfortable. Beautifully lit and dotted with a Jackson Pollock inspired art piece, the space seats 20 for dinner, 16 for cocktails and 12 at the bar. The Skylight Room accommodates private events for up to 50 guests. The lower level features the Poet’s Table, a charmingly intimate setting for private parties in the Wine Room and meetings for up to 12 guests.

 

About LLP:

The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet (“The Lunatic”) is a bar and bistro that celebrates wine, spirits and culinary delights. The concept, inspired by the three character facets explored in Shakespeare’s iconic A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is a three-level establishment and neighborhood gathering place that serves brunch, lunch and dinner, and features a late night happy hour. The space is ideal for private events with unique spaces that can accommodate from 12 guests at the Poet’s Table in the Wine Room to 50 in the Skylight Room.

The restaurant was named “One of the Best New Wine Bars” by Food & Wine Magazine, “One of the Hottest Places to have a Cocktail” by Eater Chicago, One of the Hottest Restaurants by Chicago Magazine and Zagat, was recommended for lunch by Crain’s Chicago Business, and recognized for serving one of Chicago’s best burgers in the annual Red Eye “Battle of the Burgers” competition.

 

736 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60661. Reservations: (312) 775-0069 or on OpenTable.
Hours of Operation:

Fri & Sat         5–12PM

Sun        11:30-2   5–9PM

Mon-Fri 11:30AM–2PM, 5–10PM

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