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Free cooking class; Big Jones closing April 25-26
Dining news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

—ItaliAsia will host the fifth installment of its monthly cooking demos Thursday, May 24, at 350 W. Mart Center Dr. Chef Johnny Foster will showcase two of his favorite Asian dishes from the ItaliAsia menu: Mongolian tenderloin and fiery chicken. The demo is free ( with food samples and wine pairings ) , but enrollment is limited to 40. Email italiasia@martplaza.com .

—Big Jones, 5347 N. Clark St., is closing all day April 25 and for lunch April 26. The restaurant will revamp its growing collection of whiskeys; offer draft beer; and update its menu with Southern fare priced $12-$18. See www.bigjoneschicago.com .

—Phil Stefani's 437 Rush and RIVA Crab House on Navy Pier have translated the dinner menus at each restaurant into six different languages for the NATO Summit that will take place in Chicago May 20-21. The menus have been translated to accommodate guests who speak Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and French. The complete translated menus are available upon request.

—LUXBAR, 18 E. Bellevue Pl., is presenting its spring brunch menu with items such as the Gold Coast omelet ( with chives, parsley, tarragon and wild mushroom-truffle cheese sauce ) and veggie hash ( diced potatoes, diced onions, butternut squash, zucchini, bell peppers ) . See www.luxbar.com .

—Brasserie by LM, the recently opened traditional French brasserie in Chicago's Essex Inn at 800 S. Michigan Ave. ( replacing Tribute ) , announces new menu items. Led by Chef Partner Brad Phillips, Brasserie offers a destination for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as well as a menu du jour; and a $25 three-course prix fixe that includes soup or salad, entrĂ©e and dessert. See www.BrasseriebyLM.com

—Evanston's Koi, 624 Davis St., is offering three courses for $15 per person—available every day for guests seated before 6 p.m. The courses are hot and sour or miso soup; house maki roll; and a Chinese plate entree. See www.koievanston.com .

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—Chicago q, 1160 N. Dearborn St., has launched boxed lunches as part of its catering menu. Boxes include a chicken, brisket or pork sandwich; Pig Powder chips; and a chocolate-chip cookie or an oatmeal with candied bacon cookie. The lunches are $13 each, with a 10-person minimum. See www.DiningIn.com or call 312-642-1160.

—Kraft Foods Inc is discontinuing its Athenos line of Greek yogurt, according to the Chicago Tribune. Athenos—which also produces feta cheese, hummus and pita chips—discontinued the yogurt in March.

—Water Tower Place eatery FOODease will host a book-signing with Chicago pastry chef Sarah Levy, author of Sweetness: Delicious Bakes Treats for Every Occasion, on Saturday, April 28, 12-2 p.m. FOODease will feature Levy's Toffee for guests to taste and buy, and the cookbook will be available for $20. See www.FOODeaseChicago.com or call 312-335-3663.

—Michael Dorf and the City Winery Chicago management team hosted a laying of the winery's foundation April 11. The 33,000-square-foot winery and hospitality facility will feature cuisine that borrows from Mediterranean cultures and history. City Winery's wine list has more than 400 producers from around the world in addition to more than 20 in-house produced wines sourced from vineyards in California, Oregon, Washington, Argentina and Chile. It's slated to open in August.

—"Vinitaly in the World" Italian wine tasting will take place Monday, April 30, at the River East Arts Center, 435 E. Illinois St., 6-8:30 p.m. More than 200 wines will be featured, complete with light food pairings. Tickets are $30 each; see www.Vinitaly2012.eventbrite.com .

—National Prime Rib Day is Friday, April 27. To mark it, Lawry's ( 100 E. Ontario St. ) will be offering a prix fixe menu for two during April, in addition to a traditional "Family Time Dinner" in a tech-free zone April 22. Among the prix fixe menu items are mini meat-and-potato martinis, Yorkshire pudding and, of course, prime rib. See www.LawrysOnline.com .

—Chicago Cut Steakhouse, 300 N. LaSalle St., will present an exclusive Joseph Phelps wine dinner Wed., April 25. Guests are invited to taste the Phelps portfolio with food pairings from newly appointed Executive Chef Russell Kook. Tickets are $300 each; see www.chicagocutsteakhouse.com or call 312-329-1800.

—Ceres' Table, 4882 N. Clark St., has unveiled its spring menu. Among the items are arancine ( fried risotto balls with artichokes, saffron and taleggio cheese ) , baby artichoke salad, trio of seafood ( salmon, laughing bird shrimp and grilled octopus ) , Skuna Bay salmon, Becker Lane pork chop, goat cheese ravioli, almond tart and Sicilian seafood stew. See www.cerestable.com or call 773-878-4882.

Send items to Andrew@WindyCityMediaGroup.com .

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