—Renowned NYC chef Alex Stupak and his acclaimed Mexican restaurant Empellon is collaborating with Grant Achatz on a popup at The Aviary on November 2. Try Stupak's tacos, dishes and drinks, get a signed copy of his book Tacos: Recipes & Provocations, and drink lots of mezcal for $55. Tickets are available on The Aviary site. [UPDATE: Tickets are sold out.]
—In other Mexican restaurant news, Andersonville hotspot Cantina 1910 has launched weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. with dishes such as antelon pancakes and a pollo milanesa with sunny side eggs. There's also new cocktails and larger entrees on the dinner menu.
—Dixie Kitchen shuttered its Evanston location, Evanston Now reports. The southern restaurant, best known for being an Obama favorite in Hyde Park, opened north of the border in 1998.
—Blue Door Farm Stand is indeed taking over the shuttered Armitage Pizzeria space, but it turns out its only temporary. Look for Blue Door Farmstand, Too to start this weekend at 711 W. Armitage but there's no word yet on how long it will last.
—Za'atar MedGrill, an apparent Middle Eastern restaurant, is coming to the former Chilapan at 2466 W. Armitage, according to coming soon signage.
—Expect more new spots to open on the Riverwalk next year, as the city is scouting for more restaurant and bar concessions.
—Is it a tamale? Is it ramen? Apparently the new "ramen-male" at Dia De Los Tamales is both, described as "slow braised pork belly, seared with sweet chili spices, wrapped in ramen noodle masa, served in sweet chili ramen broth with mushroom melange, soft boiled egg, radish and scallion."