—Art Smith's famed Table Fifty-Two will hold its final blow-out service on New Year's Eve before closing to reconcept into the farm-to-table concept Blue Door Kitchen & Garden early next year. The restaurant will operate as usual until that night.
—Stephanie Izard is showing her "Star Wars" fan side today, offering a free "Wookie Pie" or "Princess Leia Bun" to every Little Goat customer who orders a Dark Matter coffee, which is now the house blend at her Randolph Row diner.
—Paul McGee's tiny Milk Room in the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel is proving to be one of the hottest new bars in town. Tickets through Feb. 12 were released on Monday via Tock, but if you want to go, you'd better act fast—as all Saturday seats and most Friday seats are already sold out.
—Maple & Ash, the swanky new Gold Coast steakhouse, recently opened its downstairs bar and more casual restaurant, appropriately named Maple & Ash Downstairs. The spot is open from 11 a.m. through close and serves an interesting selection of beverage maestro Christiana DeLucca's cocktails and a bistro-style all-day menu from chef Danny Grant.
—Many restaurants have kitchen counters, but how many have a pit room counter? Rub's Backcountry Smokehouse in West Ridge is starting to serve pit room dinners, where customers can eat in the smoker room at the restaurant and watch their meat being pulled, according to DNAinfo.