—Chef/owner Iliana Regan has announced the latest theme dinner for Elizabeth, her Michelin-starred restaurant in Ravenswood. After dazzling diners with themes including Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, Regan will serve a menu in tribute to children’s book author Dr. Seuss. Tickets are discounted today, and are available through the end of January.
—The latest episode of Chewing, the podcast from WBEZ’s Monica Eng and the Tribune’s Louisa Chu, was released last week. Eng spoke with Danielle and Thai Dang from Hai Sous. The Dangs spoke about how gentrification affects operating restaurants in Pilsen. Last week, anti-gentrification graffiti hit two Pilsen restaurants (but not Hai Sous) and the week featured a tense incident outside between activists and the GM of the upcoming restaurant, S.K.Y. Thai Dang spoke about how he’s trying to be respectful of locals of Mexican descent by incorporating them into what they are doing at HaiSous; they’re not trying to change the neighborhood, he said. Danielle Dang talked about “preserving the fabric of the community” — including the building. Eng also speaks with restaurateur Alpana Singh.
—Some sad next to report: Last week, Village Pizzeria owner John Gagliarpi Sr. died. Gagliarpi Sr. owned the late-night pizza spot at 2356 W. Chicago Avenue in Ukrainian Village. Customers knew him for his unique demeanor, making in him a stand-out character in the city’s restaurant industry. The restaurant has been around for 20 years, and was victimized in 2012, as gunmen pointed their weapons at Gagliarpi during a late-night robbery. But despite the incident, the pizzeria persevered. A funeral was held on Wednesday, November 1.
—Chicago’s fourth-annual Mac & Cheese Fest was held over the weekend at the UIC Forum. The event brought together more than 60 Chicago-area restaurants to compete for who served the best macaroni and cheese. Here are some of the winners: Baptiste & Bottle — inside the Conrad Hotel off Michigan Avenue — won the lunch session for smoked cheese curd mac (smoked cream cheese, American cheese, pimento cheese sauce, Wisconsin cheese curds, chili sauce, panko bread crumbs, jalapenos and elbow noodles); Rack House Kitchen & Tavern — in suburban Arlington Heights — won the dinner Session with their Rack Mac Attack with burnt brisket smoked mac & cheese (smoked cheddar and rotini noodles topped with smoked brisket burnt ends and pickled jalapeños). Check the Facebook page for more winners.
—DMK Burger Bar, which announced in September an ambitious plan to franchise and to open 400 location in 10 years, has signed it first franchise partner. Carolyn Michael, who’s worked with Freshii, intends to open several locations next year “throughout the city,” according to a news release.
—Fan of puns and hip-hop have a new champion: Some former employees of Naansense, the fast-casual Indian restaurant with locations in the West Loop and the Loop, have put together a rap album in tribute to their former employers. It’s called Naan of Our Business and anyone interested can stream the music over at the link.