—After losing chef Thomas Lents to his native Detroit, Sixteen has a new executive chef inside the Trump Tower. They’ve promoted Nick Dostal to the position at the Michelin-starred restaurant. He spent two years as chef de cuisine at Sixteen, and he also worked at Grace. Expect a few changes, as Dostal tells Chicago he’s not quite the storyteller his predecessor was.
—While the city’s preposterous food truck laws remain, it looks like the city may cut the price of licensure for food carts. The Tribune reported that city officials are considering decreasing the $350 cost for a two-year food cart license, reducing it to $100. The city began regulating the industry last year. Many media is reporting that the city could see an uptick in carts. But in reality the byproduct is likely to be that more existing food carts would register.
—After 30 years on Taylor Street, Leona’s has closed that location at 1419 W. Taylor St., reported DNAinfo. It’s a sad fall for Leona’s, an Italian-American chain that once had restaurants all across the city. The rent was too high, but they’re trying to find a replacement location in the area.
—Valentine’s Day is full of bad decisions dining wise, but Eataly’s got heart-shaped pizzas from Rob Levitt of The Butcher & Larder. He’ll serve a pizza on Tuesday topped with B&L’s five-month-aged Spalla (cold-smoked dry pork shoulder rubbed with caraway, black pepper, bay leaves, cinnamon, all spice, and coriander), scamorza, Mighty Vine tomatoes, and a blend of parsley, rosemary, and extra virgin olive oil on Eataly’s Rustica pizza dough. It’s part of Eataly’s cheffy pizza series, and they’ll go for $18.
—Entente in Lakeview has brought on Meghan Konecny as their new bar director. Konecny’s experience includes time at Scofflaw and Sportsman’s Club. She’ll create beverage pairings and has debuted a new drink list. Her arrival coincides with chef Brian Fisher’s new winter menu, so there’s more reasons to try Entente or to go back.
—The special beer releases continue at Moody Tongue’s tasting room. On noon on Saturday, they’ll release their only barrel-aged beer of the year in bottles. That’s their 2017 Bourbon-Barrel Aged Chocolate Barleywine. It will put you back $30 for a four pack. The next day, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, founder/brewmaster Jared Rouben and pastry chef Shannon Morrison will teach a beer and cake pairing class for $50, and tickets are available here.
—Windy City Smokeout—the country music-themed barbecue festival that brings together some of the city’s better-known North Side barbecuers and a few popular out-of-town pitmasters—has released its lineup for this year’s event, held July 14 through July 19 and sponsored by Bub City/Joe’s Bar. Locally Bub City, Smoque BBQ, and Lillie’s Q will be there. Chicagoans will also get to taste food from Pappy’s Smokehouse (St. Louis), Hogapalooza (Wynne, Ark.), The Salt Lick (Driftwood, Texas), Little Miss BBQ (Phoenix), Ubons (Yazoo City, Miss.), 17th Street Barbecue (Murphysboro), Peg Leg Porker (Nashville), Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Nashville), Skylight Inn (Aydne, N.C.), and Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q (Atlanta). Myron Mixon will also, once more, hold barbecue classes. Get more info here.
—Speaking of fests, early-bird tickets for Chowdah Fest are onsale for $40. The event will take place March 6 at the Columbia Yacht Club. Participating chefs include Mexique’s Carlos Gaytan, Dirk & Terry Fucik from Dirk’s Fish & Gourmet and Lamar Moore from The Smoke Daddy.