— Ella Elli, 4 Star Restaurant Group’s sophisticated new restaurant and cocktail lounge on the Southport corridor, starts brunch service this weekend. Sunday is the first official day, but it’ll be available on Saturdays too starting next weekend. Check out the menu below, which offers red flannel hash, stuffed brioche French toast, a $42 mimosa bar, and a bourbon, amaro, and cold brew coffee cocktail.
— Many Chicago Starbucks locations are now donating unsold food — bistro boxes, breakfast sandwiches, paninis, salads, yogurts and baked goods — to the Chicago Food Depository. 118 stores in Cook County now take part in the coffee chain giant’s FoodShare program, which a news release predicts will give 693,000 pounds of food to Chicago’s homeless population annually. The chain is expecting to eventually expand the program to all Chicago stores, of which there are more than 200, Chicagoist reports.
— DVR Alert: The finale of “Iron Chef Gauntlet” hits the airwaves Sunday at 8 p.m. CST, when Chicago’s own Stephanie Izard tries to become the next Iron Chef by defeating Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto, and Micheal Symon in one three-round episode. Izard defeated another of Chicago’s finest chefs, Sarah Grueneberg, last week to advance to this final episode.
— The original, popular Opart Thai location in Lincoln Square at 4658 N. Western Ave. has been shut down by city health inspectors who cited cockroaches in the kitchen and food stored at improper temperatures, DNAinfo reports. A sign on the window says it’ll reopen today and that the 1371 W. Chicago Ave. and 1906 S. State St. locations remain open.
— Iliana Regan’s culinary director, Justin Behlke, has left to assume the same role for Pilot Light, the charity founded by major local chefs Paul Kahan, Jason Hammel, Matthias Merges, and Justin Large, the Tribune reports. Behlke helmed much of the opening of Kitsune.
— And finally, Portillo’s is bringing back its popular-but-discontinued lemon cake, according to a news release and multiple reports, which is a major win started for a man named Ben on Reddit. It’ll be available from June 13 - July 31 at all stores, while supplies last. Check out the chain’s video of the story behind the lemon cake’s return below.