— After recently closing its longtime River North location, beloved Carson’s Ribs will open its new flagship restaurant next week with a bang. The massive new River East outpost will host grand opening festivities from March 9-31 at 465 E. Illinois Street, formerly home to Quay, complete with free cocktails and live music nightly. More to come next week on the new spot which has room for 200 people and a year-round patio on the Chicago River.
— SPOILER ALERT: If anyone hasn’t seen Thursday night’s episode of Top Chef and plans to, then skip this item. That’s because last night’s show revealed the two finalists that will compete to become the 2018 “Top Chef,” and both of them are Chicagoans. Spiaggia’s Joe Flam will face off against Chicago native Adrienne Cheatham, who now lives in NYC, ensuring that someone with Chicago ties will be the champion. The finale airs Thursday, March 8, at 8 p.m. on Bravo. The Tribune has more.
— A small fire broke out on the roof of the Next/Aviary/Roister building on Wednesday evening, but fortunately it wasn’t enough to close any of those Alinea Group stalwarts. Owner Nick Kokonas says that “the fan on the hood had broken and flames had gone up through it” which caused “lots of smoke in the building” and praised CFD’s efforts as “awesome.” Check out his tweets about it below.
Huge Thanks (!) to the teams of the Chicago Fire Department and CPD who helped turn a scary potential fire at Roister / Next / Aviary / Tock into a minor incident. Professional, courteous, and highly competent on every level... thank you all so very much from The Alinea Group.— nick kokonas (@nickkokonas) March 1, 2018
...and thank you to all of our diners and patrons for your calm participation in an unexpected fire drill. And to our staff for making sure everyone was safe. Love our team and our customers.— nick kokonas (@nickkokonas) March 1, 2018
— A large number of Chicago’s best chefs will come together on March 14 to raise money for those in Puerto Rico impacted by Hurricane Maria. 22 chefs and restaurants, including Giuseppe Tentori, Bill Kim, Kevin Hickey, and Tony Mantuano will have tasting stations at Recipe for Relief at The Lakewood at 1758 W. Lake Street. $75 tickets include an open bar and are available here.
— And finally this year’s Chowdah Fest, the popular annual chowder competition, happens Monday, March 5 on the Columbia Yacht Club ship at 111 N. Lake Shore Drive. This year’s competing chefs include Jason Paskewitz, Jonathan Zaragoza, and Pete Coenen. $45 tickets ($60 at the door) include beer, wine and dessert and are available here.