RSSRestaurant Scene By Eloise Marie Valadez

A look at various happenings, reviews, chef info and other food talk from the region and Chicagoland.

Dining Buzz

October 30, 2014 1:00 am

Pro/Am Wine Tasting Contest: Geja's Cafe, 340 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago will present its 41st annual Professional/Amateur Wine Tasting Contest at 1 p.m. Sunday. Pros and amateurs will identify eight unmarked carafes of wine as well as identify the grape, place of origin and vintage. To enter, contestants must pay $20 and be 21 years of age or older. Call (773) 281-9101.

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Haunted Mansion meals, lamb dinners and anniversary celebration

Lamb Dinner

Chuck and Irene's, 6110 Kennedy Ave., Hammond, will present a lamb dinner at 11 a.m. Saturday at the restaurant. Cost is $15.  Ohter lamb dinner dates are Nov. 15 and 29. Call (219) 844-9812.

Haunted Shows/Events

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Time for chorizo, chili and Halloween brunch

Chorizo contest

Are you a fan of chorizo? The 5th annual El Popular Ivy Tech Chorizo Contest will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 24. Contestants will create a variety of chorizo recipes for everything from entrees to desserts. Winners will be announced at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $3 and attendees will sample each competing dish.

To purchase tickets, call (219) 392-3600, ext. 245. The event will be held at Ivy Tech's East Chicago campus, 410 E. Columbus Drive.

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Themed food events and more at local restaurants

Entertaining Meals

The  Bennett-Curtis House, 302 W. Taylor St., Grant Park, Ill, hosts a variety of specialty, themed meals and food events. The Speak Easy Jazz Event will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Sept. 19 and Dec. 12. A 5-course meal with beer, wine, specialty drinks and more will be featured. Cost is $38.95.

For food fans also interested in a bit of otherworldly fun, attend the mansion's Psychic Luncheon. Upcoming luncheons are scheduled on Sept. 14, Oct 12 and 26; Nov. 9 and 23 and Dec. 7 and 21.

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Perfect Pairings takes on Thai theme

Perfect Pairings takes on Thai theme

Horseshoe Casino's recent Perfect Pairings event on Aug. 21 starred a variety of Thai flavors.

The event, held in Jack Binion's Steakhouse, featured a selection of dishes prepared by executive sous chef Jadrian Hanko and Horseshoe's executive chef Mark Angeles plus wine offerings from various wineries and beverage companies.

"We came up with five items for this event," said Hanko, about the recipes served. The chef said they wanted to match the complex flavors of Thai cuisine with the interesting flavors of the wines.

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Giuseppe's wins praise for authentic Italian recipes

Giuseppe's wins praise for authentic Italian recipes

Joe Belmonte and his family have the recipe for superb Italian fare and they're serving it at Giuseppe's Restaurant in Schererville.

The restaurant debuted in the fall of 2011 on Eagle Ridge Drive not far from ShowPlace Theaters and is a short walk from the Schererville Post Office.

Giuseppe's may be off the beaten path (it's a block in from busy Indianapolis Boulevard) but in the past three years the eatery has drawn much repeat business from Italian food fans who've spread the word.

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Readers share shopping and savings tips

July 06, 2014 1:00 am  • 

My readers have been busy sending in their favorite tips for shopping, couponing, saving money and more. Here’s a roundup of some of the best emails I’ve received lately.

“Dear Jill,

This tip is so easy but I’m afraid many people don’t take advantage of it. If you carry a coupon wallet or binder, put a return address label inside the cover with your name and address on it. If you lose your coupons (and face it, a lot of us carry many coupons around) you have no way to get those coupons back to you without some info on it. You wouldn’t take a suitcase on a trip without a luggage tag, right? Couponers are generally pretty good people and I sure would mail someone’s wallet back if I found it left in a cart. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention.

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Meatheads opens first eatery in Northwest Indiana

Meatheads opens first eatery in Northwest Indiana
June 26, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Personnel behind Meatheads, the casual eatery with the slogan "thoughtful food by caring people" recently brought the restaurant to Northwest Indiana.

Meatheads' Munster location opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 2. The restaurant chain, which began in Bloomington, Ill., will also debut a Schererville eatery on Indianapolis Boulevard sometime this summer.

At Meatheads, burgers, sandwiches, fries, salads, milkshakes and more star on the menu, which boasts "high quality, fresh and  never frozen" ingredients.

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Sage serves up Italian cuisine at its finest

Sage serves up Italian cuisine at its finest
May 22, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Fresh, quality ingredients, innovative preparations and a chef-driven menu star at Sage Restaurant in Chesterton.

The restaurant, owned by executive chef Joe Gaal, opened three years ago. Its menu features a variety of American/Italian offerings from specialty salads and pizzas to homemade pasta, seafood, risotto, sandwiches, flatbreads, cheese selections, innovative desserts and more.

"We want to continue bringing a quality product to people," said Gaal, adding he strives to offer recipes that stand out and are different from other restaurants.

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Dining Buzz

May 15, 2014 1:00 am  • 

Vegas Italiano

Blue Chip Casino's It's Vegas Baby presents "Vegas Italiano" from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursdays. Guests may create their own entree for $12.95. Visit

Lobsta Fest

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