Restaurant Scene: Chocolate, chef battles and lobster fest

2013-10-18T00:00:00Z Restaurant Scene: Chocolate, chef battles and lobster festEloise Marie Valadez, (219) 933-3365

Time for new season of 'Check, Please!'

Catherine De Orio steps up to the table as the new host of "Check, Please!," and has her debut at 8 p.m. today on WTTW-Channel 11.

A Chicago area native, De Orio, is a food, travel and features writer, and has been a spokeswoman for national brands. The new host was one of 17 finalists to vie for the role. Also in the finalist mix earlier this year was Frank Brunacci, of Munster. Brunacci and his wife Lillian are the co-owners of The Chef's Diamond Company, a truffle importing business. He was also the former executive chef of Sixteen Restaurant at Chicago's Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago and has worked in kitchens around the world.

Celebrate All Things Chocolate

The Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show and National Chocolate & Dessert Show will be held today through Sunday at Chicago's Navy Pier.

The National Chocolate and Dessert Show is a trade show while the Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show is open to the general public. Among features of the Chicago Fine Chocolate show are French Pastry School demonstrations, a cake and pastry art gallery, sugar art gallery, Pastry Chicago's Haunted Cupcake Challenge and more. Cost for the consumer show is $25. For more information, visit

Chef Battle

Chicago Public Media and WBEZ will present its "Chef Battle: Dessert Edition" from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 23 at Kendall College, 900 N. North Branch St., Chicago. Attendees can participate in the tasting and judging of various desserts by pastry chefs from around Chicagoland. For more information, visit

Wine Down Thursdays

Town Club Steak and Seafood, 2904 45th St., Highland, presents "Wine Down Thursdays." On Thursdays, guests may receive 20 percent off a favorite bottle of wine. The restaurant will also present "Lobsta Fest #20" on Nov. 2. FYI: (219) 924-5227

The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach her at (219) 933-3365 or

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