The 5th annual Chicago Restaurant Week runs Feb. 17-26, but the time to prepare is now.
More than 200 restaurants in the city and suburbs will be participating, offering multi-course lunches for $22 and dinners for $33 and $44. (Not all participants are offering both lunch and dinner menus). Go to eatitupchicago.com to see all the participants, view the menus and make online reservations through OpenTable.com.
Better still, plan to attend the kickoff First Bites Bash, taking place Feb. 2 in the Great Hall at Union Station (500 W. Jackson St.). Host chef Stephanie Izard and 50 other participating chefs will dish out sweet and savory tastings, paired with Moet Hennessy wines, Blue Moon beer and Belvedere cocktails.
Admission is $125, and 100 percent of net proceeds will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Tickets are available online here.