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The Big Deals 12.28.12

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From upscale to low-cal, the Sun-Times’ “Big Deals” column brings readers the dish on food and drink specials that will not break the bank.

Crafty lot

Troquet, 1834 W. Montrose. The “Menu de Grignotage,” designed to complement the bar’s crafted cocktails, includes phyllo-wrapped brie with truffle honey, $5; prosciutto and pears with a red wine reduction, $4; Troquet frites with garlic and parmesan, $5, and balsamic-marinated olives and artichoke hearts with garlic and herbs, $4. Call (773) 334-5664; .

Signature touch

Signature Room Lounge in theJohn Hancock, 875 N. Michigan. Winter cocktails are the Carmel Apple (Smirnoff caramel vodka and Thatcher’s apple-spice liqueur) and the Godiva Chocolate martini (Pinnacle whipped cream vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Godiva liqueur), $14 each. Visit .

French blend

Everest, 440 S. LaSalle. Chef Jean Joho’s new tea program features his two exclusive, hand-crafted blends: Fruits of Alsace (black tea, plumb and cherry essence with bits of dried apricot) and Harvest (herbal tea blend with dried fruits, vanilla and lemon oil). Call (312) 663-8920; .

New approach

La Madia, 59 W. Grand. NYE deals, available beginning at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 31, include the holiday pasta (gnocchi with seafood), $21. Call (312) 329-0400; .

Daily grub

John Barleycorn, 1100 American Lane, Schaumburg. New daily specials, available 4-11 p.m., include a full slab of baby back ribs, fries and choice of soup or salad ($12.95, Sunday); fried chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy corn bread and choice of soup or salad ($12.95, Monday); $2 tacos (Tuesday); $8 flatbread pizzas (Wednesday); half-pound cheeseburger with fries$6, Thursday); 14-ounce king-cut prime rib dinner with au jus, horseradish cream and a loaded baked potato ($17.95, Friday) and a weekly rotating three-course prix-fixe dinner ($14.95, Saturday). Call (847) 619-5540; .

Think thin

The Melting Pot, participating locations. The restaurant rolls outs its new “Skinny Dipping” menu, available Jan. 1-March 31, in time for the annual “New Year, New You” health kick. Guests can design a three-fondue course for under 700 calories. Visit .

NYE specials

Bakersfield, 330 E. Ogden, Westmont. Chef Brian Wright’s New Year’s Eve specials include a barrel-cut filet prepared Oscar-style (hand-cut filet, topped with jumbo lump crab meat and bearnaise sauce with whipped potatoes), $42. Guests 21+over receive a complimentary flute of Champagne. Call (630) 568-3615; .

Drink of the week

Mercadito, 108 W. Kinzie. Ring in the new year Dec. 31 with the Los 12 Uvas cocktail (blanco tequila, white verjus, elderflower cinnamon syrup, lime juice, sparkling cava and frozen seedless red grapes), $12. Call (312) 329-9555; .

Deal of the week

Nacional 27, 325 W. Huron. An early three-course dinner, served between 5 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 31, includes chips and salsa, the chef’s combination platter or empanada flight, choice of two family-style dishes and dessert, $35. Call (312) 664-2727; .

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