Updated: March 9, 2013 6:17AM
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.
Big Easy style
Trenchermen, 2039 W. North. Fat Tuesday specials (Feb. 12) include jambalaya andouille corn dogs, $10; crab gumbo ramen, $13, Sazerac trifle (cognac brown butter cake, bitters ice cream and whiskey caramel, $9. Carbonated hurricane cocktails also make the rounds, $8. Visit www.trenchermen.com .
Dinner, with love
The Chicago Firehouse, 1401 S. Michigan. Valentine’s Day specials, available Feb. 14-17, include ancho chili and dark cocoa-rubbed 8-oz filet mignon, $48; grilled diver scallop with sweet potato puree and Brussels sprout, $37; seared tuna sashimi with baby greens, ginger-yuzu vinaigrette and pickled shiitake mushroom, $19, shigoku oysters with blood orange and Champagne mignonette, six for $18; and double-chocolate cheesecake with chocolate-dipped strawberries, $9. Visit www.chicagofirehouse.com .
Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta, participating locations. The pizzeria’s popular heart-shaped pizza is available through Feb. 28. Visit www.pizanoschicago.com .
Fat Tuesday party
French Quarter New Orleans Kitchen, 44 Yorktown, Lombard. A Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras party and parade, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Feb. 12, will feature a Cajun Creole menu that includes flash-fried Louisiana alligator ($15), fried green tomato Napoleon ($12); the “Nawlins” signature-style barbecue shrimp ($12); Bayou sassafras ribs ($26) and Da’Parish chicken ($21). Call (630) 495-2700; www.fqrestaurant.com .
Two Valentine’s Day options
Slurping Turtle, 116 W. Hubbard. The “I Kind of Like You” five-course dinner, $50 person and the “I Think I Love You,” eight-course menu, $85 per person, are available Feb. 14-17. A post-Valentine’s Day pajama party brunch is 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 17. Call (312) 464-0466.
Chinese New Year
TL’s Four Seasons, 110 W. Bartlett, Bartlett. Chef/owner Shawn Li’s “Year of the Snake” Chinese New Year menu and Champagne pairing, available noon to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 10, includes dishes such as black-peppered garlic beef, $20. www.tlsfourseasons.com .
Drink of the week
Grass Fed, 1721 N. Damen. New cocktails crafted with house-infused liquors include the Beso Rojo (basil-infused vodka, cranberry simple syrup, lime juice and Prosecco), $10. Visit www.grassfedbucktown.com
Deal of the week
Houlihan’s, 550 W. Touhy, Park Ridge. Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) enjoy a complimentary (5- to 6-oz) cold-water lobster tail or five grilled or fried shrimp when ordering the 8-oz center-cut filet mignon, 12-oz grain-fed Kansas City strip or 9-oz USDA prime top sirloin, served with choice of soup or side salad and choice of two sides ($18.25-$25.95). Call (847) 692-6205; www.houlihans.com .