The "Thin Mintini” cocktail (Smirnoff whipped vodka, Godiva dark liqueur, Bailey’s Irish Cream and green creme de menthe with Girl Scouts Thin Mint cookie rim), in honor of Girl Scouts cookie season, at Wilmette Chop House.
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.
Wine and dine
The Chicago Firehouse, 1401 S. Michigan. A Brassfield Estate Winery dinner, which includes Chef Chris Turano’s dry-aged Moulard duck breast, parsnip puree with a strawberry-balsamic glaze paired with a 2010 Zinfandel, is 6:30 p.m. March 26, $65. Visit www.chicagofirehouse.com .
Q-BBQ, La Grange and Naperville locations. “March Mac’ness,” mac-Q-roni with gourmet toppings, ($4.99 or $2.99 with meal purchase), includes Southwestern (black beans, corn, jalapenos and tortilla strips), loaded (burnt barbecue ends, barbecued baked beans and diced tomatoes), All-American (hickory-smoked bacon and extra cheddar cheese), Buffalo chicken (bleu cheese crumbles, crispy chicken strips and Buffalo sauce), chili mac (brisket chili and shredded cheddar cheese) and spicy Texas (spicy smoked sausage and caramelized onions). Visit www.q-bbq.com .
Grass Fed, 1721 N. Damen. The fried chicken and waffles ($14), a popular weekend brunch item, will be available during regular lunch and dinner hours International Waffle Day (March 25). Visit www.grassfedbucktown.com .
Joe’s Stone Crab, 60 E. Grand. Passover dinner, 4-11 p.m. March 25-26, includes wild Alaskan halibut en papillote and a meat-less vegetarian chopped liver, $45.95. Visit www.joes.net .
Villa Nova Restaurant, 237 W. St. Charles, Villa Park. March Madness specials include $13 domestic (five beers) buckets through April 8. Visit www.villanovabanquets.com .
312 Chicago, 136 N. La Salle. Customer’s decide from Chef Luca Corazzina’s Battle of the Dishes (four-course menu featuring two dishes per course) menu, 6:30 p.m. March 26, which become new spring items, $60; $85 with wine pairing. Visit www.312chicago.com
Barrel of fun
Tokio Pub, 1900 E. Higgins, Schaumburg. Chef Phu Lu’s “Boston Sea Party” dinner, featuring beers and food from New England that includes sea bass with red miso broth, watercress-pear salad with Grumpy Monk Belgium IPA, is 6:30 p.m. March 25, $30 Visit www.tokiopub.com .
Drink of the week
Wilmette Chop House, 1162 Wilmette, Wilmette. The “Thin Mintini” (Smirnoff whipped vodka, Godiva dark liqueur, Bailey’s Irish Cream and green creme de menthe with Girl Scouts Thin Mint cookie rim) cocktail, in honor of Girl Scout cookie season, is $6 Tuesday-Thursdays through March with $2 from each drink sold benefitting the local Girl Scout troop. Visit www.wilmettechophouse.com .
Deal of the week
Glenview House, 1843 Glenview, Glenview. Chef Grant Slauterbeck’s Passover menu, available 4-10 p.m. March 25-April 2, includes entree choice of lemon and olive roasted chicken or sweet brisket with potato kugel and red cabbage ($35). Visit www.theglenviewhouse.com .