The Primehouse burger with truffle-Asiago fries at David Burke’s Primehouse.
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 Fish’ bytes
Magnolia Bakery, 108 N. State. Applause for the bakery’s “Big Fish (vanilla or chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream topped with an edible daffodils)” cupcake, available through May 5, $3.50. Visit www.magnoliabakery.com .
Tap into spring
Rock Bottom Brewery, participating locations. Spring lager specials, available through May 19, include Mexican Amber Lager (downtown Chicago selection) and jalapeno poppers (grilled jalapenos stuffed with pulled pork, wrapped in bacon). Visit www.rockbottom.com .
Fountainhead, 1970 W. Montrose. Chef Cleetus Friedman’s new menu includes the “Cleetus Heatus” salsa and parsnip guacamole with warm homemade tortilla chips, $8/$13; and the “Cleetus” burger (half-pound burger, seven-year aged cheddar, barbecue sauce, bacon, fried onion on brioche bun) served with Old Bay chips or fries with ketchup, $14. Visit www.fountainheadchicago.com .
Epic Burger, participating locations. The restaurant hopes to raise awareness of the effect not eating meat one day a week has on the environment and health with its “Mushroom Mondays” promotion (20 per cent off the Portobello sandwich combo— sandwich, fries and fountain drink— regularly $9.99). Visit www.epicburger.com .
Mercat a la Planxa, 638 S. Michigan. Chef Jose Garces’ new menu, using fresh spring ingredients, includes tuna bechamel with Manchego and currants, $13; egg plant fritters with roasted red pepper, roasted tomatoes, caramelized onion, goat cheese and lavender honey, $14. Seasonal cocktails include the Tres Ruibarbo (rhubarb-infused vodka, rhubarb compote, rhubarb bitters and soda), $13. Visit www.mercatchicago.com .
Tokio Pub, 1900 E. Higgins, Schaumburg. Chef Phu Lu’s “Goose Island TV Dinner,” 7 p.m. April 29, includes a Japanese sushi bento box with Sofie (Belgium-style ale), $30. Visit www.tokiopub.com .
David Burke’s Primehouse, 616 N. Rush. The “Refresh with [Rick] Gresh” menu (select glass of beer or wine, soup or wedge salad, Primehouse burger with truffle Asiago fries and malted monkey ice cream sundae), is available 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday through May 13, $30. Call (312) 660-6000; www.davidburkesprimehouse.com
Drink of the week
Cactus Bar, 404 S. Wells. Sample the Paloma Suprema cocktail (Don Julio Reposada, San Pellegrino Pompelmo soda, lime wedge and salt rim, $8; $12, neat) 5:30-7 p.m. May 2. Visit www.cactuschicago.com .
Deal of the week
Pasteur, 5525 N. Broadway. An Antonin Rodet wine dinner, 6:45 p.m. April 27 ($50), features Chablis paired with Tom Xao Sa-te, shrimp sauteed with a caramelized glaze of baked, dried red peppers, onions, garlic and seared duck breast drizzled with a light tamarind sauce. Visit www.pasteurrestaurantchicago.com .