“First Bites Bash 2019 at The Field Museum,” by S.M. O’Connor

Chicago Restaurant Week 2019 kicks off with the First Bites Bash tomorrow night, Thursday, January 24, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at The Field Museum of Natural History.  This is the 12th annual Chicago Restaurant Week, organized by Choose Chicago.  Sweet and savory dishes from over seventy of Chicago’s most popular chefs and restaurants will be on hand.  Originally, tickets ranged from $95 to $125, but the $95 tickets have sold out, and the $125 tickets will be available until the event sells out or noon on Thursday.  Click here to purchase tickets via Eventbrite.  Beer, wine, and other beverage-makers are the sponsors.

There is no guest list.  Customers should print out their tickets on paper to avoid technological complications that could prevent tickets from displaying on smartphones.  There are neither refunds nor price adjustments.

Joe Flamm, the Executive Chef of the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Spiaggia and Café Spiaggia, will be the Host Chef.  He is also the winner of Season 15 of Top Chef on Bravo.

Jamel Doss, the Assistant Bar Director of The Aviary cocktail bar, will be Host Mixologist.  Last year, she won the National Restaurant Association’s inaugural Chicago STARS Mixology Competition.

All guests must be twenty-one-years-of-age-or-over and have valid identification.  No children will be permitted, not even babes in arms or wee tots in strollers.

This year, First Bites Bash benefits Pilot Light. This is a non-profit organization that helps schoolchildren apply the lessons they learn in classrooms to the food available in cafeterias, at home, and restaurants so they can make healthy choices.



Artango Bar & Steakhouse


Aurelios Pizza

Baptiste & Bottle

Bar Siena

Bar Takito



Blue Door Farm Stand

Blue Door Kitchen & Garden

Café Spiaggia


Casati’s Pizza Vino

Chicago q




Demera Ethiopian Restaurant

Eddie V’s


Eli’s Cheesecake

ETA Restaurant + Bar

Farmhouse Chicago


Freds at Barneys New York Chicago

Fulton Market Kicthen

Geja’s Café

Fene & Georgetti

Grand Central Bar

HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen

Half Sour

Homestead on the Roof

Izakaya Mita


Kinzie Chophouse

Kitty O’Shea’s

Lost Lake


Margeaux Brasserie

Mercadito Chicago

Odyssey Cruises



Piccolo Sogno

Piggie Smalls Gyro Shop

Pink Taco


River Roast

Roka Akor Chicago

Sapori Antchi bar italiano

Seasons 52

Shallots Bistro

State & Lake Chicago Tavern


Sunda New Asian


Tapas Valencia

Taureaux Tavern

Tempesta Market

Terzo Piano

Texas de Brazil

The Berghoff Restaurant

The Chicago Teachers’ Lounge & Eatery

The Hampton Social

The Kennison

The Madison Bar & Kitchen

The Promontory

The Signature Room at the 95th

Upstairs at The Gwen

Wicker Park





Stella Artois



Josh Cellars




Don Julio

Ketel One


Jetro Sake







Stella Artois will be hosting an After-Party at TAO.  There will be free shuttle service to TAO from the Field Museum.  One’s First Bites Bash wristband will afford one expedited entry to TAO upon arrival.  The reception will last about an hour-and-a-half.

Vendors are subject to change.  Tickets cover samples.  They reserve the right to curtail service to anyone who is intoxicated.  Security guards may inspect bags and persons.

Absolutely no food or beverage may be brought into the event.  If a guest shows up inebriated (or otherwise unfit), he or she will not be permitted inside and will not receive a refund.

Chicago Restaurant Week will last from Friday, January 25, 2019 to Thursday, February 7, 2019, so it’s actually two weeks.  Almost 400 local restaurants are participating this year.  This includes 100 restaurants participating for the first time and forty-five suburban restaurants.  It features prix fixe menus that start at $24 for brunch or lunch, and $36 and/or $48 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, and gratuity).  One can search for participating restaurants by clicking here and scrolling down the Webpage until one sees the search engine.  The Chicago Restaurant Week sponsors are 100.3 FM (“She 103”), 101.9 FM (“The Mix”), Concierge Chicago at McCormick Place, the James Beard Foundation, Josh Cellars, Michigan Avenue Magazine,  OpenTable®, the Chicago Transit Authority (C.T.A.), Metra, Pace,  Smithfield Food Service, and Stella Artois.

The Field Museum is part of the Museum Campus with the John G. Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium at the northern end of Burnham Park.  The Field Museum is open every day of the year, save one (Christmas Day).  It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the last admission at 4:00 p.m.  There are upcoming Illinois Resident Free Days.   The street address of The Field Museum is 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605-2496.  The phone number is (312) 922-9410.  The Website is https://www.fieldmuseum.org/.


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