Things to do for January 06, 2011

The Weekender

New Tapas, Vodka Brunch and a Mashed Potato Contest

The weekend is your chief of staff.

Thursday
New Tapas Joint in South Loop
TAPA’D IN

New Tapas Joint in South Loop

You have certain fixed notions of what tapas should be—namely: tiny, Spanish, delicious. And this place doesn’t want to disabuse you of those. But it would like to broaden your horizons with the flavors of Basque Country. So maybe a little disabuse, but nothing you can’t handle.

Old-School Pasta in Little Italy
MEATBALLING

Old-School Pasta in Little Italy

Red-checkered tablecloths and Sinatra pictures mean one thing: an old-school Italian joint. Or, in this case, a new old-school Italian joint. Mia Francesca and Purple Pig have teamed up with an owner from Gennaro’s to give you unfettered access to spaghetti, pork chops and the feeling you’re in GoodFellas.

Now open, Salatino’s, 626 S Racine Ave (at Flournoy), 312-226-9300, see the slideshow

Saturday
Mashed Potato Eating Contest
MASH UP

Mashed Potato Eating Contest

You’re tough, but you don’t have to swallow nails to prove it. Sometimes, you’ll settle for something softer. At this mashed potato eating contest, you’ll go spud to spud with your iron-gutted competitors for cash, prizes (in the form of beer) and, one would hope, rivers of gravy.

Jan 8, registration begins at 7pm, Risqué Café, 3419 N Clark St, 773-525-7711

Brunch Bottles at Mercadito
BOTTLE READY

Brunch Bottles at Mercadito

Your New Year’s resolution: drink more Bloody Marys. Conveniently, Mercadito’s rolling out its Bloody Mary bottle service, so your Huevos Ahogados (basically Mexican eggs benedict) will be accompanied by a bottle of vodka and three housemade mixers. Let’s see a gym offer you that.

Saturdays, 11:30am-3pm, Mercadito, 108 W Kinzie St, 312-329-9555

Monday
Omakase Menu at Sunda
MY OM MY

Omakase Menu at Sunda

You don’t need to be in control all the time... at least when it comes to your sushi. So relax in Sunda’s private dining loft as their new chef delivers six courses in this chef’s choice dinner. Consider it an audition to see if he can handle your wasabi needs.

Jan 10, 6-9pm, $150, Sunda, 110 W Illinois St (between Clark and LaSalle), 312-644-0500

Elsewhere on the Daddy

More Weekenders in Chicago