After lunch, did you hang out by somebody else’s cube for a few minutes? Take a late lunch and stop by Walgreen’s to pick up a couple of things? If so, by the time you got back everything that was worth doing this summer in the food world had just whizzed by you, and you might as well hang it up and go eat at Olive Garden all summer long. No, no, it’s not that bad, hang with us and we’ll tell you what you can still get into and how to swing it. First, without warning, Next Sicily tickets went on sale at about 1:15 p.m. and unsurprisingly went quickly, despite the fact that this has been the least pre-heralded Next menu yet, no teaser video or food shots. Okay, your chance to go to Next Sicily isn’t completely gone yet— in fact, this time they only released a few of the tickets at the start (everything for opening weekend plus about 20 seats per night after that), and plan to do “waves” of tickets after that. About 50 seats a night are already claimed by season ticketholders, but still, it sounds as if you’ll have more chances to be in front of the computer at the right time with this menu than any of its predecessors.
Also selling out quickly that same morning was the first batch of discounted pre-sale tickets for the 5th annual Chicago Gourmet (or, as it is now known, Bon Appétit presents Chicago Gourmet). The lavish, but a bit checkered, September food and wine event showcases 150 chefs and hundreds of vintners, breweries and spirits makers. Now it’s full freight with $150 Saturday tickets or $265 weekend passes here. And we heard via Twitter that the Chris Cosentino dinner at The Publican had been completely booked via Open Table, but there may be seats available if you call the restaurant directly later today.
So what can you definitely still get into? The Green City Market Chef’s BBQ on July 12 started selling tickets last weekend for the annual party with close to 100 chefs dishing out creative versions of picnic food. It’s $125 per person and a great way to sample the diversity of our chef scene; go here to get your ticket, quickly.