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Restaurant News: Urban Union Opens This Week, Fish Bar Raises Money for Shedd Aquarium & More

By Amy Cavanaugh in Food on Jan 22, 2012 5:30PM

• Little Italy’s Taylor Street gets another new restaurant this week when Urban Union opens on Wednesday. The restaurant will serve dinner and brunch to start, with lunch coming later this spring. Headed by Executive Chef/Partner Michael Shrader, Urban Union’s menu will offer rustic dishes in four categories: seafood, pasta and dumplings, meat and such, and vegetables and friends. There is also a raw bar, an extensive wine program with 30 wines by the glass and six on tap, and a cocktail program.

Southport Grocery & Café offers a great deal until January 29—three bread pudding pancakes for $5. The café is really adorable and stocks lots of great local products (and really good vanilla cupcakes). The pancake deal is available all day on weekdays and weekends from 8-10 a.m.

SmallBar Fullerton taps four casks this Friday night at 6 p.m. The casks, which will be tapped on the bar, are Firestone Walker Union Jack, Greenbush Closure Pale Ale, Half Acre Daly Double IPA, and Dark Horse Tres Blueberry Stout, and are available until 2 a.m. or they run out.

Fish Bar, one of my favorite little spots for a quick bite (shrimp and crawfish po’ boy now, please) supports the Shedd Aquarium this month with its new philanthropic program—Friends of Fish. The program is part of the Shedd’s Right Bite program, which partners with local restaurants, seafood purveyors, retailers and culinary schools to raise awareness about sustainable seafood. From January 25-31, Fish Bar will be donating all proceeds from sales of an open-faced sandwich with shrimp and salsa verde on Tuscan bread to the Shedd. The sandwich costs $7.

• Farm-to-table restaurant Bread & Wine opened last week in Irving Park. Serving Midwestern cuisine, Bread & Wine offers (mostly Wisconsin) cheese and housemade charcuterie, small plates like chorizo taco and duck pierogi, lamb meatloaf, and sweet potato doughnuts. There is also a market that sells local products like Quince & Apple jams, Intelligentsia coffee, and Pasta Puttana pasta.