Dave Beran: The Animated Adventures
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  • Dave Beran: The Animated Adventures

Are we getting a more whimsical Next this year? That’s certainly implied by the tone of the animated teaser for Next: Paris Bistro (not to be confused with Next Door Bistro in Skokie), which even includes cartoon versions of chefs Dave Beran and Grant Achatz. (I’m still waiting for the action figures we were promised years ago.) To Django Reinhardt’s version of “Chicago,” we see hints at classic bistro dishes like baked oysters Coquilles St. Jacques and cassoulet. Tickets are on sale now; the menu appears to be launching Friday. The full video is below.

• Also now selling tickets: the first menu at Intro, the new pop-up space that used to be L2O. Chefs will take over the handsome space in the Belden Stratford apartment building for a three- to four-month stint to test out a restaurant concept (which we would guess could become a new Lettuce Entertain You venture if it’s a hit). The first one, beginning February 4, is from C.J. Jacobson, who was on Top Chef, won Top Chef Duels, and most recently was executive chef at Girasol in Los Angeles; his concept, which won’t be the easiest to pull off in Chicago in February, is said to be hyperseasonal and driven, in part, by foraging. (Hint: look under the white stuff.)

• Sold out of tickets: an evening at Big Jones with James Beard award winning author Adrian Miller (Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time), who I interviewed last May. Didn’t get tickets? Big Jones will be serving the dishes on that dinner’s menu throughout the week leading up to it, beginning this Saturday.

• Also selling cassoulet: Sunday Dinner Club, for the tenth year in a row. Last year I wrote about hanging out in their kitchen as they made vast batches of it here and here, or you can listen to the audio version (in which we also discuss the Alinea Baby controversy) here.

• Also celebrating its tenth anniversary: Osteria Via Stato, the entirely solid rustic Italian place in the Lettuce Entertain You empire, helmed by chef David DiGregorio. They’ll throw themselves a walk-around wine party on Wednesday, January 14, serving Italian food and wine for $35 per person, all proceeds going to the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation; call 312-642-8450 to make a reservation.

• Beer time: Off Color Brewing will join Publican Quality Meats for an open house called “Big Troublesome in Little Butcher Shop,” featuring Troublesome and four other Off Color brews along with food by chef Missy Corey, profiled recently in the Reader’s People Issue. It’s Thursday, January 22 at 7, and costs $55 per person; call 312-496-0012 to snag a spot.