The Chopping Block
Outdoor Entertaining 101
Summer is heating up on our outdoor patio! We're hosting grilling classes (both hands on and demonstration) and lots of fun private events. Our open-air space in Lincoln Square is a beautiful venue to enjoy a delicious meal under the stars. We offer a wide range of Grilling Menus to choose from for your event, from brunch to global flavors.

Learn more about our outdoor private events.

Grill Demo
Our event coordinators take care of all of the details for you when you host an event in our space, but if you're planning a party at home, here are some of our secrets.

10 Tips for the Perfect Outdoor Party
  1. Choose a theme. Perhaps a Hawaiian Luau with tropical drinks inspired from Chicago's best tiki bar, Three Dots and a Dash
  2. Carry your theme through with a digital invite. We love the clean and cute designs of Paperless Post. Use this opportunity to ask your guests about food allergies or dietary restrictions. 
  3. Set the mood after dark with our Rewined Candles. These all-natural soy wax candles are  made from repurposed wine bottles. The scents mirror the wine: Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet, etc. 
  4. Arrange your outdoor furniture so that it's conducive to conversation. Create large and small circles for guests to sit and chat. Put a table within reach when possible so guests have easy access to drinks.  
  5. Get creative with your serving pieces. We love our new Food Slabs from American Stonecraft. Each serving piece started as a hand-gathered stone from New England and has been sliced, polished and sealed to create the very first farm-to-table serving plate.  
  6. Plan, plan, plan. Parties don't have to be stressful if you properly plan with prep and shopping lists. If you have a smaller group, get more detailed with your menu. If your barbecue is on the larger side, stick to the basics with some upscale twists like avocado slices and Smoked Paprika Aioli for burgers.
  7. Don't skimp on sides. Having a nice selection of side dishes not only provides the vegetarians in your group variety, but gives you a chance to take advantage of summer fruits and vegetables. Plan sides that can be done ahead and mix things up by skipping the traditional coleslaw and serving pickled vegetables. A Chickpea and Lentil Salad with Grilled Lemons is an easy, tasty addition to any summer spread.
  8. Don't forget the tunes. There's no need to spend a lot of time making a playlist. Keep it simple by putting on your favorite Pandora station.  
  9. Provide entertainment. Cornhole, badminton, croquet or a even Slip 'N Slide can keep adults and kids entertained and liven up your party.  
  10. Be fashionable and functional by donning a fun apron. Our fun pig and bbq aprons are the perfect party attire. It's a great time to pick your favorite: all aprons and linens are 20% off this month.  

Happy outdoor party season!


While there's lots of action on our outdoor grilling patio right now, it isn't the only cool place to hang out this summer. Our Emily Kinnaman lists her favorite spots to dine al fresco in Chicago in our latest blog.
Grilling Show Next WeekendNe
Like grilled beef, pork, chicken and veggies? Come taste it all at our upcoming Grilling Show. This fun-filled day on our outdoor patio is your chance to get all of your grilling and smoking questions answered by our chefs. Plus, taste our new summer wines!

We'll have special pricing on our Big Greens Eggs for this day only. Father's Day is the following day (hint, hint). 
Pinterest Want to drool over our Big Green Egg selection? Check out our Grilling Pinterest board.
A Wish Come True
Josh makes pizza at The Chopping Block with Chef Beland
An 8-year-old Chicago boy is now on the trip of a lifetime. Josh Flores suffers from a rare medical condition that affects his nervous system, but that isn't stopping him from fulfilling his dream of making pizza in Italy.  Kretschmar® Master's Cut Premium Deli Meats and Make-A-Wish Illinois teamed together to grant Josh's wish and he departed for Italy this week.

Before he left, he got a practice pizza-making run at The Chopping Block with Certified Master Chef Brian Beland.
Stay tuned for stories and pictures from Josh's journey to Naples!
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