Restaurants have offers, giveaways in store for Year of the Pig

Lunar New Year is a holiday celebrated across many Asian countries, most notably China. According to the lunar calendar, Tuesday will mark the beginning of the Year of the Pig. Operators, namely those who serve food rooted in Asian cuisine, are vying to be a part of the festivities with special menus honoring the holiday, limited-time offers and giveaways. See the Lunar New Year promos.

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Big Bowl, a seven-unit chain from Chicago-based multi-concept operator Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, is rolling out a special offering in celebration of Lunar New Year at its three Illinois units. Through Feb. 7, those stores are serving menu items with symbolic meaning within Chinese culture.

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The eggs used for Big Bowl’s roasted pork egg foo young represent a big and healthy family. The Chinese dish comes with scallions, sprouts, celery and shiitake mushrooms; it is priced at $9.95.

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Another festive menu item from Big Bowl is the crispy Cantonese cod — Alaskan cod with scallions, Fresno chiles, black bean sauce and jasmine rice — for $17.95. It’s common for Chinese people to consume fish during Lunar New Year since the Chinese word for fish sounds the same as the Chinese word for abundance or prosperity.

Through Feb. 28, guests at Wow Bao, another Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises concept with seven units, will get a red envelope with every purchase of pork pot stickers or dumplings. The red envelope, a Lunar New Year tradition in China and other Asian countries, comes with a surprise inside.