In The Restaurants

#LettuceLookBack: 18 of our Favorite Moments of 2018

#LettuceLookBack: 18 of our Favorite Moments of 2018

Dec 10, 2018

It’s been 47 years since we opened the doors of our first restaurant, but 2018 was a year of firsts for our teams at Lettuce Entertain You. From opening our first wine bar, to the launch of our first off-site catering group – there’s no better time to celebrate an incredible year than right now!

#LettuceLookBack at some of our favorite 18 moments of 2018.

18. Opened more standalone Beatrix Market locations in the Loop.
Not one, but two standalone Beatrix Markets are now open in downtown Chicago! Shortly after, The Chicago Tribune said the newest location on DePaul’s Loop Campus had some of the the best deep dish pizza in the city.

Beatrix Deep Dish Pizza

17. Wildfire & Big Bowl join forces with Peapod to create their first at-home restaurant meal kits.
Wildfire and Big Bowl were the first restaurants to collaborate with Peapod, creating at-home meal kits so guests could make restaurant-quality meals at home. Try it for yourself! Order Big Bowl’s Kung Pao Chicken or Wildfire’s Beef Tenderloin with Couscous, and more.

Wildfire Peapod Meal Beef Tenderloin

16. Scratch Off Goes Digital
For the first time, Frequent Diners were able to play Scratch Off exclusively through the LettuceEats app!  No one forgot their coupons at home and they had more chances to win all summer long!

Lettuce Eats Scratch Off Promo at a table with food

15. Ozzie’s Pops brought pretzels and popsicles to Navy Pier
We kicked off summer with the opening of Ozzie’s Pops . Chef / Partner Ozzie Ocegueda’s homemade popsicles, hand-twisted pretzels, and freshly squeezed juices are available year-round at the Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion.

Boy with popsicle at Navy pier

14. Aba’s patio was truly THE spot to be this summer
Chicago’s spot to be seen this summer was Aba Restaurant, the new restaurant and rooftop patio from Chef CJ Jacobson. Our top menu pick? The Everything Jerusalem Bagel.

Patio at Aba

13. The launch of Gem Catering and Events
Our hospitality expanded beyond our restaurants’ four walls and into the catering and special event space with the launch of Gem Catering & Events. Two new dedicated event spaces also joined the Lettuce family with the opening of The Dalcy and Stratford on the Park.

Hummus Bar Gem Events

12. Three of our restaurants celebrated 20 years in business
A rare (yet exciting) accomplishment for a restaurant: To celebrate a 20th anniversary. Thanks to our loyal guests, we had THREE restaurants reach this milestone. Happy birthday to Mon Ami Gabi– Chicago, Big Bowl Lincolnshire, and Nacional 27. We brought back original menus, toasted to our guests, and partied like it was 1998.

Bar at Mon Ami Gabi Lincoln Park

11. Hometown hero Brett Eldredge returns to the Windy City Smokeout stage
The Windy City Smokeout returned with a fantastic lineup of BBQ, craft beer, and country music. A highlight, was the return of country music superstar and Illinois-native Brett Eldredge. Just 4 years ago, Brett played the Smokeout as a supporting act and this year, he headlined the festival.

Brett Eldridge at Windy City SMokeout

10. Wagyumafia’s tour of Chicago
Wagyumafia, Tokyo’s members-only eatery known across the globe for their luxurious wagyu cutlet sandwich, joined us in this summer for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hisato Hamada prepped a four-course degustation of beef at RPM Steak, a late-night wagyu dinner at Sushi-san, and brought a 20-foot long binchotan-fueled robata grill for yakiniku to the Windy City Smokeout.

Waygu mafia in chicago with sandwich

9. Our brunch game was (is) strong
Both Osteria Via Stato and Oyster Bah launched epic Sunday Brunch Buffets. If you’re ever in need of tips on how to stack your plate, read more about how we navigate the Italian-inspired spread at Osteria, or the chilled seafood bar at Oyster Bah.

Osteria Via Stato Brunch Buffet

8. Bar Ramone marked the opening of our very first wine bar.
We got into the wine bar game with the opening of Bar Ramone in River North. Shortly after opening, we noticed our Instagram feed fill up with attempted pours from porróns. Haven’t tried a porrón yet? Might we suggest you add this to your to-do list?!

Bar Ramone interior wine bar

7. Phasing out plastic straws
We kicked-off a company-wide initiative to move away from plastic straws in our restaurants to greener alternatives or no straws at all. We are excited to make this first step in reducing our ecological footprint.

Raspberry Hibiscus cocktail at sushi san

6. Saranello’s harvested with local farm: Horcher’s Farm
We planted produce at Horcher’s Farm and came back in the fall to harvest it. It’s one of our favorite events, as it not only connects our guests with the food our chefs put on their plate, but also expresses the quality of ingredients that make up the menu at Saranello’s.

team from Saranellos at Horchers Farm Dinner

5. Unlimited crab and burgers became a reality at Crab Cellar
Due to the success of the unlimited Alaskan King Crab & Prime Burger Thursday’s at Oyster Bah, we decided to make it its own restaurant: Enter, Crab Cellar.

Crab Cellar burger, crab legs and lobster on a table

4. Breaking the internet our sake bomb record at Ramen-san
This year, we got up to 109 sake bombs in a row at Ramen-san, making it the longest row of sake shots dropping into ice cold Asahis since we opened in 2014. The current record according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is 229. Hey, there’s always next year.

sake bomb splash at ramen-san

3. Wow Bao brings more automated restaurants to life
In 2017, Wow Bao made its debut in the Gold Coast with the first fully automated restaurant in Chicago. This year, we’ve added two more to the collection. Getting bao is now literally as easy as a click of a button.

Wow-Bao's-7th-location-opens-November-14th

2. Stone crab at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab reigned supreme
It’s safe to say that stone crab was a fan favorite this year with more than 145,000 pounds of Florida stone crab claws ordered this year at Joe’s in Chicago, Vegas, and Washington D.C.

Stone Crab and Joe's

1. LEYE was named one of the Chicago Tribune Top Workplaces 2018
Our favorite moment of the year? When we were awarded one of Chicago Tribune’s Top Workplaces 2018 We’re so grateful to all of our dedicated employees who make up the Lettuce team. For a glimpse behind-the-scenes into our restaurants and for future career opportunities, follow us at Lettuce Life .

Ema team at pre shift

Thank you for making 2018 one to remember and we look forward to making many more delicious memories with you in the New Year. We are already getting excited for 2019! With the upcoming opening of RPM On the Water, Beatrix heading to the Chicago suburbs, plus more surprises on the way, we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

Stay in the know with all the latest Lettuce happenings, follow us @Lettuceentertainyou!


You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
How Lettuce Does Dinner and a (Holiday) Movie
Dec 11, 2018

It’s cold outside and we know that all you want to do is cozy up on the couch with some comfort…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Holiday Happenings Throughout December 2018
Dec 11, 2018

Kids are out on winter break,  the smell of baking spices filling the air and holiday tunes…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Dec 11, 2018

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can…

read more >
In The Restaurants
#LettuceLookBack: 18 of our Favorite Moments of 2018
Dec 10, 2018

It’s been 47 years since we opened the doors of our first restaurant, but 2018 was a year of…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Osteria Via Stato’s Cranberry Cello
Dec 10, 2018

Sipping on Osteria Via Stato's Cranberry Cello is always a great idea, and we're here to help you…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Christmas Eve 2018: Metro D.C. Area
Dec 10, 2018

Happy Holidays everyone! We are here to help you celebrate Christmas Eve with delicious meals around…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Christmas Eve 2018: Las Vegas
Dec 10, 2018

Celebrating Christmas Eve in Vegas? Here are a few of our restaurants open on Monday, December 24.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Christmas Eve 2018: Twin Cities
Dec 10, 2018

Twin Cities, Christmas Eve is just around the corner and we want to help you celebrate. Big Bowl and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Christmas Eve 2018: Chicagoland
Dec 10, 2018

If you are looking to dine out this Christmas Eve, we have restaurants that are open on Monday,…

read more >
In The Restaurants
An Italian Christmas: Where to Enjoy the Feast of the Seven Fishes
Dec 7, 2018

In southern regions of Italy, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is the customary meal on Christmas Eve…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Restaurants Open on Christmas Day 2018
Dec 7, 2018

The most wonderful time of the year is here, but this Christmas skip the stress and let us do the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Year’s Eve 2018 Twin Cities
Dec 6, 2018

Celebrate New Year's Eve in the Twin Cities! Wildfire and Big Bowl will be open on December 31 to…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Year’s Eve 2018: Las Vegas
Dec 6, 2018

Ring in 2019 on the Las Vegas Strip! From special pre-fixe menus to having your favorite burger,…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Year’s Eve 2018: Chicagoland
Dec 6, 2018

Do you have plans yet for New Year's Eve? We've got you covered with special dinners, parties and…

read more >
How To
Here’s How to Make the Best Holiday Cookies Ever
Dec 6, 2018

Beatrix Executive Pastry Chef / Partner Yasmin Gutierrez, who is behind some of the most tasty…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Gift Guide for the Food Lover in Your Life
Dec 5, 2018

Whether a birthday, graduation or any other of the countless holidays, we're here to make selecting…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Year’s Eve 2018: Metro D.C. Area
Dec 5, 2018

Hey Washington D.C. area, celebrate the New Year in style with us. From brunch and lunch to dinner…

read more >
How To
Keep These 3 Things in Mind When Planning Your Party Menu
Dec 4, 2018

Inside every person is an aspiring, talented cook. That is the inspiration behind Mon Ami Gabi Las…

read more >
Openings
Ramen-san’s Newest Location is Now Open in Streeterville
Dec 4, 2018

The latest location of Ramen-san (@ramensanchi) is now open in Streeterville! The popular noodle…

read more >
How To
8 Ways to Use Your Lettuce Gift Card This Holiday Season
Dec 3, 2018

Racking your brain for the perfect holiday gift? Here's an idea, how about a Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat and Drink Near the Holiday Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo
Dec 1, 2018

One our favorite Chicago holiday traditions is taking in the Holiday Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Now Serving: Cauliflower Crust Pizza at Wildfire
Nov 29, 2018

What if we told you the new cauliflower crust pizza is not only gluten-free but also a delicious…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: Chef Yasmin Gutierrez’s Recipe to Becoming a Pastry Chef
Nov 29, 2018

Lettuce Life takes you behind the scenes into the culture of Lettuce Entertain You, showcasing the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Year’s Day 2019: Twin Cities
Nov 28, 2018

Bring in the New Year at Big Bowl and Wildfire in Minnesota! Cheers to the New Year all day on…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Year’s Day 2019: Las Vegas
Nov 28, 2018

There's no better place to celebrate the first day of 2019 than in Las Vegas! Sit back and enjoy…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Year’s Day 2019: Metro D.C. Area
Nov 28, 2018

New Year's Day is synonymous with brunch so get your brunch on at one of our D.C. area restaurants!…

read more >
In The Restaurants
New Year’s Day 2019: Chicagoland
Nov 28, 2018

New Year's Day is a time for relaxing and we're celebrating with everything from brunch buffets to…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Nov 24, 2018

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Kid-Friendly Dining Options and Activities
Nov 22, 2018

You've been to the zoo, the beach, the pool... the kids are starting to get stir crazy. We've got…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Best Spots for Group Dining
Nov 20, 2018

You finally got the whole crew to agree on the same day and time, now you just have to find the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Nov 18, 2018

Finding gluten-free friendly restaurants has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. At Lettuce…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Nov 17, 2018

Embrace all of the fall flavors in Wildfire's Sweet Potato Casserole. Ginger and cinnamon warm up…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Classic Turkey Stuffing from Wildfire
Nov 17, 2018

Stuffing, the most ideal starch for Thanksgiving dinner, is always a high point of the meal. Great…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Late Night & Live Music with Lettuce
Nov 15, 2018

Night owls rejoice - select Lettuce restaurants and nightclubs offer everything from late-night food…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Cornbread Stuffing
Nov 14, 2018

This Thanksgiving, give your stuffing some southern influence with Wildfire's Cornbread Stuffing. To…

read more >
Openings
The Newest Wow Bao Location at 46 E. Chicago
Nov 14, 2018

Getting tired of your same old carry-out order? You're in luck! Wow Bao's newest, fully-automated…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Hazelnuts
Nov 12, 2018

Wildfire's classic roasted Brussels sprouts is the perfect dish for any dinner table this fall.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Life: How Phil Stubstad Paved a Career Path Out of His Passion to Brew
Nov 11, 2018

Lettuce Entertain You's founder Rich Melman built Lettuce to be a school for entrepreneurs.  It’s…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Win FREE Ramen for a Year at the New Ramen-san Streeterville (Opening Soon!)
Nov 7, 2018

Ramen-san is opening later this month in Streeterville (676 N. Saint Clair St.), dishing out its…

read more >
How To
A Few Of Our Favorite Game Day Recipes
Nov 5, 2018

When you are in the mood to get your hands dirty in the kitchen for hosting your crew or solo…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
How Lettuce Does Dinner and a (Holiday) Movie
Dec 11, 2018

It’s cold outside and we know that all you want to do is cozy up on the couch with some comfort…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Holiday Happenings Throughout December 2018
Dec 11, 2018

Kids are out on winter break,  the smell of baking spices filling the air and holiday tunes…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Dec 11, 2018

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can…

read more >
In The Restaurants
#LettuceLookBack: 18 of our Favorite Moments of 2018
Dec 10, 2018

It’s been 47 years since we opened the doors of our first restaurant, but 2018 was a year of…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Osteria Via Stato’s Cranberry Cello
Dec 10, 2018

Sipping on Osteria Via Stato's Cranberry Cello is always a great idea, and we're here to help you…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Christmas Eve 2018: Metro D.C. Area
Dec 10, 2018

Happy Holidays everyone! We are here to help you celebrate Christmas Eve with delicious meals around…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Christmas Eve 2018: Las Vegas
Dec 10, 2018

Celebrating Christmas Eve in Vegas? Here are a few of our restaurants open on Monday, December 24.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Christmas Eve 2018: Los Angeles
Dec 10, 2018

It's time for Christmas Eve in sunny California! Spend your holiday with us at one of our Stella…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Christmas Eve 2018: Twin Cities
Dec 10, 2018

Twin Cities, Christmas Eve is just around the corner and we want to help you celebrate. Big Bowl and…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Christmas Eve 2018: Chicagoland
Dec 10, 2018

If you are looking to dine out this Christmas Eve, we have restaurants that are open on Monday,…

read more >
In The Restaurants
An Italian Christmas: Where to Enjoy the Feast of the Seven Fishes
Dec 7, 2018

In southern regions of Italy, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is the customary meal on Christmas Eve…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Restaurants Open on Christmas Day 2018
Dec 7, 2018

The most wonderful time of the year is here, but this Christmas skip the stress and let us do the…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Lettuce on Instagram

Checkout our feed @lettuceentertainyou!