A chili-topped dog should help ease Polar Vortex pain. (Courtesy of DMK Burger Bar/County…)
Virtue Cider Dinner
Standard Market Grill 444 W. Fullerton Parkway. 773-857-3080
Raise your dining standards with a not-so-standard four-course prix fixe featuring such dishes and cider pairings as a brie cheese "popsicle" with apple-almond chutney and a glass of Percheron Cidre, and spice-rubbed hangar steak served with Sidra de Nava. 7 p.m. $35. RSVP required: standardmarketgrill.com
National Chili Day
County Barbeque 1352 W. Taylor St. 312-929-2528
DMK Burger Bar 2954 N. Sheffield Ave. 773-360-8686
Cold weather isn't going anywhere, so dig into a chili-cheese dog smothered with slow-smoked brisket chili made with County Barbeque's recipe. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. (County); 11:30 a.m.-midnight (DMK). $5.
Mardi Gras Kick-Off
Division Ale House 1942 W. Division St. 773-384-6886
Transport your taste buds to the French Quarter with Fat Tuesday-themed specials including $6 hurricanes, $4 Abita bottles and bites such as Cajun gumbo ($3.99-$5.99) and jambalaya with housemade sausage, pulled chicken and shrimp ($10.99). 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Through March 4. No cover.
Riff Music Lounge 2239 S. Michigan Ave. 312-965-4488
Fast-track yourself at this networking event for young professionals from Urban Fetes, where you can trade tips with staffers from Relaxation on the Go and the Mercer Agency and take in a Reverb Nation music showcase featuring K-Love, Jeff Gibbs & Co., Justin Ruff and Mallory Lennon. 7 p.m.-midnight. No cover. RSVP recommended: eventbrite.com
Oyster Blues Thursday
Bow & Stern Oyster Bar 1371 W. Chicago Ave. 312-988-0644
Chase away the late-winter blues with live music from the Harmonica Hinds Blues Band which you can accompany with your choice of a dozen fresh oyster trios such as Sunset Beach from Washington ($7.50) and Kumamoto from British Columbia ($9). 7-10 p.m. No cover.
REDEYE TIP OF THE DAY
Get last-minute tickets for Friday's Kiss for a DIFFA-rence Winter Ball at Center on Halsted, which benefits HIV/AIDS charities: diffachicago.org
Julia Borcherts is a RedEye special contributor.