Penny Pollack’s Last Minute Picks for Valentine’s Day
(Prices generally are exclusive of wine, tax, and tip.)
Geja’s Café (Lincoln Park)
340 W. Armitage Ave.
It’s fondue, of course. Live flamenco and classical guitarists.
$95 per person
(only 10 pm slots are left)
Offbeat & adventurous
Vermilion (River North)
10 W. Hubbard St.
A five-course menu of Indian/Latin cuisine. Think Brazilian stew followed by chicken kebab. An all-vegetarian option is also available.
$65 per person
Taxim (Bucktown/Wicker Park)
1558 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Special Cypriot dishes for Valentine’s Day include lountza kypriaki kapnisti (smoked, red-wine-and-coriander-marinated pork with seared Cypriot halloumi cheese; $26) and kakaviá me thalassiná kai kolokási (seafood soup with Mediterranean mussels, Atlantic prawns, and Greek saffron; $25).
A la carte menu but all the ladies receive roses.
Shokran Moroccan (Old Irving Park)
4027 W. Irving Park Rd.
A perfect opportunity to try chicken bastilla and tilapia tagine. Four courses and it’s BYO.
$25 per person
Pretty pretty settings
North Pond (Lincoln Park)
2610 N. Cannon Dr.
Beautiful views of the park and the pond. The chef, Bruce Sherman, is a local leader of the locally produced, organic movement and his multicourse American menu is filled with delicious choices such as: Butter-poached lobster or charred tenderloin?
$110 per person
Bistro One West (Suburban West)
1 W. Illinois St., St Charles
Situated alongside the Fox River, Bistro One West feels a little bit country, but the three-course menu is sophisticated American with Italian touches.
$35 per person
Sullivan’s Steakhouse (River North)
415 N. Dearborn St.
250 Marriott Dr. (Suburban North)
This could be the best steak deal around: choice aged Angus beef (three courses plus two sides).
Cozy for cocktails
(No reservations taken)
DiSotto Enoteca (Gold Coast)
200 E. Chestnut St.
Downstairs of Francesca's on Chestnut, DiSotto—with its menu of wine, charcuterie, and bruschetti—feels miles away from the Mag Mile.
The Watershed (Gold Coast)
601 N. State St.
Downstairs of Pops for Champagne, the Watershed has cool cocktails and local brews to go with cheeses and charcuterie.
Curio at Gilt Bar (River North)
230 W. Kinzie St.
Downstairs of Gilt Bar, the lights are low and vibe is hip and romantic—a rare combination.
Go for broke
Sixteen (River North)
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
401 N. Wabash Ave., 16th floor
All haute and pricey with gorgeous views of the city and fabulous luxe food. Perfect, if money is no object.
Choice of menus: $165 to $330 per person.
The cheapest candlelight dinner
Not only candlelight, but tableside service and themed decorations.