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Penny Pollack’s Last Minute Picks for Valentine’s Day

Still looking for that special Chicago restaurant? Here are 12 choices for the 14th, from special Cypriot dishes at Taxim to haute cuisine and views at Sixteen.


Taxim, Sixteen

(Prices generally are exclusive of wine, tax, and tip.)
 
Romantic icon
 
Geja’s Café (Lincoln Park)
340 W. Armitage Ave.
773-281-9101
 
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.
312-527-4060
 
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.
773-252-1558
 
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.
773-427-9130
 
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.
773-477-5845
 
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
630-444-0600
 
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


Steak
 
Sullivan’s Steakhouse (River North)
415 N. Dearborn St.
312-527-3510
 
and
 
250 Marriott Dr. (Suburban North)
Lincolnshire
847-883-0311
 
This could be the best steak deal around: choice aged Angus beef (three courses plus two sides).
$89/per couple


Cozy for cocktails
(No reservations taken)
 
DiSotto Enoteca (Gold Coast)
200 E. Chestnut St.
312-482-8727
 
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.
312-266-4932
 
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.
312-464-9544
 
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
312-588-8030
 
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
 
White Castle
 
Not only candlelight, but tableside service and themed decorations.

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