Penny’s Restaurant Picks for Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day, Penny’s heart is in all the right places: Listen to Chicago’s dining editor Penny Pollack her Valentine’s Day restaurants on Dean Richards’ Sunday Morning show this Sunday, 2/12, at 12:10pm on WGN Radio 720.

On Valentine’s Day, Penny’s heart is in all the right places: Hear Chicago’s dining editor Penny Pollack discuss these Valentine’s Day picks on Dean Richards’ Sunday Morning show this Sunday, 2/12, at 12:10pm on WGN Radio 720.

(Prices given are generally exclusive of tax, tip, and beverages; restaurants may no longer have reservations available.)

Because it is Chicago’s iconic spot for romance and because dipping into that fondue pot does the trick every time:

Geja’s Café
340 W. Armitage; 773-281-9101

THE SEATINGS
5 to 7 p.m.
7:30 to 9 p.m.
10 p.m. -

THE MENU
Cheese fondue
Salad
Beef tenderloin, lobster tail and jumbo shrimp fondue
Luscious flaming chocolate dessert fondue
Coffee

THE PERKS
Wine cellar atmo, private booths, and subdued lighting
Live flamenco and classical guitarists

THE PRICE
$105 per person


Because you might need a last-minute gift:

Chicago French Market
131 N. Clinton St., Chicago, IL 60661; 312-575-0306

Delightful Pastries: For raspberry linzer hearts

Vanille Patisserie: For macarons

Canady le Chocolatier: For chocolates


Because heart-shaped pizzas make everybody smile:

Giordano’s

THE RULES
Dine in, carryout, delivery, or ship.
Must be ordered by February 12.

THE PRICE
Prices start at just $17 per pizza, not including tax, gratuity, or delivery charges

 

Gino’s East
In Streeterville, Old Town, St Charles, Wheaton, and Libertyville

THE SHTICK
Graffiti-friendly walls

THE HEART
For every deep-dish, heart-shaped cheese pizza purchased from now through the end of the month, a portion of proceeds will go to Children’s Memorial Hospital.

THE PRICE
$10 (per each heart-shaped pizza)

 

Pinstripes
1150 Willow Rd., Northbrook
847-480-2323

and

100 W. Higgins Rd., South Barrington
847-844-9300

THE PARTY
Bring the kids

THE PERKS
Complimentary chocolate cake and a complimentary Champagne toast for Mom and Dad

THE PRICE
$12 (per each heart-shaped pizza)


Because if you want sushi, this is a pretty good deal:

Ai Japanese Restaurant & Lounge
358 W. Ontario St.; 312-335-9888

THE DEAL
A four-course couple’s prix-fixe with a complimentary Champagne toast

THE PRICE

$95 per couple


Because nothing says romance like burgers and beer:

Mity Nice Grill
Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave.
312-335-4745

THE MENU
A shareable one-pound burger, two beers, and fries

THE TOPPINGS (choose one)
Merkts Cheddar and bacon
Crispy onions and bleu cheese with a peppercorn crust
Monterey Farms shiitake mushrooms and Cedar Grove Swiss cheese

THE BEERS
Krankshaft Kölsch by local Metropolitan Brewing
Eliot Ness Amber lager by Great Lakes
Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale  
Northwind Imperial Stout by Two Brothers Brewing Company


THE PRICE
$25 per couple


Because pop-up dinners are trendy:

Trenchermen pop-up at Logan Square Kitchen
2333 N. Milwaukee Ave.
773-342-2333

THE SEATINGS
February 12th, one seating – 7:30 p.m.
February 13th, two seatings – 5:30 & 8:00 p.m.  
February 14th, three seatings – 5:30, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m.

THE SHTICK
A preview of Michael and Patrick Sheerin’s much anticipated restaurant, The Trenchermen (2039 W. North Ave.), opening late March.

THE MENU
Five-course tasting menu with beer, wine, and cocktail pairings

THE TICKETS
brownpapertickets.com

THE PRICE
$120 per person


Because Logan Square Kitchen is cool:

Logan Square Kitchen
773-342-2333

THE EVENT
3rd Annual Valentine’s Day Pastry Market: A taste of some the best sustainable, small-batch pastry, cake, ice cream, hand-made confections, and culinary gift items available in Chicago.

THE SCHEDULE
Saturday, February 11, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 12, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

THE PERKS
Vegan and gluten-free offerings

THE PRICE
$1 for adults, kids are free


Because you might want to make dinner at home:

Mercadito
108 W. Kinzie St.
312-329-0454

THE CLASS
A Valentine’s Day cooking demo with Chef Patricio

THE SCHEDULE
Monday, February 13, 7 p.m.

THE PRICE
$75


Because neighborhood restos are cozy and playful:

West Town Tavern
1329 W. Chicago Ave.
312-666-6175

THE MENU
Fourplay menu for two

THE PERK
A bedtime snack to go. (We know for a fact the treat will be candied ginger shortbread.)

THE PRICE
$104 per couple


Because you might be a vegetarian:

Blind Faith Café
525 Dempster St., Evanston
847-328-6975

THE HISTORY
Been around since 1980

THE MENU
Champagne
Winter white bean soup
Maple green squash
Choice of entrée: fusilli Florentine; sweet and sour seitan; Oaxacan enmoladas mole (think enchiladas)
Desserts: Kahlùa-agave custard; hazelnut semifreddo; chocolate truffles

THE PRICE
$45 per person

THE RESERVATION
blindfaithcafe.com


Because you love beef:

Wildfire
159 W. Erie St.
312-787-9000
Also in Lincolnshire, Schaumburg, Glenview, and Oak Brook

THE DEAL
Four-course menu for two

THE MEAT CHOICES
Parmesan-crusted petite New York strip.  
Roasted prime rib of beef, 16 oz.  
Petite filet mignon

THE PRICE
$80 for two


Because you love wine:

Ceres’ Table
4882 N. Clark St.
773-878-4882

THE MENU
Tuna tartare or seafood and saffron risotto
Grilled Hawaiian swordfish or duo of beef (filet mignon and braised short ribs)
Chocolate truffle cake

THE PERK
Half-priced bottles of select wines

THE PRICE
$50 per person


Because ambiance is everything:

North Pond
2610 N. Cannon Drive 773-477-5845

THE SETTING
An Arts and Crafts room at the tip of the North Pond in Lincoln Park

THE MENU
A six-course prix fix including lentil soup, red snapper, veal, choice of entrée (bass or beef), and two desserts

THE PRICE
$110 per person (with wine pairings, $65)


Because you love (bittersweet) movies:

Eduardo’s Enoteca
1212 N. Dearborn St.
312-337-4490

THE MOVIES
Annie Hall @ 5 p.m.
Roman Holiday @ 7 p.m.
Annie Hall @ 9 p.m.

THE MEAL
A cola-inspired cocktail and truffle-parmigiano popcorn
Assorted crostinis, salad, hand-made pasta or pizza, and dessert
A bottle of wine (per couple)

THE PERK
A bottle of Prosecco to go (per couple)

THE PRICE
$55 per person


Because you are a sentimental fool:

White Castle

THE SHTICK
Candlelit White Castle dinner.

THE TRADITION
This annual event has gained national publicity for being an out-of-the-box Valentine’s Day option. White Castle offers special menus, table service, and a complimentary digital photo of all diners.

THE PRICE
Who cares?

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