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Love Can’t Wait: Last-Minute Valentine’s Ideas

If you’re as far behind on Valentine’s as I am—sorry, Boyfriend—you’re still looking for gift ideas. (Good thing he’s more forward-thinking than I am; a bouquet of roses was waiting for me when I got home last night, and he’s had reservations at a surprise restaurant for months. Go ahead: Insert gagging sounds here.) I know it’s uncool to admit you like Valentine’s—I’m with you. But let’s be honest: You’re secretly hoping for a romantic night out. It’s OK. We won’t tell anyone. But we will tell you where to get your last-minute V-Day on, with options for everyone from the haters to the hopelessly in love. As of this writing, the spots below were still taking limited reservations, but be sure to call ahead…

If you’re as far behind on Valentine’s as I am—sorry, Boyfriend—you’re still looking for gift ideas. (Good thing he’s more forward-thinking than I am; a bouquet of roses was waiting for me when I got home last night, and he’s had reservations at a surprise restaurant for months. Go ahead: Insert gagging sounds here.) I know it’s uncool to admit you like Valentine’s—I’m with you. But let’s be honest: You’re secretly hoping for a romantic night out. It’s OK. We won’t tell anyone. But we will tell you where to get your last-minute V-Day on, with options for everyone from the haters to the hopelessly in love. As of this writing, the spots below were still taking limited reservations, but be sure to call ahead. 

Avenue M: This spot’s still taking reservations for seatings at 5, 10, and 10:30 p.m. Choose from a three-course prix fixe for $65 or order off the regular menu. Tip: Even the bar area here gets slammed, so stop dragging your feet and call.

Luxbar: There’s nothing particularly Valentine’s-y going on here, but tables are available before 6 and after 8:30 p.m. It’s also a nice pre- or post-dinner destination for a drink or three.

Paramount Room: Chef Stephen Dunne offers a beer-friendly three-course prix fixe for $35 a pop; the full menu is also available. If you want beer pairings, add $20; for wine pairings, $30, but you can also order drink by drink. When we called, tables were open at 6:45 p.m. and earlier, 7:15, and 8:45 p.m. and later.

Soiree Bar & Bistro: A French-American prix fixe at a Lincoln Park bar? Why not? Seatings from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for a seven-course menu and a bottle of Champagne go for $150 per couple. Sans bubbly, it’s $50 per person; $70 with wine pairings.

Vintage Wine Bar: A three-course prix fixe goes for $45 a person; add wine pairings, and it’s $60. There’s live jazz tonight from 8 p.m. to midnight, and seatings are still available from 5 p.m. on.

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