Sunday, February 7, 2016

Great ways to spend Valentine's day in Chicagoland

Time is running out for making plans for Valentine's Day. It's just a week away! Still unsure about where to take that special someone? Here's a round-up of some unique spots in and around Chicago. Here's to a fun, romantic day spent with that special someone.

Medieval Times in Schaumburg has a Valentine's Couple Package for $110, which includes admission for two, four course dinner, cheering flags, photo in a souvenir frame, souvenir glasses of champagne. Use promo code VDAYWEB16 for this offer. Or you can get basic admission and dinner tickets for $36.95 and kids for $29.95 with the promo code JFWB16 through February 29.

Fogo de Chao has a new location in Naperville, in addition to the Chicago and Rosemont locations, and if you dine Valentine's Day weekend, you'll receive a dining card for a complimentary lunch or dinner on your next visit (dinner pricing applies all day on Sunday, Feb. 14.) Fogo de Chao offers a fun experience with an abundant meal of unlimited fire-roasted meats along accompanied by traditional Brazilian sides, a gourmet Market Table with fresh seasonal salads and decadent desserts. Visit Fogodechao.com for locations, pricing and more.

Just named one of the 10 Most Romantic Restaurants in the WORLD by The Culture TripGeja’s Café, 340 W. Armitage, is planning the most romantic Valentine’s Day celebration in its 50 year history.  For nine days, from Sunday, February 7th through Monday, February 15th, the renowned “Restaurant of Romance” will be elegantly decorated and feature sparkling champagne, Celebration of Marriage Night, live flamenco and classical guitarists, photo keepsakes, and delicious sizzling hot fondue cuisine. For information on the Valentine’s Day celebration, please call 773.281.9101, or visit Geja’s online at www.gejascafe.com.       

At Devon Seafood Grill in Chicago, you can enjoy a special dinner during Valentine's weekend of 1 lb. lobster tail, 8 ox. filet oscar or 6oz. filet, 8 ox. lobster tail with two seasonal sides for $55.

Taste on Chestnut will be featuring a special Valentine's Day menu February 12th and 13th, offering guests the choice of 4-course ($60), 3-course ($50), and á la carte options. Among the options are Seed Crusted Ahi Tuna with Pickled Japanese Eggplant and Wasabi Soy; Braised Ox Tail Gnocchi with Truffle Cream, Shaved Pecorino and a Ciabatta Crisp; Baby Kale Caesar with Air Dried Tomato, Anchovies and Sea Salt Crouton; Market Salad with Organic Greens, Shaved Carrots, Edamame, Mushrooms, Cherry Tomato, Grilled Halloumi Cheese; Beet Tartare Salad with Blood Orange Essence Micro Salad, Fennel Vinaigrette and Spiced Walnuts; Lobster Bisque with Truffle Corn Mousse and Bacon Crisp; or Roasted Kabocha Squash Bisque with Apple Flan and Spiced Pipits, Lemon Herb Roasted Amish Chicken with Garlic Potato Wedges, Green Beans and Pan Jus; Pan Roasted Atlantic Salmon with Saffron Cauliflower Puree, Asparagus and Black Olive Oil; Holland Dover Sole with Porcini Mushroom Ravioli, Balsamic Wilted Spinach and Buerre Blanc; Achiote Rubbed Pork Chop with Chorizo Fork Mashed and Fire Roasted Vegetables in Chile Negro Jus; Fillet with Parmesan Risotto, Mushroom Fondue and Foie Gras Mousse; or Rosemary Lamb Chops with Butter Poached Potato, Brussels Sprouts and Merlot Roasted Shallot Reduction.

Finish off your romantic meal with a decadent Valentine’s Strawberry Heart for Two with Vanilla Genoise, Vanilla Bean Custard and Fresh Strawberries or Delicate Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cake with Raspberry Infusion and Dark Chocolate Mousse.

With its recent venue update, Taste on Chestnut offers guests the choice of dining in the vibrant Chestnut Room with its new community table and bar, the warm and intimate Fireplace Room, or the bright and open-air kitchen Savory Room. To reserve a table for February 12th or 13th, please call 847-441-0134 or go online to www.opentable.com/taste-on-chestnut.

Spend Valentine’s Day at Lincoln Park’s newest dining destination, slick, contemporary restaurant The Warehouse Bar & Pizzeria, 1419 W. Fullerton.  Featuring a 16 ft. overhead garage door that opens up the front of the space, the restaurant has an airy and inviting feel, imparting a sense of casual comfort and ease right away, perfect for a relaxed Valentine’s Day dinner. Upholstered booth seating and exposed brick walls give the space a dynamic feeling. The Warehouse Bar & Pizzeria presents a unique list of specialty 12 inch personal pizzas pies meant to dazzle even the most seasoned Chicago pizza aficionado, as well as salads, sandwiches and appetizers using fresh, flavorful ingredients. Guests may enjoy red pizzas, white pizzas, or even build their own. For more information, visit http://www.thewarehousechicago.com or call 773.661.6454.

Looking for something a little unusual? Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana, located on Purdue University Calumet's Hammond campus is offering a "Fly Your Sweetie to the Moon" on February 13. As a pair, you'll work through a space simulation together and enjoy a laser light show. There will also be chocolate and a floral gift. Tickets are $50 per couple.

Chef Graham Elliot will offer a five-course, heart-themed menu for Valentine’s Day at Graham Elliot Bistro (841 W. Randolph St.) Dishes include Artichoke Heart, with pickled pear, black truffle and crème fraiche; Beef Heart, with barely risotto, shaved fennel and housemade ricotta; and Coconut Heart, with coconut caramel, toasted coquito and chocolate ganache. The cost of the menu is $95 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity) and will be offered Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 14. Reservations are required and may be made by visiting gebistro.com/#reservations.

For pizza lovers, you can say "I love you" than with a delicious, heart-shaped pizza at Heart Shaped Pizza 300Bacino's in Lincoln Park as well as locations at 75 E. Wacker Dr. in Chicago and 36 South LaGrange Road in Downtown LaGrange.  

You can also ship one to that special someone! Bacino's renowned stuffed pizzas are available for shipping. Orders must be received no later than February 10 for arrival on February 12. Medium (serves 2-3) and Large (serves 3-4) sizes are available for shipping. Prices are based on the regular menu price plus shipping and handling. Pricing for medium stuffed pizzas begin at $19.95; large at $24.95. Call 312-263-2350 to order. $3.50 for local delivery; shipping costs vary.

If you're looking for a more gourmet experience, both Bella Bacinos locations are featuring a special Valentine's menu all weekend-Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 12, 13, and 14, including Sunday brunch. Paired with Bella Bacinos' extraordinary, award-winning wine list, it will set the stage for an unforgettable, romantic meal. The LaGrange location is featuring live music by guitarist Anselmo Marquez, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, February 12. 
End the evening on a sweet note with one of Bacinos' house-made desserts. Indulge in house made Tiramisu, an Italian classic, or the Flourless Chocolate Cake, featuring imported Valrhona dark chocolate, and pair it with a delicious sparkling dessert wine.

Avli Estiatorio (566 Chestnut St.), Winnetka and Chicagoland’s premier Greek dining destination, will offer a romantic, four-course prix fixe menu this Valentine’s Day. Love birds will choose an appetizer of either the signature Aginares Skaras, grilled artichokes with capers, lemon zest and olive oil or the Avli Flatbread with Greek cheeses, onions, olives, tomatoes and basil. The salad course offers the option of the classic Greek Salad, with tomatoes, Greek feta, cucumbers, red onions, green peppers, Kalamata olives, Greek oregano and housemade dressing or Diane’s Salad, with arugula, manouri cheese, pear, walnuts, balsamic vinegar and Greek honey dressing. Entrée options include the Salmon, baked in parchment paper with fennel, leeks and ouzo or the Beef Kabob with chargrilled beef tenderloin, herbs, spices and lemon-oregano rice. Guests will then be able to nibble on a sampling of signature desserts. The dinner menu will be offered from Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February, 14. Cost per person is $37 (exclusive of tax and gratuity) and includes a glass of Champagne or select wine. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 847.446.9300.

Located directly on the Magnificent Mile and inside of the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile (540 N Michigan Ave.), Harvest Restaurant boasts a contemporary spin on classic American fare. On Valentine’s Day, Executive Chef Myk Banas will offer a reasonably priced, three-course prix fixe menu for two. Options include the Endive Caesar, with anchovy-caper dressing, Grana cheese, egg yolk and garlic breadcrumbs; Crispy Grit Cakes, with aioli, prosciutto and pickled jalapeno; Pan Roasted Wisconsin Char, with vegetable ragout, smoked shrimp broth and roe; and the Chocolate Raspberry Bomb, with chocolate mousse, chocolate cake and berries. Cost per couple is just $80, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Patrons have the option of adding a bottle of select wine for $19. Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 312.836.6334.

The Chocolate Sanctuary, is offering some Valentine's Day treats that include a Surf and Turf ($42) - 6 oz filet and lobster tail served with creamed spinach, garlic roasted Yukon Gold potatoes; crab and lobster ravioli amuse, a baked spicy crab mac & cheese and a dessert for Valentine's made for two. Guests will also receive a complimentary truffles box! Chocolate Sanctuary is located at 5101 Washington St in Gurnee, 224.944.0808.


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