Now that’s its February, it’s time to start preparing for another holiday. That’s right, Valentine’s Day is here, the day where we appreciate the ones we love and cherish. How do we show that appreciation? Flowers, candy, jewelry, a new car, a romantic walk on Lake Michigan, a weekend getaway, or a romantic ride on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel? Or how about taking your loved ones out to a romantic dinner at one of Chicago’s finest eateries. The choices are endless, but here are ChicagoMOD‘s top choices for the best romantic restaurants where you can rekindle the magic.
BLVD is an contemporary American restaurant that draws on the imagination of Hollywood’s Sunset Blvd circa 1950, the golden era’s most iconic strip of dining and entertaining establishments. Their menu has culinary delights that will have you salivating at the mouth with choices ranging from oysters, hamachi, tuna, shrimp cocktail, steak tartare octopus, mussels, minute steak, lamb loin and much more. Same thing can be said for their dessert menu, with choices ranging from strawberry cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding, fruit cobbler, chocolate peanut butter cake, and mini malt milkshakes. The champagne room is a private space that can seat up to about 50 people and can host a standing reception for up to 75 people. The lounge is a semi-exclusive space that can fit about 35 people and can host standing receptions for up to 50 people. If you have a full party, then you can book the whole restaurant, up to 250 people can fill up the whole establishment. A perfect restaurant for a perfect night of romance. 817 W Lake St., 312-526-3116
Elske is the one of the most cultured (and romantic) restaurants in the West Loop. This Michelin Star establishment is perfect for date night with a romantic dining room filled with attractive wood tables, soft curtains, and candlelight. The intricate, attentive dishes on the $85 tasting menu screams love and romance. Run by husband and wife David and Anna Posey, named their establishment Elske, because of it’s Danish roots. Elske comes from the Danish word love, it’s also a tribute to David’s Danish heritage and the fact the couple got engaged in Copenhagen. There are two menus to choose from: the tasting menu and à la carte menu. Both menus have appetizing dishes, such as duck liver tart with buckwheat and salted ramps, profiterole with chewy beets, cured fluke with cucumber, and chilled kombu broth, soft scrambled eggs with chicken thigh, smoked carrots, and crispy sprouts. Other than the food, the drinks are sweet as well, from the wine to the draft beer and cocktails. 564 W. Randolph Street., 312-667-0104
In collaboration with Boka Restaurant group, Bellemore establishes an artistic American flair in both cuisine and decor. Designed by Karen Herold of Studio K, the smooth interiors are equipped with brass details featuring natural elements, luxurious sofas, and nostalgia wood and wicker seating. The bar has 12 seats furnished with wrought-iron bird cages and the main dining room is focused around the serving station. Headed by chef Jimmy Papadopoulos, his passion for the restaurant business has always focused around two things: people and food. The menu speaks for itself, there are countless delicious dishes to choose from, such as Atlantic cod, grilled vegetable soup, hawaiian rolls, fried razor clams, spaghetti chitarra, and mushroom ravioli. The desert menu is marvelous as well with dishes ranging from chocolate pave, chestnut brioche, and satsuma mandarin sherbet. 564 W Randolph St., 312-667-0104
The French atmosphere of Bavette’s has made it a huge success since it’s opening in 2012. There are a number of dark and romantic corners to hide out in and be alone with the love of your life. Start the night off with a plateau de fruits de mer, a seafood tower lined with fresh lobster, shrimp, oysters, and more. Move on to the main course with a dry-aged ribeye, short-rib Stroganoff or double-bone Berkshire pork chop. Bavette’s prides itself of providing its patrons with an exemplary wine collection, such as the French 75 and Kir Royale. While enjoying a delicious meal with your date, enjoy the jazz-era decor and music to put you in the mood. 218 W Kinzie St., 312-624-8154
The romantic and homely Cafe Marie-Jeanne should be on your list of date night options. When ordering dinner, the menu has an exquisite selection of soups and salads, along with a long list of sides including a variety of entrees, including savory duck and raclette omelette. Vegetarians will love the hearty veggie pot pie, made with in-season root vegetables, such as carrots and parsnips. 1001 N. California Ave., 773-904-7660
This faintly lit fondue site is a reliably romantic evening destination. The four-course Prince Geja blend, while expensive, allows couples the opportunity to get cozy while experimenting with various dips. At dinner, couples will start off with a salad, followed by a cheese fondue appetizer with bread, apples, and grapes. Next, beef tenderloin , chicken breast, lobster tail, jumbo shrimp, and sea scallops are bought out to be cooked in a tableside hot oil pot. Make sure you have room for the flaming chocolate fondue dessert. 340 W. Armitage Ave., 773-281-9101
Plan ahead and secure a reservation at this lavish Bucktown restaurant before it fills up. Snuggle up with your date, and split a tasty meal like meatballs with sweet chili glaze, polenta capped with blistered tomatoes and tender hanger steak with red wine shallot butter. The sleek and romantic atmosphere of this gorgeous Bucktown venue won’t disappoint on this holiday designed for love. 1749 N. Damen Ave., 773-697-3315