Make it a perfect date at one of these romantic restaurants.
Romantic restaurants aren't just for Valentine's Day. Whether you're looking for a place for a weeknight date or a lavish celebration, these spots all offer a special ingredient: love.
Romance oozes from this cozy, candlelit Bucktown spot. Even though Hot Chocolate is probably best known for its desserts, main entrees and appetizers do not disappoint. Servers are well-versed on the whole menu, including the wine selection, so don't be afraid to ask for recommendations. The menu often changes and can include gourmet dishes such as lemon sole with heirloom tomato and fennel salad. However, the award-winning hamburger is not to be discounted. For dessert, try feeding each other the warm brioche donuts, which come with hot fudge for dipping and caramel popcorn on the side.
Signature Room at the 95th
Whether you want to spend the whole evening dining on the 95th floor of the Hancock or you'd rather celebrate your love with a toast and be on your way, the Signature Room is one of the most romantic spots in the city. Take in the breathtaking cityscape while you choose from a menu including roasted rack of lamb, salmon filet, vegetarian linguine, signature martinis and bottles of premium wine and champagne. A popular spot any night of the week, it's highly recommended to make reservations (which can be made online) at least 24 hours in advance.
What's more romantic than fondue? Dipping the array of breads, meats and vegetables into melted Swiss and Gruyere, butter and oil is more of an event than an eating experience (an event that can take around three hours, so plan accordingly). Dessert obviously includes melted chocolate, which comes with marshmallows and whipped cream. Flamenco music and an endless selection of wine helps create the perfect date.
An intimate setting with fine French food marks the beginnings of a wonderful date. Choose from a variety of savory fillings for crepes or choose one of the non-crepe entrees such as steak frites or orange roughy. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the wide selection of dessert fillings, including caramel, Nutella and a variety of fruits. Crepes are appropriate any time of day, so consider stopping by for the daily brunch, which includes a short list of breakfast crepes.
mk boasts some of the best chef talents in the city, so those with a well educated palate will appreciate the care placed into the simple, yet elegant seafood dishes. The atmosphere is casual, but each guest is treated to a personal, intimate experience. Desserts are created by some of the city's finest pastry chefs. For a perfect end to a perfect meal, try the cake and shake (layers of cake, chocolate mousse, butter cream and vanilla malted milkshake) and ask for it with two spoons.
Coast Sushi Bar
Coast may be on the pricier end for sushi, but if you're looking for a perfect date spot, look no further. Its classy, quintessential Wicker Park atmosphere draws crowds of couples on a nightly basis, and it's easy to see why. The long list of signature rolls (vegetarian, too), nigri and sashimi suit everyone's particular tastes. And the BYOB policy makes the menu prices a little easier to swallow, so grab a bottle or two before you head out.
Vegetarians and veggie lovers unite for this perfectly unique, intimate eating experience. This classy corner restaurant is full but incredibly calm and quiet at almost all hours, making it a perfect spot to cozy up next to someone and share a conversation. Order from the multi-course menu or opt for a tasting option, where the chef chooses a smaller portion of one entree from each course. You'll be served options such as curried cauliflower soup, semolina gnocchi sweet potato tart or peanut butter and chocolate mousse. If you really want to live it up, try the tasting and add the wine pairing option. You won't be disappointed.
If you haven't yet made it to Alinea to experience first-hand the legendary eating experience the restaurant provides, do yourself (and your sweetheart) a favor and make a reservation right now. Chef Grant Achatz has single-handedly turned dining at his restaurant into an event, providing dramatic, daring dishes served over multiple courses. And each course comes with its own carefully selected wine pairing. The simply decorated, lavender-lit dining room provides a pleasant atmosphere, perfect for spending the multiple hours it may take to finish your eating extravaganza.
A La Turka
Traditional floor seating and belly dancers help add to the romantic atmosphere in this dimly lit Turkish restaurant. Grab your significant other or a group of friends and grab a table (each one seats eight people), where you'll find yourself surrounded by an array of curtains and lamps straight from Istanbul. Lamb is a popular item on the menu, but chicken and vegetables prevail as well. If you're not sure what to order or are adventurous with your table partners, order a few of the sampler platters, which include at least six different options. Still not sure what to order? The servers are experts, so don't be afraid to rely on their opinions.
The thought of pizza and romance coming together under one roof is a bit of a stretch, but it's done well in this quiet, authentically Italian Roscoe Village restaurant. Between the live harp music and the award-winning "pizze," Piazza Bella should be at the top of your list of first-date restaurants or casual romantic spots. The dinnertime pastas are abundant, with ingredients such as eggplant, cherry tomatoes and shrimp making frequent appearances on the menu, and meat, chicken and seafood being the heavy hitters. The authentic Italian atmosphere will be enough to woo even the most cynical of dates.
After all the wining and dining, what better way to cap off date night than with an ice cream sundae at one of Chicago's most well known candy shops? Choose from one of the 50 splits, sundaes and other ice cream creations, or choose a piece of freshly baked pie a la mode. Sitting inside this 1920s-era ice cream parlor will take you back to the days when dating involved courting, and a milkshake with two straws was as hot and heavy as the evening might get.
It's easy, almost too easy, to walk right by this tiny Italian restaurant. Located on the first floor of what looks like a regular apartment building fronted by a very unobtrusive sign, A Tavola's exterior may not make much of an impression, but its food will. The tempered but thoughtful menu consists of just a few appetizers, entrees, pastas and sides, each prepared simply and authentically, with seasonal and organic ingredients. Candlelight and just a handful of tables make it the perfect spot to take that special someone. The place is small, so reservations are recommended.
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