Valentine’s Day is better in Chicago than, say, Florida or California, because you need your love to keep you warm. The cold encourages cuddling and indulging in a candlelit dinner or nibbling sexy dishes by a crackling fire. Book a prix fixe at any of these Chicago spots and you’ll soon croon, “Off with my overcoat, off with my glove – I need no overcoat, I’m burning with love!”
Lawry’s The Prime Rib Chicago
100 E. Ontario St.
Chicago, IL 60611
Lawry’s was the first restaurant in the U.S. to serve a tossed salad before the main entrée, the first to cap baked potatoes with butter, chives, bacon and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt and Lawry’s also pioneered valet parking and the first “doggie bag.” Lawry’s The Prime Rib, Chicago, opened in 1974 in the historic 1890’s McCormick mansion and it still offers Midwest, corn-fed prime rib, aged 21 days to ensure tenderness and slow-roasted on a bed of rock salt resulting in uniformly juicy, flavorful meat. A perfect Valentine’s Day ambience, with carvers clad in starched whites, dazzling crystal chandeliers and the sweeping spiral staircase, Lawry’s is offering a three-course dinner from February 13-16 for $125 per couple plus tax and gratuity. Count on the famous spinning bowl salad; either prime rib or roasted Scottish salmon with delicious sides; red velvet torte dessert for two with freshly brewed coffee or tea; a glass of Champagne, house wine or specialty cocktail for each; and a red rose for each couple.
Kabocha Japanese Brasserie
952 W. Lake St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Kabocha is a lovely Japanese brasserie in the West Loop helmed by Chef Shin Thompson. Think artful Japanese ingredients prepared with French techniques and the result is sexy, delicious food. The Valentine’s Day menu does not disappoint with clever items such as beef heart tartare for an amuse bouche; warm Kabocha squash soup; Kabocha and lobster roe ravioli; scallop and crab motoyaki with a torched ponzu aioli; seared hirame and blue prawn Sudachi kosho with red pepper and Szechuan sauce; roasted Peking-glazed pheasant; and happy endings like strawberry Yuzu cheesecake with mascarpone, chamomile ice cream and cocoa puff crust. The prix fixe meal is a good price considering the quality and artistry at $75/person and additional $35 for beverage pairing.
Related: Best Mediterranean Food In Chicago
840 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
Can you get any more romantic than French food on Valentine’s Day? Rendezvous at Chef Martial Noguier’s chic Gold Coast bistro for a seductive three-course Valentine’s Day prix fixe dinner menu on Friday, February 14th through Sunday, February 16th, 2014 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Indulge in choices like chilled seasonal oysters, Martial’s silky lobster bisque, French bean salad, a duo of prime beef short ribs and beef tenderloin, Diver sea scallops, hand-cut Parmesan gnocchi and the omelette Norvégienne with bittersweet chocolate sauce, among others. The price is $58 per person for either the traditional or vegetarian menu and is exclusive of tax and gratuity.
6 W. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60642
Italian food is all about lush abundance and the Valentine’s holiday is the day you should splurge with your love and a side of pasta. Think Lady and the Tramp slurping the same strand of spaghetti. Although the city offers countless Italian eateries, you can count on the traditional charm for which the Rosebud restaurants are famous, as well as spot-on neoclassic cuisine at Centro. The Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu features all courses prepared tableside for added drama. For $150 per couple, ready your senses for Caesar salad, tomato-basil pasta (nice and red), flaming steak Diane or luscious Branzino, more fire with cherries jubilee or bananas foster. Finish with rich Lavazza French press coffee and homemade petite chocolates.
1625 Hinman Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
Racking up awards like “Best Overall Restaurant in the North Suburbs” and “Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in Chicago” over the past few years, Quince is quite the choice for wooers and cooers. Chef Andy Motto’s global tour of flavor is evident on Valentine’s Day and the prix fixe items ($85 per person) are nothing if not voluptuous: scallops with garlic, watercress and pomelo; quail accompanied by unctuous foie gras, bracing apple and celery root; or lamb tortellini, fonduta and mint. Vegetarians ($75 per person) won’t be disappointed with deep flavors from wild mushroom tart; beets, leeks, sorrel and goat cheese; roasted carrots with garlic, quail egg and pistachio; and a creamy tortellini enhanced by fonduta, mint and fennel. Diners have a choice of two chocolate desserts and reserve early to get a table near the toasty fireplace. Just steps from the lakefront in downtown Evanston, Quince is nestled inside the charming Homestead Hotel.
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.