By Elizabeth SanFilippo
Cozy up with your significant other this Valentine’s Day at a Chicago restaurant. These five restaurants are all offering delicious dishes and prix-fixe menus that are sure to set your heart aflutter. Sip champagne, delight your tastebuds and celebrate your love!
Dragon Ranch Moonshine & BBQ
441 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Try something new this Valentine’s Day at Dragon Ranch Moonshine & BBQ. Dragon Ranch’s everyday menu puts a spin on American BBQ by adding some Asian ingredients, and that goes for the Duck for Two Tasting Menu on February 14. For $65, share your foie gras dumplings, winter green salad with crispy duck, duck soup/tapioca and grilled duck breast satay. Dragon Ranch’s sister restaurants are also offering some delicious bites for the intimate holiday. At Sunda, enjoy some a la carte specials, such as oysters ($8), sashimi ($12) and chocolate truffles ($6). At Rockit Bar & Grill, be serenaded by a live violinist while enjoying a la carte specials such as a red velvet parfait ($8) and cocoa bean crusted ribeye ($32), just to name a few.
Filini Bar and Restaurant
221 N. Columbus Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Located in the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel, Filini Bar and Restaurant specializes in authentic Italian cuisine. This Valentine’s Day, experience four courses from a prix-fixe menu, including a welcome cocktail — such as Cherub’s Cup with gin, St. Germaine, strawberries, lemon juice, simple syrup and prosecco — followed by three savory courses and dessert. Most of this menu is quite traditional, with choices ranging from lamb carpaccio to tagliatelle with shrimp and lobster. For dessert, celebrate your love for each other with decadent treats, such as a chocolate tart, Grand Marnier mousse and prosecco sponge cake. This menu is available for $75 per person. Can’t make it Valentine’s Day? Filini will also be offering a special tasting menu with select Valentine’s Day dishes from February 15 to February 17.
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937 N. Rush St.
Chicago, IL 60611
In a beautiful candelight ambiance, delight in some creative French-Vietnamese dishes this Valentine’s Day at Le Colonial. The $65 per person menu includes an amuse bouche, appetizer, entree and exquisite dessert. You’ll get to choose from a variety of dishes from the kitchen of Executive Chef Chan Le, such as his appetizers of Suon Nuong, charcoal baby-back ribs with lemongrass, or Ca Saong, tuna tartare, as well as entrees of Bo Sate, sauteed trout with oyster mushrooms, or Sup Do Bien bouillabaisse of coconut saffron broth, just to name a few options.
Mercat a la Planxa
638 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60605
Share some Catalan-inspired tapas this Valentine’s Day. Opened by renowned Executive Chef Jose Garces, along with Denver-based Sage Restaurant Group, the meat and seafood bites here are absolutely divine, making Mercat a la Planxa the perfect place to celebrate. The luxury tasting, only available February 14, includes four courses for $85. Choose between oysters con padrons, carne de res y remolacha (wagyu beef) or cana de cabra to start. Next up, enjoy a second course of conill amb castanyes (rabbit), Mar I Muntanya (short rib with scallops and lentils) or datiles con almendras (bacon-wrapped dates). Your third course can be either a grilled wagyu, Maine lobster or seasonal mushrooms. Last but not least, delight your senses with a caliente y frio xocolata (milk chocolate croquettes and horchata bon bon). This tasting menu can also be enjoyed with wine pairings for $125 per person.
121 W. Hubbard St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Impress your significant other by taking them to Red Violet, a new modern Chinese restaurant in River North that offers affordable upscale cuisine. This Valentine’s Day, savor its “hearts” menu — a prix-fixe tasting menu for two at only $85 — which includes fives courses, including a mixed greens salad, appetizer trio (including a tea smoked duck breast), imperial hot and sour soup, as well as a fourth course of your choosing. Go for the traditional General Tsao chicken, sha cha shrimp or spicy kung pao tofu, or something more modern, like wok seared filet mignon and cashew-crusted halibut. Your hearty meal ends on the perfect romantic note with a chocolate symphony, otherwise known as a dark chocolate cake with chestnut mousse topped with warm cocoa sauce and gold leaves.
Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s scribbling novels, and TV show reviews and recaps. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.