Flowers? Jewelry? A last-minute trip to Europe? Yep, it’s Valentine’s day, and that means it’s time to impress on your significant other how much you love them.
When February 14th rolls around Chicago turns from the “Windy City” to the city of love. So forego the flowers and the fancy trips and the fast-and-furious last-minute trip out of town and stay on the shores of Lake Michigan where you can have a better and less stressful time than the aforementioned options while you indulge in Chi-town’s culinary scene with a romantic dinner for two at one of the city’s finest restaurants such as the following.
RM Champagne Salon
Start your Valentine’s Day date off right in the stunning — dare we say sexy — surroundings of RM Champagne Salon. With a mix of Parisian charm and Hollywood Regency design, it’s the ultimate locale to begin or end your evening. Or stay the whole night and bask in the beautiful lighting while you pop bottle after bottle of bubbly. The menu is small but delicious. And who wants to finesse large plates as they flirt? No one. But everyone wants to dig into French-inspired comfort foods and sip their way through RM’s exhaustive wine list as they get cozy around the restaurant’s marble fireplace.
Head to the Gold Coast for a bit of Indochine-style romance at Chicago institution Le Colonial. Entering is an evocative experience with lazy fans twirling overhead, dark-wood paneling, and a plethora of palms harkening back to the colonial 1920s of Southeast Asia. But more evocative is the French-Vietnamese dishes. Pho is having its cultural moment among foodies, and at Le Colonial it’s transcendent. To really show off, take your date to the private chef’s dining room and leave them wowed. This is a favorite of anyone who is in the neighborhood, but it’s absolutely a must-do on Valentine’s Day for the ambiance alone.
Dress up in your finest and carbonate your Valentine’s Day experience at this upscale yet cozy spot with a glass of Prosecco’s namesake sipper. Michelin Guide raves about its sophisticated decor “from creamy pale walls and damask drape to travertine floors.” You’ll rave about the transformative pasta dishes cooked to perfection. You may be tempted to share your creamy carbonara “Lady and the Tramp”-style on V-Day, but you’ll have no trouble refraining and being a little selfish as the dishes are something worth not sharing.
Sometimes the only way to show someone you love them is an over-the-top meal at a white-tablecloth steakhouse. Just don’t get distracted from your companion as you dig into Bavette’s savory cuts of filet mignon, New York strip, and classic ribeye or the mouthwatering sides of charred broccoli, pomme frites, and thick-cut bacon. Take things to the next level with a tower of seafood comprised of shellfish, Maine lobster, and king crab.
With options like these, who needs a box of chocolates or a bouquet? Well, probably your loved one, to be safe bring those along to whatever restaurant you choose.