I thought that I would give you a gentile nudge and let you know that Valentine’s Day is a month away. While you still have plenty of time to make your plans, if your plans involve going out to eat, you should make your reservation soon. Valentine’s Day is on a Sunday this year, which means that people will be celebrating throughout the weekend. I have rounded up a list of the best Chicago restaurants to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Here are my recommendations:
Bar Siena – This has become our go-to restaurant lately. The atmosphere with the twinkle lights hints at romance while still being casual. This is a nice pick for people who want a more low key Valentine’s Day. Bar Siena serves both brunch and dinner so you can celebrate any time of the day.
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate – Every woman in Chicago loves this restaurant. The menu is fun, and it includes several hot chocolate options. This is the place to be if you want an amazing culinary experience in a casual atmosphere. It’s a low pressure place to spend Valentine’s Day.
Mon Ami Gabi – This charming, romantic, and cozy restaurant serves up classic French cuisine on the edge of Lincoln Park. The menu features lots of steak and seafood options, and make sure to save room for the profiteroles.
Travelle – If you are dating a foodie, they will love the sophisticated fare served up from Travelle’s open kitchen. The menu is bursting with creative options like black bean fries, bbq octopus, and tuna and avocado tartar.
The Pump Room – I think that this is the most romantic restaurant in the whole city, and the food is wonderful too. Dining at The Pump Room is an occasion – the space has a formality that makes it feel special. This is the reservation to book if you want to impress your date.
RPM Italian – Great food, amazing wine, chic atmosphere, and a convenient location for going to the theater. RPM is a hard reservation to get, so act fast.
Want to really impress your date by suggesting the perfect food and wine pairing? Leslie LaRue Lamont, Formento’s Sommelier, gave me three food and wine pairings from B Hospitality’s restaurants:
At Formento’s, Leslie suggests Quail Saltimbocca and 2014 Dashe Evangelho Vineyard Carignage. “Formento’s now offers Dashe Cellars 100% old vine carignane by the glass. One of two restaurants in the entire country. This wine has vibrant red and black fruit with an alluring floral and savory spice note on the finish. The bright acidity of the carignane cuts through the richness of the proscuitto wrapped quail and plays off of the lovely herbaceous of the toasted sage.” I think that Formento’s serves up some of the best Italian food in Chicago, and I love the more upscale and elegant atmosphere. While West Loop eateries tend to be more casual, Formento’s is the exception. The pastas are fantastic, and I love the chocolate hazelnut cake.
If you need even more Valentine’s Day dining ideas, you can read my 2015 restaurant round ups and recipes. Last year I broke my recommendations into Brunch and Dinner, and you can read more here. Or if you want to cook at home, you can cook one of these brunches or one of these dinners.