Binge on Love this Valentine’s Day

Whether you’d rather spend a quite night at home with a bottle of wine, or dress up for a 6-course-dinner at the most expensive spot in town, Valentine’s Day is worth celebrating in perfect fashion. Some may argue that it’s not a Holiday to splurge on, but we think any day that you can make an extraordinary day is something to take advantage of. We rounded up some of Chicago’s best Valentine’s Day happenings and we guarantee there is something for everyone!

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Are you and your significant other into celebrating in a more laid back fashion? These next few options are the ones for you! Show your special someone how much they mean to you while still being true to your laid back lifestyle.

SLURPING TURTLE (116 W. Hubbard St.)
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Want to watch a movie and still enjoy a delicious dinner out? Look no further! The Japanese comfort-food concept and ramen hotspot offers a four-course menu for $45 with the option of adding sake pairings for $30; or a seven-course menu for $75 with the option of adding sake pairings for $50. Guests can revel in classic love films like “Gone with the Wind” and “Casablanca” throughout the evening. Taking the theater experience one step further, guests can get their candy fix with sweet treats and fun film-inspired snacks from a popcorn machine, fondue station, and cotton candy machine.
Reservations will be accepted from 5-10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14. For reservations, please call 312.464.0466 or click here.

ROCKIT BURGER BAR (3700 N. CLARK)
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Have a little fun with food this Valentine’s Day at Rockit Burger Bar! Enjoy their special heart shaped Mac N Cheese “Heart” Attack burger they’re running on Saturday, February 14 for Valentine’s Day. It’s the signature quarter pound black angus patty between two fried mac and cheese buns with lettuce, tomato, scallions, sriracha ketchup, but in a fun heart shape (shown below!) and served with truffle tots for $15.
RBB - Mac & Cheese Heart Attack Burger 7

MAX’S WINE DIVE (1482 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
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This Valentine’s Day, MAX’s Wine Dive (1482 N. Milwaukee Ave.) invites guests to revel in a nostalgic dinner for two inspired by their first childhood crush. Chef Jessica Brumleve offers a special three-course menu with memorable dishes like Goat Cheese “Tots” with black truffle aïoli and micro greens; “Spam” on a Shingle with bacon-wrapped pork terrine, Dijon béchamel, Slagel Farm egg, arugula, and biscuit crumbles; and Revolution’s Eugene Porter Float & Chocolate Beignets with Valhrona chocolate ganache, confectioner’s sugar, and two straws. MAX’s Valentine’s Day dinner is available on Saturday, Feb. 14, beginning at 4 p.m. and is priced at $60 per couple, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Select bottles of wine will be priced at $25. Reservations can be made by calling 773.661.6581 or online at www.maxswinedive.com/chicago.

BAR TOMA 110 (E Pearson St)
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Trade in the flowers for flour this Valentine’s Day! What better way to add a little fun to the weekend than by attending an interactive pizza tossing class? On Friday, February 13 at 7pm you can do just that- for $50/guest will learn how to create the restaurant’s award-winning wood-fired pizzas from dough to oven by Executive Chef Erik Freeberg, who will walk through the process step-by-step. While sipping on a selection of wine, beer and Italian-inspired cocktails, guests can choose from the restaurant’s delicious pizzas. After the class, guests will be able cozy up and enjoy their creations and drinks together, setting the mood for a romantic (and delicious) Valentine’s Day weekend.
To reserve a spot, please call the restaurant at (312) 266-3110 or book here

CERES’ TABLE (3124 North Broadway)
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For those looking for a cozy, neighborhood spot to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, Ceres’ Table has the recipe for romance. Along with an exceptional Valentine’s Day menu, one lucky guest at random will receive a diamond infinity necklace from the boutique, Chicago-based Steve Quick Jewelers. Additionally, all diners will receive complimentary signature chocolates from Veruca Chocolates, Food & Wine’s pick for one of the “best chocolates in the US.”
To make a reservation, please call the restaurant at (773) 922-4020 or visit the OpenTable page.

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Go big or go home this Valentine’s Day! If you’re looking for the best of the best for your sweetheart, make sure you make a reservation at one of the following- you won’t regret it!

FIG & OLIVE (104 E Oak St)
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Wish you could be celebrating the most romantic day of the year at a romantic bistro in France? FIG & OLIVE brings the next best thing right to you! For Valentine’s Day weekend, FIG & OLIVE will be featuring a 3-course prix-fixe Mediterranean-inspired menu on Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14 priced at $79 per person (non-inclusive of tax and gratuity). The menu will feature choices for the first and second courses with highlights including: Seared Sea Scallops & Chanterelles, Chilean Sea Bass, and Grass Fed Filet Mignon.
{Ladies also receive a special gift}

RUXBIN (851 N. ASHLAND)
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Sweep that special someone off their feet with a decadent dinner at Ruxbin (851 N. Ashland Ave.) on the ultimate day of love. Chef Edward Kim offers guests a memorable five-course meal with a hot and cold Oyster Duo; Hamachi with maitake sabayon and pickled vegetables; Blood Orange quinoa salad with celery; Venison and Scallop; and Chocolate and Winter Fruit. The special Valentine’s Day menu is priced at $95 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made online or by calling 312.624.8509.

FILINI BAR & RESTAURANT (221 N. Columbus Dr.)
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Celebrate Valentine’s Day in a unique fashion this year with Filini’s Seven Deadly Sins menu. Guests are invited to discover their sultry side while savoring the flavors of lust, envy, wrath, gluttony, greed, pride, and sloth. The tempting affair includes Oysters, Tuna and Yellowfin Crudo (lust); Cucumber Mint Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with mixed green salad and gold leaf (envy); Grilled Shark with chili oil and blood orange (wrath); Pork Stuffed Pork Belly with homemade biscuit (gluttony); Tower of Babylon Layered Pasta with layers of veal ragu, mushrooms, and truffle oil (greed); Carrot Ginger Shooter with carrot chips and pickled carrot (pride); and Macaroons with chocolate covered raspberries, passion fruit sorbet, and frozen beet foam (sloth).
The seven-course menu is $95 per person or $125 with cocktail pairings. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 312.477.0234 or online here.

GEJA’S CAFE (340 W. ARMITAGE)
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Chicago’s legendary restaurant of romance, Geja’s Café, is hosting a special two week (2/1-2/15) Valentine’s Festival featuring a variety of prix fixe menus and great wine pairings. An enchanting wine cellar atmosphere, private booths, and subdued lighting contribute to Geja’s intimate surroundings that make for the perfect Valentine’s ambiance. Over its 50 years in business, the Chicago institution has been the site of 135,356 first dates and 16,266 engagements and diners have enjoyed over 321 tons of cheese fondue and over 1,072,046 bottles of wine. For reservations, call 773.281.9101, or visit www.gejascafe.com

MOTT STREET CHICAGO (1401 N. ASHLAND)
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Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Mott St with an array of intoxicating shareable plates, like Oyster Mushrooms, pan-seared with thyme and miso butter; Steamed Dumplings, stuffed with pork, ginger, and green onion; Duck Hearts & Strawberries grilled with basil and celery; and Whole Silk Snapper, fried in coconut fat and served with dirty rice of plantains and nam prik pao, sesame leaf, tamarind broth, and house sambal. A Special Oyster Tower is also available for $30 per dozen with optional king crab legs (MP). Reservations are recommended and can be made online or by calling 773.687.9977.

TRAVELLE (330 N. Wabash Ave.)
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Make this Valentine’s Day one for the record books! Created by Chef Tim Graham and Pastry Chef Scott Green, this prix fixe menu ($155 per couple) will not disappoint. The romantic evening starts with a glass of welcoming Champagne followed by Grilled Naked Cowboy Oysters with spicy tarragon butter and a Chilled French Kiss with blood orange gelée. Additionally, sweethearts can relish in dishes like From the Heart Salad with artichoke heart, celery heart, romaine heart, and green goddess dressing; Dover Sole for Two made with “Love Curry” dusted sole, fire charred peppers, almonds, and wild rice; Surf and Turf, featuring dry-rubbed beef tenderloin, lobster dumpling, creamed cauliflower, and bleeding beet bordelaise; and Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake for dessert.
For reservations click here or call 312.923.7705

RIVER ROAST (315 N. LaSalle St.)
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Roast & boast this Valentine’s Day! River Roast is an ideal place for Valentine’s Day, as the roasts are all meant to be shared by two. The whole roasted chicken, big fish, roast beef, rack of pork and boatload of veggies are the stars of the menu, and are all shareable entrees, perfect for couples. Diners can also choose from indulgent Valentine’s Day specials by Executive Chef John Hogan including:
-Oysters Rockefeller ($18)
-Dover Sole stuffed with Lobster Mousse and Lobster Sauternes Sauce ($52)
-Roasted Venison with Savory Oatmeal Cake and Parsnip Apple Puree ($40)
CALL (312) 822-0100 FOR RESERVATIONS
Also, during River Roast’s Blues & Brews Brunch the weekend of Valentine’s Day (February 14th and 15th), the live blues music will feature Nick and Kate Moss, a husband and wife duo, and two of Chicago’s great blues players. Chef Hogan, curator of the weekly live blues shows, invites music lovers in for a little romancing with this musical couple.

THE LANGHAM, CHICAGO (330 N WABASH)
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For $60 per person, couples can enjoy a menu full of love with a Hearts of Palm salad, West Coast Oysters on the Half Shell, Hearts of Foie Gras, and more. To top off the menu, guests can enjoy a selection of Wedgwood Teas from Sencha Furujyu, a refreshing Japanese green tea with a light roasted flavor, to the Vanilla Rooibos, with organic house blend of lavender, drid currants, vanilla, and oranges.

PERENNIAL VIRANT (1800 N. Lincoln Ave.)
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Brunch or dinner? You decide!
The Midwest-inspired restaurant offers both dinner and brunch menus created by James Beard Award-nominated Chef Paul Virant and Chef de Cuisine Ed Sura. For dinner on Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14, couples can enjoy the tasting menu, priced at $75 per person, with courses including Pork Confit Beignets with cherry mostarda, greens, and Dunbarton blue; Skuna Bay Salmon with tomato eggplant caponata, spinach, fennel, and almond purée; and Beef with bordelaise, potato “lorette,” glazed pickled green beans, and roasted mushrooms. Brunch lovers can relish in Perennial Virant’s special Valentine’s Day prix fixe brunch menu, priced at $35 per person, which includes one savory and sweet item to share; an entrée per person; and a choice of Bloody Mary, mimosa, or mocktail.
Reservations are recommended and may be made by calling 312.254.4672.

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Whether you’re single or just the kind of couple that prefers to have a little fun, binge on these hot spots for the best Valentine’s Day cocktails!

SEPIA (123 N. Jefferson St.)
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For those looking to celebrate love at a less formal affair, Sepia Head Bartender Griffin Elliott offers a special Valentine’s Day Reserve Cocktail Menu. Each craft cocktail features aphrodisiacs and seasonal citrus, an intoxicating combination that complements Sepia’s sexy vibe and special prix fixe menu. Libations, priced at $16, are available in Sepia’s lounge and dining room.

LEVEL TWO (located in Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile 633 N. Saint Clair St.)
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This year, skip Cupid’s contagious arrow and head straight to Level Two, located in Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile (633 N. Saint Clair St.), for a new kind of liquid love remedy: the Bitter Love Potion ($12). Composed of housemade cinnamon bitters and Nolet’s Gin, this intoxicating cocktail is garnished (of course) with a single rose petal that will assuredly impress even the most skeptical love cynic. The Bitter Love Potion is available throughout the entire month of February. Level Two is open daily 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
For reservations, please call 312.274.4444 or visit OpenTable.

STETSONS MODERN STEAK + SUSHI (151 E. Upper Wacker Dr.)
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Come enjoy Cupid’s Daiquiri, a wintertime daiquiri comprising Leblon Cachaça, cherry liqueur, pomegranate, lime, and agave nectar ($14). Cozy up by Stetsons’ fireplace—drink in hand—and enjoy a classic cut, like Stetsons Prime Rib or Filet Mignon, or try one of Chef Kostas Chaidaropoulos’ specialties, such as Grilled Octopus, Colorado Lamb Chops, or Blackened Wagyu Flat Iron Steak. Stetsons is open for dinner on Valentine’s Day from 5-10:30 p.m., with regular hours being Sunday-Thursday 5-10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 5-10:30 p.m.
Reservations can be made by calling 312.239.4491.

BAR PASTORAL (2947 north Broadway)
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Not only is Bar Pastoral a hot-spot for food, but the drink specials being served Friday 2/13 – Sunday 2/16 will warm your heart!
Rose Gimlet $10
Featuring Letherbee Gin, Cranberry juice, Lime and Simple Syrup

Heart 2 Heart $10
Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon, Lime and Simple topped with Bells 2 hearted Ale

THE BARRELHOUSE FLAT (2624 N. Lincoln Ave.)
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Whether your single or coupled up, Barrelhouse Flat makes the night enjoyable for everyone. Offering a specialty menu of cocktails and bites for Valentine’s Day enthusiasts and cynics alike. Celebrate a romantic union with the One and Only cocktail ($9) paired with an elegant dessert for two, or find respite in the Sad Man Special ($15), a classic boilermaker combination of Schlitz and a shot of bourbon, which pairs perfectly with an order of frites. A full menu of offerings can be found online at barrelhouseflat.com. The Barrelhouse Flat is open from 6 p.m.-5 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14.

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Got a sweetheart and a sweet tooth? These places are the best to satisfy those cravings. You can even bring your small sweethearts for a family friendly way to celebrate with loved ones!

STAN’S DONUTS & COFFEE (1560 N. Damen Ave. and 259 E. Erie St.)
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Stan’s sweetens up Valentine’s Day with a limited-time Pink Almond Cream Donut ($3.50 each) and two special Sweetheart Lattes. Available in White Chocolate Raspberry Mocha and Cherry Cordial Mocha flavors, these lattes are priced at $4.25 (12 oz.) and $4.75 (16 oz.). The exclusive donut and lattes are available Feb. 13-15, and the lattes are available for the entire month of Feb. Stan’s Donuts & Coffee Wicker Park is open Sunday-Wednesday 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursday 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Friday-Saturday 6:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. The Streeterville location is open Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Saturday-Sunday 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

ALL CHOCOLATE KITCHEN (33 s. Third Street- Geneva, IL)
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Guinness World Record holder and Chicago’s king of chocolate and sugar art, Chef Alain Roby, has once again taken Valentine’s Day to the next level with the debut of his 948-pound, life-size, white chocolate “Eros”, the God of Love, created for the Food Network special, premiering on Saturday, Feb. 7. “Eros” will join Chef’s other famous, larger-than-life creations, including a 23-foot-tall all chocolate enchanted tree, made entirely out of Dark Belgian Chocolate for Valentine’s Day 2012; a 700 lb. sculpture of Neil Armstrong in an astronaut suit; and a life-size 650 lb. white chocolate Blackhawks player, honoring NHL player Eddie Olczyk, presented to him at the Blackhawks’ celebration of the 2010 Stanley Cup.

To honor the occasion, Chef Roby’s All Chocolate Kitchen in Geneva will host a viewing party on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 3 pm for the Food Network segment, where guests can catch a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Eros”, and take pictures with Chef and his newest chocolate sculpture.

DMK BURGER BAR (2954 N. Sheffield Ave.) AND (2370 Fountain Sq. Dr., Lombard, IL)
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DMK BURGER & FISH (815 Noyes St., Evanston, IL)
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Celebrate love with a milkshake! These restaurants that perfected the art of the milkshake and invite guests to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14 with a limited edition Candy Heart Milkshake ($5), featuring strawberry, peppermint, and garnished with candy hearts.
Enjoy one at the restaurant or grab it to-go! Reservations can be made by calling 773.360.8686.

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What’s better than laughing with the one(s) you love? We think nothing!

UTTER NONSENSE: THE INAPPROPRIATE ACCENT GAME (and perfect for a fun night at home!)
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Utter Nonsense is the perfectly hysterical game to play with a group of friends (couples or not!) or even better, paired with a bottle of champagne for a stay at home Valentine’s Day. We love the idea of making each other laugh, and there will be no shortage of laughter playing this game!
“Utter Nonsense is a card game where players combine stereotypical accents with outrageous phrases to create sayings that are just plain ridiculous. Think of a grandma bragging about sexting or a redneck wondering if diarrhea is contagious. Sometimes phrases pair well with the accent, but for the most part they don’t — and that’s Utter Nonsense.”

STAGE 773 (1225 w. Belmont) “CUPID IN YOUR PANTS” & “CUPID HAS A HEART ON”
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The Cupid Players of Stage 773 will present Valentine’s Day performances of Cupid Has A Heart On and Cupid in Your Pants for those looking for an unconventional way to celebrate love on Saturday, February 14. Couples, singles, and groups of friends can catch Chicago’s longest running musical comedy show, Cupid Has a Heart On at 8 p.m., which combines cutting edge comedy with feisty songs about relationships, love and life ($30/per person or $50/per couple).
For those who enjoy a supremely adult-themed show, The Cupid Players will present a one-night-only performance of Cupid in Your Pants at 10:30 p.m., a frisky spin on Cupid Has a Heart On with sensational numbers and hilarious Valentine’s Day scenes ($22/per person or $40/per couple). For tickets, visit www.stage773.com.
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FIRST FOLIO THEATRE (1717 W 31st St Oak Brook, IL) “LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR”
First Folio Theatre will present the witty comedy, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, by one of the world’s most successful playwrights, Neil Simon, on Valentine’s Day at 8 p.m. Laughter on the 23rd Floor is a journey into the world of maniacs and madmen from Mel Brooks to Carl Reiner to Selma Diamond. The Manhattan office where they worked was a giant pressure cooker and war zone with big egos vying for attention. As they frantically scramble to top each other with gags, they also struggle with the rise of McCarthyism in America and the changing whims of their NBC bosses, bent on making these irrepressible madmen normal and respectable. For tickets, call 630.986.8067 or visit www.firstfolio.org.

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