West Loop, Chicago

Valentine’s Day Is One Week Away!

Yes, that’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Your favorite “holiday” is in seven days! Do you know what you are doing with your hunny? If you are like me, Valentine’s Day is actually one of the few days that I prefer NOT to go out to eat. Something about a restaurant filled with tables of two offering pre fixe menus scares me away. Personally, I would much prefer to order a great meal to-go from a restaurant like Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, and opening an amazing bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon at home. King crab legs and key lime pie? Yes, please! However, if you prefer to leave the work, and the clean up, to the professionals, then here are some recommendations.

Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, so why not make a night, or weekend, out of it. Head to a fancy hotel, have an amazing dinner, and stay the night. Allium at the Four Seasons, The Lobby Restaurant at the Peninsula, Sixteen at Trump International Hotel & Tower, and Travelle at The Langham all fit the bill. Allium is offering a special four-course menu inspired by aphrodisiacs, emotions, and hues associated with love. The menu is $95 per person, or $130 with a glass of Dom Perignon. Guests can enjoy the famed Chocolate Bar after dinner at The Lobby; a full buffet of chocolate treats. At Sixteen, a seven-course menu will be served for $185 per couple; $310 with Champagne pairings; and, gasp, $935 with premium wine pairings. Travelle will be offering a special “Fire & Ice” menu for two priced at $155 per couple, which includes a whole dourade, as well as a fiery chocolate cake on a frozen “cloud.”

If amazing food in a fancy hotel doesn’t get your blood flowing, perhaps some oysters will. GT Fish & Oyster, Fish Bar, Maude’s Liquor Bar, and RM Champagne Salon are all great options. GT Fish is offering a six-course tasting menu for $95 per person; $145 with wine pairings. At Fish Bar, fresh oysters are on the pre-fixe menu that also features a lobster starter, choice of soup, a whole 1-pound Maine lobster, and dessert for $44 per person. Maude’s is a dimly lit, romantic restaurant, perfect for Valentine’s Day, and offers French-inspired cuisine, including four different kinds of fresh oysters. Finally, no one can go wrong with bringing that special someone to RM Champagne Salon. You will be transported to Paris and enjoy a fine selection of Champagne and amazing food, including fresh oysters.

While I’ve armed you with eight great dining options for a successful Valentine’s Day, the rest is up to you. Make it fun, make it special, but most of all, make it tasty.