Love is in the Air – Chicago’s Valentine’s Day Experiences

Love is in the air, Photo: Will O (Unsplash.com)

As the season of love approaches, here is a roundup of restaurants, hotels, and other events around Chicago. Celebrate Valentine’s Day in style. See below for some of the amazing promotions happening this February.

Geja’s Café, the renowned “Restaurant of Romance” located at 340 W. Armitage, is planning the most romantic Valentine’s celebration in its 55-year history. From Sunday, February 9 through Monday, February 17, Geja’s Café will be elegantly decorated for the love-filled holiday and will feature a selection of rosé sparkling wines and champagnes, delicious fondue cuisine, perfectly complemented with entertainment throughout the evening from live flamenco and classical guitarists. The Valentine’s Festival will also play host to the ever popular Celebration of Marriage Night, where couples receive an added discount based on the years they have been married, on February 10. Reservations are now available, and romancers can go to Geja’s website www.gejascafe.com and click on the Valentine’s icon to complete their reservation.

Geja’s, Credit Geja’s

State and Lake Chicago Tavern: State and Lake Chicago, 201 N. State St., will be offering the ultimate dessert treat for couples this Valentine’s Day. Guests who visit may indulge in a delicious Cuddle Bear Cake comprised of devils’ food cake, rum roasted bananas, vanilla bean mousse and strawberry crunch for just $15. The creation was artfully constructed by Chicago’s Queen of Pastry’s herself, Chef Toni Roberts. For more information on State and Lake Chicago Tavern, please visit https://stateandlakechicago.com/.

Wit Hotel Heartbreaker Cake, credit: Wit Hotel

For dinner and drinks, venture 27 stories up above the city to ROOF on theWit’s Love the Drink You’re With weekend for live entertainment, a romantic view of the city, and specialty cocktails before you spend the night in one of theWit’s luxury hotel rooms. Indulge with sweet treats, a bottle of champagne, or a Heartbreaker Cake delivered directly to your room. Live entertainment will be available throughout Friday and Saturday night with DJs all weekend starting at 9:00 p.m., a live performance by The Champagne All Stars on Friday night from 6:00 p.m. -9:00 p.m. and ballet dance performances during Saturday’s nightlife.

[email protected] is offering “Blissfully In Love Couples” massages and “Just You + Me Couples” pedicures for this season of love! Nothing says “I care for you.” more than an intimate and relaxing trip to the spa with that special person in your life. And each treatment comes with a glass of champagne and take-home gifts for guests to celebrate one another. More details can be found at  https://spaatthewit.com/

Ocean Prime, Chicago’s premier destination for seafood and steak located at 87 E. Wacker, will be offering a special menu addition for Valentine’s Day diners in case you might be working on anything upcoming that would be a good fit. The special dish (pictured below), crafted by Executive Chef Jason Shelley, is a Roasted Sea Bass over Alaskan King Crab Gnocchi with decadent Champagne CreamThe dish is topped with a delicious Baby Carrot Salad in a Preserved Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette. The perfect place to celebrate the romantic holiday, Ocean Prime is a vibrant, centrally located modern fine dining experience that offers unparalleled views of both the scenic Magnificent Mile and Chicago River. They are now accepting reservations for the holiday. Please find hi-res imagery of the dish attached. For more information on the restaurant or to book a reservation, guests may visit https://www.ocean-prime.com/

The Rose Hotel: Love is almost as good as a really great glass of wine, but unmatched when paired with delicious food! To celebrate the love in the air this Valentine’s Day, The Rose Hotel, located in Rosemont,  has collaborated with The Prisoner Wine Company to host a special pairing dinner on February 14 hosted by John Samaritano featuring a menu crafted by Executive Chef Nicholas Malloy. For $80 per person, the evening will include a cocktail hour beginning at 6 p.m. and a seductive dining experience guided and expertly paired with world class wines beginning at 7 p.m. including the following: 

  • Scallops with Parsnip Puree, Poached Apple, Shaved Asparagus, Pancetta and Micro Greens
    • Wine Pairing: “Snitch” 
  • Smoked Short Rib with Cranberry Polenta, Rainbow Chard, Onion Ash and Garlic Confit Chimichurri
    • Wine Pairing: “Cuttings” 
  • Braised Lamb Shank with Pita Skordalia, Fried Rosemary, Pearl Onion and Lamb Jus.
    • Wine Pairing “Eternally Silenced” 
  • Red Wine Cheesecake with a Red Wine Strawberry Reduction.  
    • Wine Pairing: “Prisoner” 

Tickets are $80 per person and can be purchased online here.

Hornblower Cruises & Events Chicago: Let your love sail! Perfect for couples looking for a romantic experience unlike any other in Chicago, Hornblower Cruises & Events Chicago is hosting several Valentine’s Day Weekend cruises on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River on Friday, February 14 and Saturday, February 15. Guests of each two or three-hour cruise will enjoy a private table with incredible views of Chicago’s architecture from their seats, a freshly-cut single rose per couple and the opportunity to dance the night away following a delicious buffet or plated meal. Both Lunch and Dinner menus feature a first-course Caesar Salad, a second-course Lobster Bisque and an array of options for dessert. Lunch entree options include Jumbo Forest Mushroom Ravioli, Maple & Mustard Glazed Chicken Breast, Oven Baked Fresh Atlantic Salmon Filet and Braised Beef Short Rib, while dinner entree options include Jumbo Forest Mushroom RavioliOven Roasted Frenched Chicken Breast with Rosemary & Thyme or six-ounce USDA Choice Filet Mignon & Jumbo Shrimp. Additional enhancements, including guaranteed window table, a bottle of champagne for the table, keepsake champagne flutes and a half dozen roses are also available. Cruises range starting from $79.90 – $149.90 per person and tickets are available for purchase online

Hornblower Cruises and Events

Raised, An Urban Rooftop Bar, located at 1 W. Wacker Drive, is offering a selection of Valentine’s inspired cocktails including the Rambling Rose, with rose vodka, manzanilla sherry, and a strawberry simple; Shake It Off, mixed with fino sherry, aperol banana liqueur, and lime juice; and a Run and Tell That, complete with buttermilk, raspberry puree, chocolate liquor, rum, and a blueberry vinegar. Patrons can also complement their cocktail selections with a Champagne Strawberry Almond Cake. In addition, live music will be offered from Aya Duo on February 13 from 5 to 7 p.m., as well as DJ Agent Forte on February 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Staytion Market and Bar will also be featuring a sweet pairing available beginning on Thursday, February 13th through Saturday the 15th for $59. The sweet pairing includes a Moët Impérial Brut or Moët Rosé Impérial‎ (187 ml bottles) balanced with a Strawberry Inspiration Torte dessert. Live music will also be provided from Aly Jados on February 14 from 5-8 p.m.

Carnivale on VDay, credit: Carnivale

Carnivale is offering guests a Valentine’s Day Prix-Fixe menu for two available on February 14, 15 and 16! For $90, guests may enjoy an appetizer, two entrees, one dessert and two glasses of Juve & Camps Rosé. Dishes couples may choose from include Oysters, Mar Y Tierra, Branzino A La Veracruzana, Cauliflower Asado, Vanilla Passion Fruit Bombe Cake and more. Those looking to enjoy a brunch-style celebration may indulge in a Valentine’s Buffet Brunch on February 16 from 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., featuring a special chocolate station, perfect for adults and kids, alike! Reservations are highly recommended. For more information, visit www.carnivalechicago.com or call (312) 850-5005.

Replay Lincoln Park, 2833 N. Sheffield Ave.,is hosting a Parks and Recreation-themed Galentine’s Day celebration on Thursday, February 13 from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. Reprising favorite cocktails (did someone say snake juice shots?), entertainment, decor and themed tumblers and t-shirts from the bar’s wildly successful pop-up, Replay Lincoln Park guests are able to enjoy Parks and Recreation trivia, the musical stylings of DJ Bluntz and more. 

Sealed with a Sizzle…

Treat your better half to a Rare and Well Done® Valentine’s Day

at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille in Oak Brook

Celebrate your love over a delicious, romantic dinner at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille (5 Oakbrook Court, Oak Brook, IL 60523; 630-571-1808) this Valentine’s Day (Friday, February 14). Perry’s has chosen a special Prix Fixe menu full of signature favorites that are sure to spark some romance.

Valentine books

Emergence Dance Theatre presents the 25th anniversary of Dance Chicago, an annual celebration of dance, curated by Artistic Director John Schmitz, and the return of Dances from the Heart, Saturday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Dance Chicago annually offers more than 250 performing groups and over 2,500 individual artists spanning a wide variety of genres. The dance festival has remained an annual event that has been a part of the fabric of Chicago’s dance scene since its founding in 1994. Tickets are $31 regular adult, $23 senior (over 65) and students (any age) and $18 children (under 10), and are on sale now at AthenaeumTheatre.org or by calling 773.935.6875.

Dance Chicago, Photo: Courtesy of Dance Chicago

Dances from the Heart showcases the most romantic works from Dance Chicago performers featuring an amazing array of styles such as aerial, tap, urban fusion, jazz, contemporary, Irish, Mexican folkloric, hip-hop and more. A selection of companies currently on the program include Visceral Dance Chicago (contemporary), Tre Dumas (tap), Trinity Irish Dancers (Irish hard shoe), RawFunkyStreetFlav (rfsf) (hip-hop), Sophia Sanchez (Flamenco), GUS Legacy Co. (hip hop), GG Company, (jazz) and Movement Revolution (hip-hop). The night is a beautiful way to celebrate Valentine’s weekend, romance and Chicago dance. Audience members will also receive complimentary treats courtesy of Eli’s.  

Music

“FROM THE HEART” CONCERT CELEBRATES VALENTINE’S DAY FEB. 15 AT NICHOLS CONCERT HALL

Credit: MIC

For “date night” on Valentine’s Day weekend, the Music Institute of Chicago presents “From the Heart,” a concert featuring members of the Music Institute’s internationally renowned faculty performing romantic music, Saturday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston.
 
Concertgoers may enjoy champagne and chocolates with a program of jazz and classical works featuring piano, violin, marimba, flute, guitar and more, as follows: Brahms’s Waltzes Op. 39, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 15Schubert’s Sonatina, Op. 137, No. 2Kreisler’s Liebeslied and LiebesfreudRachmaninoff’s Variation XVIII from Rhapsody on a theme of PaganiniPiazzolla’s “Romantico” from Cinco Piezas Para GuitarraAlbeniz’s “Granada” from Suite EspanolaMangore’s Una Limosna Por El Amor De DiosClara Schumann’s Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22Schumann/Liszt’s WidmungSchubert/Liszt’s StandchenLiszt’s Sonetto 104 del Petrarca from Années de pèlerinageGershwin’s An American in Paris/medley from Porgy and BessWaxman’s 1930 film Young in Heart (excerpts)Hanson’s SerenadeRon Surace’s “Latin Love” and “Sky Blue”Pianist Fred Simon and electric guitarist David Onderdonk performing original works and Valentine’s Day standards Music Institute faculty performing (to date) include pianists Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem (duo pianists in residence), Daniel BaerElaine FelderSoo Young LeeKatherine PetersenFred SimonAnn Surace and Ron Surace (duo), and Reiko Yamada; violinists Charlene KluegelSarah PlumRachelle Puccini, and Addison Teng; percussionist Josh Graham (on marimba); flutist Maria Schwartz; and guitarists Brad Conroy and David Onderdonk.

Patrons may present their tickets at the Evanston locations of Farmhouse, Bar Louie, and other area restaurants for special discounts.

The Music Institute’s 2019–20 season continues with a double header of jazz-focused concerts—“Piano Giants” featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio March 14 and a tribute to Art Blakey March 28—followed by the Formosa Quartet performing its exclusive collection of music April 4.   “From the Heart” takes place Saturday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. 
at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490ChicagoAvenue in Evanston. 
Admission is $50 for VIP seating, $25 for advance purchase,
and $30 at the door. 

Tickets are available at musicinst.org/nch or by calling 847.448.8326. “From the Heart” takes place Saturday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. 
at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490ChicagoAvenue in Evanston. 
Admission is $50 for VIP seating, $25 for advance purchase,
and $30 at the door. 

Tickets are available at musicinst.org/nch or by calling 847.448.8326.
All programming is subject to change.

All programming is subject to change.  

Credit: Prarie Grass

GIVING

Spread the Love This Valentine’s Day at Prairie Grass Cafe 
by supporting World Central Kitchen
 
Valentine’s Day is always a special occasion at Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd.; Northbrook, IL; 847-205-4433), and this year, chef-owners Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris are spreading the love even further by supporting the World Central Kitchen with this benefit. Founded by acclaimed chef and restaurateur José Andrés, World Central Kitchen is an organization of “Food First Responders” that serves millions of meals every year to people in need after natural disasters and in response to poverty and hunger. The World Central Kitchen team is currently in Puerto Rico to help in the aftermath of the recent earthquakes. 

“We are very proud to support Chef Andrés and World Central Kitchen,” said Stegner. “We hope that on Valentine’s Day our guests will join us in opening their hearts to this generous and dedicated organization that does such important work for those in immediate need.”

To emphasize this important mission, Prairie Grass Cafe will be selling flowers, Chef Sarah’s Hot Cocoa Mix, and Heart Sugar Cookies on Valentine’s Day. Guests can purchase them at lunch or dinner to take home and share with their loved ones. “These simple yet poignant gifts remind us that caring for others is an important message of Valentine’s Day,” said Stegner. “All proceeds from these sales will be donated to World Central Kitchen.” 

Prairie Grass Cafe’s Valentine’s Day dinner menu will include some hearty and delicious specials: BBQ Braised Brisket with Mashed Potatoes & Mirepoix of Vegetables; Grilled Ora King Salmon with Sautéed Garlic Broccoli; and for dessert, Mom’s Cherry Pie. The full dinner menu will be available.

Prairie Grass Cafe is always very busy on Valentine’s Day, so please make reservations early by calling the restaurant at 847-205-4433. 

EVENTBRITE

Raks Geek credit Braden Nesin

Millennials are increasingly shifting their attention and spending habits toward experiences rather than things, and holiday events like Valentine’s Day are no exception to this “Experience Economy.” Experience discovery platform Eventbrite is the ideal resource for both singles and couples in Chicago looking for unique, meaningful ways to spend the holiday. With everything from tried-and-true Valentine’s Day staples like cooking classes and speed dating, to more unique, unexpected events like Anti-Valentine’s Day and My Nerdy Valentine, locals in Chicago are sure to find the perfect event after a quick look on Eventbrite.

Something Sweet

Delightful Pastries to Feature a Selection of Valentine’s Day Treats

Delightful Pastries, Credit Delightful Pastries

Make your Valentine’s Day extra sweet with a handmade treat from Delightful Pastries (5927 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60630; 773-545-7215).  A selection of delicious candies and pastries will be featured this Valentine’s Day, the perfect surprise for your valentine, family or co-workers.

For the Valentine’s Day traditionalist, choose from a selection of handmade candies, such as the Plum Brandy Truffles or Hazelnut Praline Rocher Truffles. Delightful Pastries has something sweet for health enthusiasts too, such as the sugar free Keto Almond Truffles and vegan Chocolate Bark with Pistachios, Cherries, Hazelnuts, Cranberries and Apricots, made with 70% bittersweet chocolate. 

Those who prefer pastries will have a selection of seasonal treats, such as the Raspberry Mousse Mini Torte, Chocolate Mousse Hearts, Sugar Cookie Hearts with Royal Icing, Linzer Hearts with Raspberry or Passion Fruit Jelly.  
Call Delightful Pastries at 773-545-7215 or stop in to inquire about pricing or place an order. Visit DelightfulPastries.com for full Valentine’s menu.

Chicago French Market

LES FLEURS
Nothing says “I Love you!” quite like flowers. Choose from rose bouquets or a creation of your own design. Grab and go station will be set up on the Commuter Concourse 117 N Clinton all day on February 14th.

VALENTINE’S DAY DEAL
LES FLEURS
Bunch of 10 Tulips $15

To pre-order or for more information: lesfleurschicago@gmail.com
312-219-0201

VALENTINE’S DAY DEAL
 LES FLEURS
Bunch of 10 Tulips $15

GARIFUNA FLAVA
Heat up your love life on a cold winters day with some Jamaican Jerk Chicken or Belizean Stew! Eat in or carry out and bring dinner home to that special someone.

Valentine’s Day, GarIfuna Flava is offering 10% off all meals & free dessert.
*Chicago French Market Location Only

VANILLE PATISSERIE
From Stud Muffins to Sugar Cookie’s, Vanille Patisserie has an assortment of sweets for your sweet.

Vanille will have a pop up shop on the commuter concourse 117 N Clinton for grab and go on Valentine’s day or place your order for pick up any day. 
View Menu 
POLPETTI
A yummy treat for your Valentine, Polpetti Meatball Bar fresh filled cannolis to order everyday with special boxes for Valentine’s Day Your Valentine will love Polpetti’s 4 pack of specialty Valentine’s day cannolis.$14.50  

To pre-order:
Call 312-285-2090 Or Text 224-567-2384
RAW
You’re sweetie will love a Slice of Heaven ($11) made with walnut & cacao crust and a cashew, pitaya, coconut oil, strawberry filling or pickup our popular Nutty Turtles made with almonds, pecans, dates and vegan chocolate ($4.50). Making a special meal at home? Complete it with our delicious Tiramisu ($11). These are all vegan, Kosher, Gluten-Free and Raw.
 

Love is in the air, Photo: Marcia Ferstenfeld

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*