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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



SAVOR Valentine's/Galentine's Day offerings for 2024
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 2691 times since Thu Feb 1, 2024
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Love is in the air—until it isn't.

While some couples will be getting ready to celebrate their closeness (and all that other mushy stuff) on Valentine's Day, others will get together to celebrate Galentine's Day (celebrating friendships) or even anti-Valentine's Day. (Cue that classic OutKast song "Valentine's Day.")

In any event, I have all those items covered, showcasing various restaurants to fit every budget or extravagance. (BTW, make those Valentine's Day reservations sooner rather than later.)

What's at steak: Italian steakhouse Fioretta, 318 N. Sangamon St., is offering an intimate Valentine's Day celebration with a four-course tasting menu featuring house favorites and opulent additions, priced at $125/person.

Choices include meatballs, shrimp scampi or a caviar/seafood tower; burrata or Caesar salad; filet mignon, monkfish piccata, Kansas City strip or king crab linguine; and olive oil cake, tiramisu, lemon meringue pie or sorbet. Make reservations at .

Go fish: Sushi by Bou Gold Coast, 1244 N. Dearborn Pkwy., will offer the Sashimi BouQuet Exclusive. Priced at $29, the Sashimi BouQuet is described as "a unique fusion of art and flavor [that] features fresh slices of premium sashimi elegantly arranged in a bouquet style."

There will also be the Caviar and Bubbles Bliss. This combo includes an ounce of caviar paired with a bottle of fine bubbly for $150. Visit to RSVP.

Girlfriends: On Feb. 13, Three Dots and a Dash, 435 N. Clark St., will host a "Galentine's Day Boozy Tea Party."

Three Dots' Bamboo Room will be transformed into a tea room for this 21-and-older event. Attendees will enjoy four tea-inspired cocktails paired with bites, including cucumber sandwiches, caviar-topped deviled eggs, key lime pie and more.

Tickets are $100 per person, plus tax, with a required deposit of $20 per person that is included in the final bill. RSVP via this link.

Luna or later: La Luna Chicago, 1726 S. Racine Ave., has a couple things going on for Valentine's/Galentine's Day.

First, there are the Valentine's Day specials available on Feb. 9, 10 and 14. They include a seafood platter, a 16-ounce Angus Prime New York strip, surf and turf (with filet mignon, shrimp and poblano mashed potato) and a hot seafood tower. There are also a tequila/mezcal flight special and a champagne-based cocktail feature.

Second, a Galentine's Day Drag Brunch will take place on Saturday, Feb. 10. Seatings are at 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1:15-3 p.m. Attendees can expect to enjoy live DJ performances and drag queens while indulging in La Luna's special brunch menu. Also, there will be brunch drink specials like $30 bottomless mimosas, $35 strawberry margarita pitchers and $7 Galentine's Day shots.

See .

Party time: For those who feel stuck in a less-than-ideal romantic situation The Gwen, 521 N. Rush St., will host a "Bad Romance" Tipsy Tea Party that can be booked Feb. 11-17.

Admission is $70-$95/person; visit .

Good times: Good Ambler, the Fulton Market spot known for its sweets, is offering heart-themed confections and chocolates to help make Valentine's Day special.

They include large heart duos (PB&J cookies and milk), Valentine cards with attached heart-shaped chocolates, strawberry-vanilla malt balls and even strawberry chocolate teddy bears on a dark-chocolate base.

There will also be special pastries available for the first two weekends in February and on Valentine's Day. Try to resist a chocolate cherry financier, hibiscus berries-and-cream swirl cuff, a heart-shaped chocolate layer cake or the You're Bacon Me Crazy Bear Claw (with bacon, fig jam and whipped brie passionfruit cream-cheese brioche).

I'll drink to that: Some places are offering some special cocktails for Valentine's Day.

I/O Godfrey Rooftop, 127 W. Huron St., will have a "Scarlet Haze" cocktail served under a smoke-filled cloche. Nisos Prime, 802 W. Randolph St. will offer a "Dirty Fling" martini while Costera Cocina Tulum, 850 W. Fulton Market, will have a "Summer Love" cocktail that features rose wine and Grand Marnier.

Something's in the kitchen: Mediterranean spot Imee's Kitchen, 171 N. Wells St., will offering meat and veggie options for a Valentine's Day couples pick-up.

Veggie options are $65 while meat ones are $75; find out more at and on Tock.

Making out like a Bandit: At Bandit, 841 W. Randolph St., guests can indulge in a special Vanilla Shake with Red Velvet Cake, available throughout the month for just $10. Pair it with the Diplomat for a reduced price of $8, adding an extra layer of indulgence to your experience. For those looking to add a spirited twist, make the shake boozy with vanilla vodka for $15. And don't forget the Double Bandit Burger ($18).

On the river: On Feb. 14, RPM Events, 317 N. Clark St., will host a Valentine's dining experience starting at 7 p.m.

Attendees will enjoy a chef-curated five-course tasting menu in partnership with champagne house Louis Roederer and featuring its marquee Champagne 2012 Cristal. The cost will be $185/person; RSVP at .

Sky-high: Skydeck Chicago—the observation deck at Willis Tower—will provide a unique perspective for Valentine's Day.

Impress your sweetheart during February and complete your romantic evening with a "Pie in the Sky" experience at Skydeck: a three-course meal featuring a heart-shaped Giordano's warm deep-dish pizza, salad, dessert and an unforgettable view of the city. Starting Feb. 1, book a table for Pie in the Sky for either 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday or 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. (I've had this experience and it's pretty cool, to say the least.)

Visit .

Getting cozy: Throughout February, LondonHouse Chicago, 85 E. Wacker Dr., is offering Valentine's Day-themed igloos to provide a romantic and intimate setting against the city skyline.

For those interested in this exclusive rooftop igloo experience, reservations can be made by contacting . There's limited availability.

Dining at Daisies: The acclaimed restaurant Daisies, 2375 N. Milwaukee Ave., has a cool Valentine's Day menu.

Priced at $110 for a four-course meal, items include smoked sturgeon rillettes, endive, potato croquettes or turnip tart; pappardelle with beef-cheek sugo, mushroom tortellini or tajarin; rabbit, rainbow trout or beef; and citrus pavlova or chocolate mousse cake.

The menu looks so good it may make you forget about that 25% surcharge (in place of a tip and fees). Visit .

One night in Northbrook: Prairie Grass Cafe (; 847-205-4433) is offering a couple events for Valentine's Day.

A pre-Valentine's Day wine tasting will take place Feb. 8 at 5 p.m. Sommelier Pierre Lasserre will host the event, which will feature wines paired with various canapes. The cost is $98/each, plus tax and gratuity.

And, of course, Valentine's Day itself will feature Prairie Grass' esteemed menu. A press release stated, "From prime cuts to sides and salads, every bite is designed to ignite passion and create cherished memories." I'll have what she's having!

The price is right: HOLU, 2010 S. Jefferson St., is offering bottles of wine at rare pricing, starting on Valentine's Day.

Beginning Feb. 14 and every Wednesday evening thereafter for a limited time, the acclaimed modern Asian steakhouse will offer half-off bottles of wine across its entire portfolio.

Located in West Chinatown, HOLU features USDA Prime beef, dry aged in-house with Himalayan pink salt, as well as snow aged Japanese A5 Wagyu, Australian Wagyu, North American Wagyu and more. Complemented with sustainable seafood and organic vegetables, omakase-style menus are prepared on a smokeless, ceramic charcoal grill.

T&T: For those who want to go a more casual (and inexpensive) route, All Too Well, 352 W. Armitage Ave., is offering a "His and Hers" sandwich combo inspired by (who else?) Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce.

The $26 combo includes the Catching Kelce, with steak, cheddar, garlic mayo, tabbouleh and jus; and Taylor's Version, a Tuscan grill-pressed sandwich loaded with shaved turkey, thin-sliced ham, tomatoes, cucumber yogurt, smoked provolone, arugula and artichoke and white-bean hummus (a nod to Swift's love for hummus). The combo will be available Feb. 12-16.

A Creole valentine: CheSa's Bistro & Bar, 3235 W. Addison St., will have a Valentine's Day prix fixe menu for $80/person.

App options will include garlic hummus, cheesy boudin mushrooms with pork, Cajun mussels or fried lobster claws; dinner choices include Sealander (filet mignon and fried lobster tail), pan-seared Chilean sea bass with mango chutney, or house-made pappardelle with roasted mushrooms, tomatoes and parmesan; and desserts will be bananas Foster, raspberry sorbet or king cake. In addition, there'll be live music courtesy of contemporary jazz guitarist Lee Alec Barrie and his Virtual Band Project.

Check out .

Dearborn delights: The very popular restaurant The Dearborn, 145 N. Dearborn St., is offering dinner specials paired with its hospitality for an evening of romance.

For dinner service on Feb. 14, Executive Chef Aaron Cuschieri is serving three specials meant for sharing between loved ones. Enjoy a Canadian lobster and winter truffle risotto with cherry tomato, poached lobster, shaved winter black truffle and watercress; a Maryland Blue Crab "scotch egg"—a soft boiled egg wrapped in Maryland-style crab cake; or the ox heart-and-beet salad made with marinated ox heart, red and golden beets and a red wine-mustard dressing.

Make reservations at .

Rustic luxury: Roister, 951 W. Fulton Market—with its elevated rustic dishes combined with fine dining techniques and global flavors—will offer a sumptuous dinner for Valentine's Day.

Options will include oysters, fried chicken and caviar, blue crab (with carrot curry, coconut mousse and pumpkin-seed oil), smoked ricotta gnudi, duck for two (with BBQ fig glaze and peanut-fried rice), cookies and milk, and chocolate custard.

The cost is $145/person; visit or look up "Valentine's Day Dinner @ The Hearth" on Tock.

How sweet: What better way (at least, culinarily speaking) to conclude Valentine's Day than with treats courtesy of Sweet Mandy B's.

Available Feb. 7-14, Sweet Mandy B's in Lincoln Park and Streeterville will offer items such as chocolate-covered strawberries, a raspberry iced brownie, sweetie pies (iced sugar cookie sandwich filled with buttercream), chocolate ganache hearts and heart-shaped cut-out cookies.

Visit .

Puppy love: And for those who want to include their pets on the special day, Farm to Pet—a Chicago-based maker of healthy single-ingredient treats for dogs—has created fun Valentine's-themed packaging.

Check out .

Note: No reproduction of this column is permitted under any circumstances without express prior written permission.

This article shared 2691 times since Thu Feb 1, 2024
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