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Valentine’s Day dining 2013

February 14, for lovers and haters.

PHOTO: TYLLIE BARBOSA
Takashi

Relationship status
Single and ready to eat my feelings, possibly with my single best friend
Where you’ll go

Scofflaw
(3201 W Armitage Ave, 773-252-9700)
What you’ll do there

Eat chef Mickey Neely’s “most decadent sundae ever to be served in a gin-focused cocktail bar.”
What you’ll pay

$50 (feeds two, at least, and includes a bottle of cava). Regular dinner and cocktail menus are also available.
Cheese-fondue factor

1
It’s technically called a “Sweetheart Sundae.”

Relationship status
Smitten
Where you’ll go
Double A & Mercadito
(108 W Kinzie St, 312-329-9555). Cooking-demo seatings at 5:30 and 8:30pm.
What you’ll do there
Watch chef Patricio Sandoval’s cooking demo, then eat a four-course dinner with cocktail pairings.
What you’ll pay
$75 per person (separate V-Day prix fixe available, sans demos, for $50 at Mercadito from 5pm–1am)
Cheese-fondue factor
3
The cocktails are named “Agave Kiss,” “Love Potion Number 9” and “Goodnight Peck.”

Relationship status
Single and not intending to go home alone
Where you’ll go
Old Town Social
(455 W North Ave, 312-266-2277)
What you’ll do there
One word: shots
What you’ll pay
No cover; how many $5 Malört shots you drink is not our problem
Cheese-fondue factor
1
The cocktail specials are themed around “bitters.”

Relationship status
Honeymoon phase
Where you’ll go
Geja’s
(340 W Armitage Ave, 773-281-9101). Note: Valentine’s Day here technically runs Sun 10–Feb 17.
What you’ll do there
Start with Gruyère fondue and end with “Geja’s luscious flaming chocolate dessert fondue”; the rest is up to you.
What you’ll pay
$105 per person on Valentine’s Day (includes a glass of bubbles and keepsake); regular menu prices other days (average fondue dinner: $50 per person)
Cheese-fondue factor
12

Relationship status
It’s complicated.
Where you’ll go
Maria’s
(960 W 31st St, 773-890-0588)
What you’ll do there
Listen to/participate in DJ Joe Bryl’s “special tribute to two remarkable artists who have personally explored and musically envisioned the wide range of our modern and ever-shifting connections to the subject of love,” i.e., Burt Bacharach and Scott Walker.
What you’ll pay
No cover; average draft beer $6
Cheese-fondue factor
1
It’s Burt Bacharach, after all.

Relationship status
It’s serious.
Where you’ll go
Sepia
(123 N Jefferson St, 312-441-1920)
What you’ll do there
Eat grilled Wagyu beef with a foie gras croquette (or something else, if you’re not gonna live it up on Valentine’s Day) from chef Andrew Zimmerman’s four-course prix fixe.
What you’ll pay
$90 per person, with optional wine pairings from beverage director Arthur Hon for $65
Cheese-fondue factor
1
Impressively cliché-free, except for Kusshi oysters

Relationship status
In love...with Curtis Duffy
Where you’ll go
Grace
(652 W Randolph St, 312-234-9494)
What you’ll do there
Stare longingly through the glass-walled kitchen into the chef’s eyes while taking bites from the stunning tasting menu.
What you’ll pay
$185 per person, with optional wine pairings for $110
Cheese-fondue factor
Zero

Relationship status
Casually coupled
Where you’ll go
Fish Bar
(2956 N Sheffield Ave, 773-687-8177)
What you’ll do there
Enter into “A Love Affair (with Fish),” i.e., a meal of oysters two ways and salmon paired with fluke, with a “shellfish interlude.”
What you’ll pay
$52 for two
Cheese-fondue factor
3
The salmon and fluke are described in the press release as “spooning.”

Relationship status
Seeking couples’ counseling
Where you’ll go
Maison
(330 E Randolph St, suite 300, 312-241-1540)
What you’ll do there
Whatever, it’s just like any other day of the year, right? Just go out to a nice restaurant and order whatever you want.
What you’ll pay
Average main course: $22
Cheese-fondue factor
Zero

Relationship status
“Seeing each other”
Where you’ll go
Unity Temple
(875 Lake St, Oak Park; 708-383-8873). 7–9pm.
What you’ll do there
Take a tour of this Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building (candlelit!) and taste chocolates from truffle truffle and wines from Lush Wine & Spirits.
What you’ll pay
$40, advance $35. Proceeds benefit the Unity Temple, a Unitarian Universalist congregation.
Cheese-fondue factor
1

Relationship status
Married
Where you’ll go
Ceres’ Table
(4882 N Clark St, 773-878-4882). Feb 14–16.
What you’ll do there
Dig into Giuseppe Scurato’s three-course prix fixe, with options like tuna tartare and a duo of beef (grilled filet and braised short ribs).
What you’ll pay
$50 per person
Cheese-fondue factor
1

Relationship status
Engaged—or you will be, after tonight
Where you’ll go
Takashi
(1952 N Damen Ave, 773-772-6170)
What you’ll do there
Eat eight courses of Takashi Yagihasi’s food (chilled poached lobster, roasted pheasant), then get down on one knee and propose. If all goes according to plan, Yagihasi will cook you a complimentary meal at the restaurant on your one-year anniversary.
What you’ll pay
$110 per person, with optional $60 wine pairings
Cheese-fondue factor
4

Relationship status
“We’re just friends.”
Where you’ll go
bellyQ
(1400 W Randolph St, 312-563-1010)
What you’ll do there
Hang out, order some of Bill Kim’s Korean barbecue from the regular menu, flirt with each other—wait, what?
What you’ll pay
Average main course: $20
Cheese-fondue factor
Zero

Relationship status
“Together”
Where you’ll go
GT Fish & Oyster
(531 N Wells St, 312-929-3501)
What you’ll do there
Profess your love for seafood: lobster tail, grilled sturgeon, cauliflower ravioli with crab and so on.
What you’ll pay
$85 per person
Cheese-fondue factor
1

Relationship status
Haven’t had a “DTR” yet
Where you’ll go
Due Lire
(4520 N Lincoln Ave, 773-275-7878). Feb 14–17.
What you’ll do there
Choose from the regular menu or the tasting menu, with Italian dishes like shrimp-filled agnolotti.
What you’ll pay
$50 per person for the prix fixe; average main course: $18
Cheese-fondue factor
1

Relationship status
Married…to my dog
Where you’ll go
Copa Lounge
(1637 N Clybourn Ave, 312-642-3449). 8pm–2am.
What you’ll do there
Bring your pup to “Puppy Love 2013” and meet fellow patrons who have found their one true unconditional love.
What you’ll pay
No cover; $3 Greyhound cocktails and $4 Dogfish Head drafts
Cheese-fondue factor
1

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