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The interior space of Bavette's.
Photography: Tara White PhotoBavette's Bar & Boeuf.

Yelp names this Chicago restaurant the most romantic in the U.S.

Diners love to get intimate at Penumbra and three other local spots.

Isaiah Reynolds
Written by
Isaiah Reynolds

Penumbra Restaurant & Wine Bar in Logan Square has been crowned the most romantic restaurant in the country, according to Yelp. The Latin-inspired steakhouse caught the eye of diners for its dim lighting, ornate linen drapery, quality menu and intimate setting. 

The ambience is inspired by owner Rita Vargas’ experience growing up in Ecuador, where much of the food gets its Latin flair. Using candles for light creates a space of partial illumination that brings in an atmosphere of romance and intimacy.

Yelp produced the list by aggregating user-generated reviews that contained keywords like “romantic,” “date night” and “valentine.”  The company then ranked each restaurant based on the total volume and ratings of reviews with those keywords.

Three other Chicago establishments also made the list for Yelp’s most romantic. Hybrid French-American steakhouse Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf in River North came in at no. 12. Lacking the pretension typically associated with traditional French dining, the new-wave chophouse offers a bevy of hearty meats, wines and martinis.

At no. 52, Ciccio Mio channels the spirit of a traditional Italian supper club with intricate and vintage furnishings. Boasting Italian pastas, appetizers and desserts, Ciccio Mio is one of the best Italian restaurants in Chicago and a great spot for date night.

Il Porcellino, a comfort-chic take on Italian cuisine in River North, enters Yelp’s list at no. 57. Classic touches ooze throughout the space, from a gallery wall filled with old-time photographs of American icons like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole to wooden booths that line the perimeter of the dining room. Even the food matches the vibe, with tried-and-true Italian-American dishes like “Old School Cheese Lasagna” and vodka rigatoni.

Valentine’s Day is just two weeks away and if you haven’t made reservations yet, it’s not too late to plan a memorable evening at the abundance of romantic restaurants in Chicago

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