Every year, in the weeks before Valentine’s Day, romance becomes the name of the game. Tables are reserved, flowers arranged, and chocolates purchased. Restaurants are full to bursting and couples feel the love on Feb. 14. But what about Feb. 15, and beyond?
This year, let’s keep that Valentine’s spirit going. By all means, check out these oh-so-romantic bistros and boîtes for the big day, but keep them in mind year-round, because love has no limits. To reignite the spark again and again — treat your loved one to a romantic dinner in mid-March, late June or early September. You’ve got to feed the fire to keep it going, n’est-ce pas?
Lettuce Entertain You is throwing back to the heyday of The Pump Room with this update of the iconic restaurant. Named for the table they oft reserved for the biggest celebrities (think Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, or Liza Minnelli) of the day, the room is aglow by the warm light of the exquisite floating orbs above. The Playboy Club ($12), a prosecco-based cocktail with passionfruit and lime, sets the celebratory and special tone for the evening. Modern classics — perhaps the ruby-red Bigeye Tuna Sashimi ($14.95) spiced up with harissa, or the Black Truffle Scrambled Eggs ($24.95) — whet the palate for the scrumptious New Zealand Ora King Salmon on a bed of tiny black lentils ($34.95) or Confit of Duck ($28.95) with orange reduction and silky potato purée. A shareable side of Parmesan Spinach ($8.95) is an absolute must. Feeling the retro love? Go for The Original Cheesecake Circa 1954 ($10) topped with sour cherry compote. Show ‘em how it’s done. 1301 N. State Parkway, Chicago, 312-649-0535