When we’re looking for a truly romantic dining experience in Chicago, we tend to seek out cozy spots that are quiet and just dark enough to make us feel like we’re the only ones there. Flickering candles and shareable plates don’t hurt, either. Over the years, we’ve kept track of the restaurants that really set the mood—from a hidden sushi haven to a fancy French steakhouse to an old-school fondue spot. As an added bonus, most offer excellent wine selections and cocktail menus. These 10 eateries are excellent choices for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary dinner or any old Friday night.
Romance isn’t all French fare and fondue. When done right, sushi is a passionate affair, and no one does raw fish better than Naoki. Savor fatty bluefin tuna, sea urchin and yellowtail while sipping sake-centric cocktails at this Lincoln Park restaurant. And because it’s located through a secret passageway inside the Belden-Stratford apartments, you’ll feel like you’re on a secret mission with your sweetheart.