Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in Chicago

Самым популярным местом для свидания все-таки остается хороший ресторан. Даже с собственным мужем. Но, чтобы встреча получилась очень романтичной, нужно выбрать не обычный ресторан, а самый-самый: уютный, красивый, "вкусный" и располагающий к откровенному разговору.

От такой обстановки веет сексуальностью.

Bavette's Bar & Boeuf

Steakhouse / European

218 W. Kinzie St. (Franklin St.)

ChicagoIL 60654

312-624-8154

Exuding sultry, jazz-era charm, Brendan Sodikoff’s sexy steakhouse is more than the sum of its parts. It’s also a departure for the restaurateur (also of Gilt Bar, Maude’s Liquor Bar, Au Cheval, et al). From its leather booths to its zinc-topped bar, it’s an equation that works. And while the 24-ounce dry-aged rib-eye is a thing of great worth, it’s the other options that linger in your mind for days. 

Everest

Chicago Stock Exchange

440 S. La Salle St., 40th Fl. (Congress Pkwy.)

Chicago, IL 60605

312-663-8920

Everest has maintained its perch above Chicago's skyline for over 25 years; the spectacular view from the 40th floor never gets old. Evolved décor brought sleek silver fixtures and contemporary artwork on the walls. Chef Joho's Alsatian roots dot the menu. One night, slow-poached farm egg, cauliflower mousseline, topinambours (Jerusalem artichoke) and black truffle appears first. On another visit, it may be home-smoked salmon. Then it's on to roasted Maine lobster in Alsace Gewürztraminer butter and ginger, or tender venison surrounded by a wild huckleberry jus with fromage blanc knepfla. Another dish to ponder might be a dry-aged New York steak. Risottos distinguish themselves by their rich and creamy mouth-feel, as in a carnaroli version with fricassée of petite gris snail, Riesling and pain persillé.

Geja's Cafe

340 W. Armitage Ave. (Lincoln Ave.) 

Chicago, IL 60614

773-281-9101

This stalwart has survived the ebb and flow of trends, going on to remain one of the darkest, most romantic spots citywide. DIY, fondue-style cooking is the game, and you’ll do it --- quite leisurely --- with everything from aged beef tenderloin to lobster and Gulf shrimp. Adding to the allure, there’s often live guitar music. At meal’s end, few things are more fun than dipping strawberries in chocolate with the love of your life. There's a notable wine list, too, with as many as 50 selections by the glass.

Gilt Bar

230 W. Kinzie St. (Franklin St.) 

Chicago, IL 60654

312-464-9544

Lettuce Entertain You vet Brendan Sodikoff, who has worked with Thomas Keller and Alain Ducasse, dishes up fine fare at an accessible price point in a scene-y, but approachable, brick-walled setting. Low lighting casts a flattering glow over rustic, seasonal dishes, perhaps house-made pancetta and rabbit confit carbonara with English peas and green garlic, or coarse-cracked pepper-rubbed coal-fired rib-eye. The Whistler’s Paul McGee helped design the cocktail menu, which offers everything from a Paloma to a selection of gin-based cocktails, though you’ll also find hipster-approved $2 PBR.

L2O

The Belden Stratford

2300 N. Lincoln Park W. (Belden Ave.) 

Chicago, IL 60614

773-868-0002

Expect the wow-factor to be high. We’ll never look at “watermelon” the same way again; here, a dish of tomato aspic and avocado-topped tuna tartare, stippled with caviar, mimics its visual appeal with precision. Yet, the pristine flavor of the ingredients remains at the forefront. Much of the menu comes from the kitchen tanks, which hold blue lobsters from Brittany, abalone, langoustine, geoduck clam and giant European brown crabs. Dining here is truly an experience, one furthered by a remarkable selection of cheeses and desserts like chocolate crémeux with lemon curd, brioche and olive oil. The extensive wine list caters to both high rollers and (surprisingly) those with limited budgets, with plenty of avant-garde options in between.

mk

868 N. Franklin St. (Locust St.) 

Chicago, IL 60610

312-482-9179

The menu, which is executed by executive chef Erick Williams, is American but benefits from global influences. The Belgian endive salad is a crunchy, dreamy delight when paired with French green beans, apples and watercress with toasty pecans and Roquefort. Then again, the yellowfin tuna with celery root rémoulade never fails. Next up, it's pan-seared walleye with poached artichokes or Lake Erie whitefish with tender, butter-poached Maine lobster in a red curry broth. Stephanie Mazzone’s desserts include a grownup take on a Pop Tart. Add a memorable wine list and a few flirty cocktails and you have the makings of a great date.

North Pond

2610 N. Cannon Dr. (Fullerton Ave.) 

Chicago, IL 60614

773-477-5845

The tasting menu, though, is where the real excitement can be found, be it a dish of venison loin chop with carrot-Parmesan sformato, beets and sprouts, or Florida stone crab claw with heart of palm and candied black sesame. Desserts have included the “Chocolate, Huckleberry” of chocolate crémeux, Mandarin chocolate ribbon, lime cake, huckleberry sorbet, yuzu gel and lemon. The room housing nine-foot French doors affords diners a bird's-eye view of the pond and the park with the city skyline looming above the treetops. Granted, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Service is informed and efficient without being intrusive. The American wine list --- which emphasizes environmentally conscious, hand-crafted vintages --- is not at all overpriced, which is good to know when you’re stuck in the small bar waiting for a table.

Prosecco

710 N. Wells St. (Huron St.) 

Chicago, IL 60610

312-951-9500

We have Kathryn Sullivan-Alvera (Narcisse, Domaine) and sibs Mark and Stefania Sparacino (Sparacino Ristorante, Traveling Fare Catering) to thank for this sophisticated, elegant-as-can-be Italian ristorante. Luxe, an undercurrent that continues until meal's end, is immediately apparent in the form of a braised beef short rib-stuffed diver scallop with creamy saffron risotto. From the carpaccio bar comes a fine bresaola and barely seared duck breast with clover honey, Morello cherries, capers and shallot aïoli. Orecchiette coddles earthy wild mushrooms, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes in rich, Grana Padano-kissed truffle cream sauce. Among other entrées, the double pork chop with roasted red pepper is satisfying --- especially when served alongside faintly sweet, caramelized onion mashed potatoes. The ubiquitous warm chocolate cake is elevated by the addition of rosemary-accented blood orange sauce.

Sepia

123 N. Jefferson St. (Randolph St.) 

Chicago, IL 60661

312-441-1920

More than just a pretty face, this savvy restaurant has the food of chef Andrew Zimmerman (ex-NoMI) to back it up. The English pea ravioli in thyme butter is comfort food with a college degree, while strip steak with chimichurri cannot help but be a hit. We also recommend, when available, the roasted cobia with spaghetti squash and wild boar sausage in punchy paprika sauce. Desserts --- a free-form pecan tart or citrus cake with carrot sorbet --- have the same rustic-yet-refined appeal as the rest of the menu. Even cocktails are kicked up a notch, with ice cubes specially designed for a slower melt. The selection of international and domestic wines focuses on small, artisanal producers who follow organic, sustainable and biodynamic winemaking practices

Spiaggia

One Magnificent Mile, 2nd Floor

980 N. Michigan Ave. (Oak St.)

 Chicago, IL 60611

312-280-2750

With a menu made almost entirely from scratch (pasta included), the difference in taste is evident when stacked against competitors. Seafood options stand out, as does the six-course tasting menu. It treats diners to such dishes as carne cruda (30-day raw, dry-aged strip loin with Maine uni), foie gras-stuffed ravioli and porcelet pig. The wine list offers unique Italian selections rarely seen in Chicago. Accordingly, the array of cheeses is vast and the desserts, diminutive Italian pastries, a dream. The tab is a small price to pay, we say, for the view from the tiered dining room with its panoramas of Oak Street Beach and the lake.

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