Few holidays are more synonymous with a swanky night on the town than Valentine’s Day, but with such a vast selection of wining and dining options here in Chicago, the question quickly becomes, “How do I ever narrow them down?” Rest easy lovebirds because we here at Make It Better have you covered with a roundup of both city and suburban restaurants offering memorable Valentine’s Day meals perfect for sharing with your sweetheart.
Looking to indulge in those classic Valentine’s Day ocean delicacies like crab, lobster and scallops? Think Oceanique! This Feb. 14, Evanston’s seafood haven is offering a five-course tasting menu at $115 per person, pulling on a wide range of global dining traditions. Menu highlights include: Chilled Maine Cape Neddick Oysters with Jalapeno-Red Onion Salsa, Wild Maine Lobster with Golden Beets, Red Onion, Basil Potato and Yuzu-Saffron and Organic Spanish Turbot with Broccolini, Fennel, Lemongrass and Soy. While fish is definitely the star here, the wine and beverage program is equally as impressive. 505 Main St., Evanston, 847-864-3435
Since its arrival to the Chicago food scene in 2015, Bridgeport’s The Duck Inn has racked up glowing reviews for its reimagined takes on classic New American dishes. For Valentine’s Day, the restaurant is going the classic route with a four-course prix fixe menu at $75 per person featuring Kumamoto Oyster and Serrano Ham, Duck Confit and Marble Potato Hash, a choice of either Sea Scallop and Pork Belly or Lamb Loin Glazed in Pomegranate Molasses and, to cap the whole meal off, a decadent Pecan and Chocolate Tart. If scheduling and reservations are your nemesis, The Duck Inn is an ideal choice this Valentine’s Day as they will be running their menu from Feb. 10-14. 2701 S. Eleanor St., Chicago, 312-724-8811
What could be better than a beautifully prepared meal in an idyllic, natural setting? Not much, which is why North Pond should be high on your radar this February. The beloved Lincoln Park restaurant (actually situated in the middle of a park, next to a gorgeous pond) will be pulling out all the stops on Valentine’s Day with a one-day five-course tasting menu at $125 per person. Dishes will emphasize the best of the season as well as a plethora of locally sourced produce, meats, cheeses, and just about any other ingredient you can think of. A well suited restaurant for lovers of nature and those looking to step a bit outside of their culinary comfort zone. 2610 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago, 773-477-5845
For more than 12 years, Lincoln Park’s Boka has set the gold standard in Chicago for fine dining with a whimsical touch. And if you’re looking to get the full Boka experience, Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to pay a visit. The restaurant will offer a six-course seasonal tasting menu at $130 per person with specialties including Marinated Striped Jack with Citrus, Grilled Lobster and Dashi, Squash Agnolotti with Fontina Cheese and Black Truffle, and John Dory with Celery Root. Pair that with dreamy decor and impeccable service and you’ve got yourself a romantic evening to remember. 1729 N. Halsted St., Chicago, 312-337-6070
To all the vegetarians and vegans out there looking for accommodating dining options this Valentine’s Day, have no fear. Evanston’s Blind Faith Café has your dinner covered with a three-course prix fixe menu (glass of Prosecco included) Feb. 11-12 as well as Feb. 14. At just $38 per person (with optional wine pairings for an extra $18), this menu is an amazing steal and features satisfying specials like a Warm Risotto Torte, Hong Kong Noodles and a classic Banana’s Foster with Whipped Coconut Cream — a meal as nourishing as it is delicious. 525 Dempster St., Evanston, 847-328-6875
If Korean food is your game, Parachute Restaurant is the name this Valentine’s Day. This Avondale hot spot, which has a menu that center around Korean American cuisine, will be offering a Chef’s Tasting Menu for one night only on Feb. 14. At $85 per person, the lineup will feature stand out selections from the restaurants weekly A la Carte menu (think dishes like Brussels Sprouts with Squid and Peanuts, Pork Belly and Mung Bean Pancake, and Udon with Crab and Miso Sabayon) but with special enhancements straight from the chef. The cozy ambiance and bustling open kitchen only further heighten the dining experience, making it a perfect spot to cuddle up to your special someone. 3500 N. Elston Ave., Chicago, 773-654-1460
We here at Make It Better love these 10 organizations that use the power of food to make a difference. They are: