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Jan 19, 2007 12:38 AM

Valentine's Day dinner

My boyfriend and I want to celebrate Valentine's Day somewhere unique. In the past few months, we've enjoyed restaurants such as Avec, Green Zebra, and Schwa. This year, we're looking for someplace particularly romantic, yet lacking in stuffiness. We were thinking of going out for fondue, but couldn't bring ourselves to go to the Melting Pot. Are there any exceptionally good fondue-specific restaurants in Chicago? Really, though, we're amenable to any cuisine. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

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  1. Geja's Cafe in Lincoln Park has long been known for its romantic atmosphere.

    1. Beware restaurants on Valentine's Day. Some places use a "special menu", in which they jack up their prices much higher than usual.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nsxtasy

        Yes, we were aware (and wary) of that, but I usually stay in for Valentine's Day, so I wanted to do something different this year.

      2. For my birthday I was looking for something exactly as you described--great food without stuffiness. We wound up at Bistro Campagne, on Lincoln, just north of Montrose--hearty, yet elegant, french bistro food. It was truly lovely. The decor reminded me of Chez Panisse in Berkeley--dark wood paneling, candlelight, very romantic and everyone was very welcoming. The food was delicious, the service was good, pretty casual, and the meal ended up being VERY reasonable, and we ate and drank A LOT. We had a glass of champagne at the beautiful bar before we sat down and everything really was perfect. I would recommend it highly.

        1 Reply
        1. Geja's is the only non-chain fondue place I know in the city. I think there is another in the Northwest suburbs, but I don't know the name.

          If you decide you don't want fondue, Scylla might be a good option. It's small and intimate, with very good food, but not stuffy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: SuzMiCo

            I've never heard of Scylla, but I will definitely keep it on my list now!

            1. re: SuzMiCo

              I actually ended up going to Scylla this past weekend, and it was lovely! Thanks for the recommendation.

            2. There is another fondue place on Peterson, Fondue Stube. Not as romantic as Geja's. However, I will also caution against going on Valentine's Day. Places tend to be packed--I mean really packed. EVERYONE has very high expectations, servers tend to be rushed, the kitchen tends to be rushed, and what you're generally asking for is a disaster in the making. You may get lucky, but I wouldn't stake a nice, romantic evening on it. We learned the hard way a couple years ago and have not gone out on February 14 to celebrate Valentine's Day since. Just a thought...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gypsy Boy

                I definitely understand the hesitation; I worked at a huge chain restaurant awhile ago and it was awful during the holidays. This V-Day may turn me off the idea of going out on holidays for good! We'll see, though.