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First time to Chicago/Romantic Dinner

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Hey. I will be visiting Chicago this weekend with my significant other. Neither of us have been before, and I would love ideas for a great saturday night romantic dinner. my hotel is near o'hare. I am a small town girl, so I'm not really looking for french or new age cuisine. Maybe a steak house???? Ambiance would be just as important as the food for me. I would appreciate any help! :)

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  1. 1. Steakhouses. Black Ram Steakhouse is a restaurant in Des Plaines. All of the food there is absolutely GREAT - the steaks, the seafood, the desserts, everything. It doesn't get a lot of press, but it gets a lot of repeat business. The proprietor greets lots of arriving guests by name. If you're looking for a great steakhouse (and seafood) restaurant that nobody ever heard of, this is it.

    Black Ram Steak House
    1414 Oakton St.
    Des Plaines, IL 60019
    847.824.1227
    www.blackramsteakhouse.com

    Gibson's and Morton's are famous Chicago steakhouses. Both have locations near O'Hare too, and both are better known. If you're looking for an unsung place with better food, including steaks but particularly if you want something else, I think Black Ram is better, but if you're looking for a famous place that people can brag about having gone, then maybe this is your ticket.

    Gibson's
    5464 North River Road
    Rosemont IL 60018
    (847) 928-9900
    www.gibsonssteakhouse.com

    Morton's The Steakhouse-Rosemont
    9525 Bryn Mawr Ave
    Rosemont, IL 60018
    (847) 678-5155
    www.mortons.com

    2. Flamingo's Seafood - Another place near O'Hare is my very favorite Mexican restaurant in the entire Chicago area (heck, the best Mexican food I've had outside of Mexico). It's called Flamingo's Seafood, in the suburb of Mount Prospect. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. They specialize in Mexican seafood dishes, and always have a large number of daily specials in addition to their extensive regular menu. Last time I was there I had a grilled Chilean sea bass with guava habanero sauce and crushed pumpkin seeds that was to die for. Located at Busse Road and Dempster, just north of Algonquin Road. Take I-90 westbound, exit at York Road, go north to Algonquin, and turn left.

    Flamingo's Seafood
    1590 S. Busse Road
    Mt. Prospect IL
    847-364-9988
    www.flamingosseafood.com

    These three steakhouses and Flamingo's are all within 10 minutes drive of O'Hare. If you'd consider driving into the city, I'd add a third recommendation, one that is exceedingly romantic...

    3. North Pond. North Pond is spectacular. The food (American cuisine from James Beard award nominee Chef Bruce Sherman, featuring local and seasonal ingredients) is excellent, and the service is fine. What distinguishes North Pond is its setting and history. It's located in the middle of Lincoln Park (the park itself, not just the neighborhood of the same name), facing its namesake pond with the city skyline looming over the opposite shore. The renovated building at one time was the warming shelter for ice skaters on the pond. The small front room has floor-to-ceiling windows with that gorgeous view. Even the rear room is romantic, with an open kitchen along the rear side of the room. www.northpondrestaurant.com

    Make your reservation NOW, as these are all popular places, especially on weekends.

    1. I suggest making the trip to downtown Chicago...after all, it's your first visit. It would be a shame if you didn't make your way downtown.

      For a great Chicago Experience at a great seafood and steakhouse, I highly recommend Hugo's Frog Bar...it shares the kitchen and staff with the more expensive Gibsons Steakhouse. The appetizer and desserts are rather large. Located on Rush Street at Bellview. Try and get an outdoor table. The view is one of the best for people watching in all of Chicago.

      Mortons is great too but a bit on the stuffy side and very corporate feeling.

      1 Reply
      1. re: amoncada

        Hugo's has great food but it wouldn't be the best if you are looking for a romantic experience. It has more of a rowdy ambiance that is best enjoyed with a few friends for a relaxed dinner.