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Oct 24, 2009 12:17 PM

Romantic prix-fixe dinner in the $20-30 range?

I'm looking for a restaurant where my partner and I can celebrate our 5th anniversary. We're both broke grad students, though, so we're looking for something nice but relatively inexpensive. The details:

-We like all cuisines, though I don't find the more heavily-spiced ones very "romantic."
-We'd prefer to go out on a Saturday night, but Sunday would also be acceptable if it's cheaper. We're not averse to eating earlier in the evening.
-I'd really prefer somewhere with street parking (don't want to take public transportation, and would like to not pay $10+ for valet parking unless the dinner is a REALLY good deal).
-We don't plan on having wine or any other drinks, so I don't care if it's BYO or if it has a good wine list or anything else like that.
-We're coming from Hyde Park, which means we'll have a decent drive ahead of us no matter where we go, so geographic location within the Chicago area isn't important.
-Prix fixe isn't necessary, but we would like to be able to get an entire dinner, not just entrées, for $30 or under per person. Prix fixe specials seem like a good way to get an affordable meal at a restaurant that would otherwise be out of our price range.

I'm already considering One Sixty Blue, which is at the upper limit of our price range with a $32 three-course prix fixe. Cafe Too seems like a more affordable option ($24 five-course), but I'm guessing it's not a very romantic atmosphere. We've been to Kendall College many times and love it but would like to try something different.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

one sixtyblue
160 North Loomis, Chicago, IL 60607

Cafe Too
4715 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640

Kendall College Dining Room
900 N. North Branch Street, Chicago, IL 60642

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  1. Sweets & Savories has a fantastic deal for the quality of the food (very high) a three course meal for $29.00. This includes appetizer, entree and dessert off the menu. The restaurant is BYOB and parking is available on the street (west Fullerton). They also have a special on Tuesday nights that includes half off the entire menu. The last ttime I was there I had the lobster risotto which is sinfully good and loaded with lots of tender lobster meat. For the price I honestly don't know how they do it!


    1. I would HIGHLY recommend Han 202 in Bridgeport. Easy street parking, $20 5 course meal, and the food is outstanding. Nice atmosphere - certainly you could get dressed up but you wouldn't be out of place in jeans. My husband and I went a few months ago and loved it. It is Asian-influenced, but you can certainly avoid the more heavily spiced items. If you like calamari, get the salt and pepper calamari as your app - you will not be disappointed. For salads, the lemongrass beef salad is amazing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: thelegalfoodie

        Second Han 202. As the broke parent of a broke college student, this is where we have gone lately for her birthday, my birthday and her boyfriend's "off to grad school" dinner.

      2. The current edition of Chicago Magazine has an article "30 under 30," identifying 30 restaurants where you can get a 3 course meal (not including tax & alcohol). Many are only available Sun - Thurs., but take a look.

        1. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! After consulting Chicago magazine as per masha's recommendation, my partner and I wound up going with thelegalfoodie's suggestion and we went to Han 202. It was delicious, filling, and above all cheap! I'll keep Sweets and Savories in mind for a time when I'm a little more flush with cash, because it looks fantastic.