help finding romantic restaurant
Hey guys. I've been lurking around the site for the past week or so trying to find a nice place for an anniversary dinner next Wednesday (Jan. 2). I've read lots of posts and looked at lots of menus. I first decided on north pond but it's closed til mid January! Then moved on to piccolo or piccolo due only to find no reservations available around 730! So now I need some advice for places that would be good. We live on Lincoln park and would be willing to go anywhere around here, the loop or out to bucktown area. We're not big on the multicourse meals (prod frie?) but rather order our own stuff. Any type of cuisine would be ok except for really French or really "creative" stuff. We went to girl and the goat a couple months ago and loved it. Small plates are fine and especially anything with cuisine similar to GAGT. Thanks!
Based on what you've outlined, I think Perennial Virant would fit your needs well. It's right in Lincoln Park, and the menu is small plates of contemporary American cuisine. It's at street level with big picture windows facing the sidewalk outside, so that's romantic, no?
Another place you might consider is Boka. Boka is also in Lincoln Park and does contemporary American cuisine, although traditional portions rather than small plates. It's a neighborhood-y type place and the service is outstanding, a place which just seems to do everything so well you don't even notice it until after dinner when you look back on a great experience.
The small plates oriented places downtown would also work - Sable, GT Fish & Oyster, and Quartino in River North, and Mercat a la Planxa in the Loop - but the first two I mentioned are right in your 'hood.
All of these accept reservations, including on Opentable.
Thanks for the help nsxtasy! After looking at places you recommend and other places online, I'm deciding between The Bristol, Sable, GT Oyster, Nightwood or The Savoy. Any advice on which of those would be better for a couple looking for an intimate meal? And how easy to get reservations at each place?
>> I'm deciding between The Bristol, Sable, GT Oyster, Nightwood or The Savoy.
I love the food at Sable - it's my favorite restaurant downtown - and I especially love the way most of the items are available in half portions, so you can try a lot of different things. I also love the atmosphere, with the open kitchen so you can watch the food prep. I also love the food at GT Fish; although the dishes tends to be less unusual, they're well-prepared and if you like fresh seafood (which I do), it's great. Both places have contemporary decor and are hip/trendy without being excessively noisy.
Nightwood is also very good. It's more of a neighborhood-y bistro type place, with exposed brick, etc, so the atmosphere may be more romantic than the first two. The food is very good (to me, always seems to be better than it first sounds on the menu).
I haven't been to the Bristol or the Savoy.
>> And how easy to get reservations at each place?
Right now there are tables for two available on Opentable at 7:30 on Jan 2 at all five, except that GT Fish has 7:45 but not 7:30.
>> Made a reservation at Sable! Really looking forward to the food and cocktails. Any recommendations on food?
I like to get half portions so I can try a lot of things. I start with two items per person, and sometimes get a third round before dessert, sometimes not. The sweet corn creme brulee is terrific; it's a savory dish, not a dessert. (The broiled sugar is topped with cracked sea salt.) I love the duck sausage with pistachio. They had a corned beef reuben strudel which I loved but it was no longer on the menu when I ate there last week. For dessert, there's always some kind of panna cotta, which is excellent.
>> Also, what's the dress code?
Anything goes. You can go strictly casual, in blue jeans etc. Or you can dress up. I've seen plenty of both, side by side.
Enjoy, and happy anniversary!