It's Valentine's Day in Chicago and we've got the VIP scoop. From luxurious staycation experiences to dinners dripping in romance and presents that sparkle, here's what's on our V-Day radar.
When you're done perusing this list, check out how to celebrate Valentine's Day 2021 in our other markets: Aspen, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, NYC, Orange County, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C.
The Peninsula Chicago ups its Valentine's game with food and bev, spa and staycation offerings.
2471 N. Clark St. / Website
When it comes to priceless jewels, gemstones and metals, Steve Quick Jeweler’s curated selection of exquisite jewelry, watches, estate pieces and custom stones bring endless options for the perfect holiday gift. Pink tourmaline Sevilla earrings by Omi Privé make an unforgettable present with 18K rose gold, inlaid tourmaline, sapphires and diamonds that capture the light with even the slightest movement.
109 E. Oak St. / Website
Craft isn’t the only thing being passed from generation to generation at local go-to Razny Jewelers. The products are, too. This year, skip the earrings and bracelets and gift your love a standout timepiece. According to Christine Razny (heir to the gilded throne), watch-wearing is all about “choosing a timepiece that is guaranteed to stand the test of time—to be in the family for many years to come.” That shouldn’t be too hard to find, considering the three-story shop exclusively houses Rolex and Patek Philippe. The brands signify “hard work, dedication and status,” in Razny’s words, which we’d argue also speaks to her family’s legacy.
730 N. Michigan Ave.; 4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie / Website
There’s an element of wonder that surrounds Tiffany & Co. From everyday baubles to stunning high jewelry pieces, this classic house is a most-stop-shop come Valentine's Day. We love the recent Extraordinary Tiffany collection, an homage to its 180-year legacy. With an eye trained on impeccable craftsmanship, each piece is an ode to the brand’s expertise in transforming rare diamonds and gemstones into glimmering works of art. “There is a decidedly modern aesthetic to our high jewelry pieces that feels unique to Tiffany,” says former Chief Artistic Officer Reed Krakoff. “These pieces are meant to be worn daily, rather than just for special occasions—fully incorporated into the lives of the women who wear them.”
Nobu Chicago's rooftop impresses with skyline views.
500 N. Franklin St. / Website
A Chicago steakhouse classic since 1941, Gene & Georgetti always does romance right. This season may be a little different—just eight indoor tables (reservations are a must) plus carry-out and delivery—but the restaurant's on-point service and scrumptious menu options are right on target. Choose from the regular menu or special Valentine's Day selections like heart-shaped ravioli, lobster tail, T-bone steaks and, for dessert, raspberry chocolate ganache. Indoor dining is at 25% capacity, and a heated structure ventilated tent is provided for outdoor seating.
5553 N. Clark St. / Website
With grand wine tastings and a globally-inspired menu, Uvae Kitchen and Wine Bar amps up the romance with a prix fixe menu and takeout dinner options for two. The menu features progressive small plates like maltagliati with mushroom and whipped ricotta and bacon, as well as lighter fare such as apple and fennel salad, ginger chili shrimp and roasted rainbow carrots. Uvae’s curated wine selection rounds out the evening. Uvae is currently closed for regular dining but open for virtual events as well as Saturday and Sunday prix fixe menu packages. Saturday evening wine dinners come with four wine pairings and are available for pickup or delivery after 5PM on Saturdays.
2152 N. Damen Ave. / Website
Combining French recipes and techniques with New American favorites, The Bristol’s pastas, garden-fresh produce and dishes like Faroe Island salmon and black garlic braised short ribs bring the love to your table. The agnolotti pasta with chevre and butternut squash can be accompanied by the restaurant’s tempting take on a Waldorf salad topped with apple, walnut sherry vinaigrette and Red Rock cheese. Wines can be expertly paired to any menu item. Enjoy outdoor igloo dining and heated tents, pick up curbside or enjoy delivery. Indoor dining reservations are available on OpenTable; carryout orders are available on Tock.
Multiple locations / Website
Pizza may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think Valentine's Day, but hear us out: Lou Malnati's heart-shaped, deep-dish pies paired with heart-shaped cakes and cookies might be the ultimate Chicago move to melt your partner's heart. Even better? With every purchase of a Spreading Hearts package, Lou's donates a pizza to a local food pantry. Dine-in, curbside pickup and no-contact delivery are currently available.
2523 N. Milwaukee Ave. / Website
Seasonal Midwestern-style pasta dishes are on the docket at Daisies, partnered with fresh and ever-changing ingredients that might include winter squash, pumpkin, fresh mushrooms and various herbs. A candlelit dinner is complete with Daisies’ handmade pasta kits ready to cook in your kitchen. Offering gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options, the restaurant provides fresh produce for purchase through its website, alongside an extensive selection of pinot noir, merlot and malbec wines. Grab these meals for curbside, pickup or delivery. Order via Tock for carryout; dine-in reservations will be live and bookable from Monday, Feb. 1.
See also: 9 Sweet Valentine's Day Gifts For Her
854 W. Randolph St. / Website
Go on a cuisine cruise with the masterful menu from chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s team at Nobu Chicago. Expect works of culinary art like miso-marinated black cod, fried rock shrimp with spicy mayo and transportive sushi rolls. The restaurant’s specialty to-go dinner for two includes edamame, yellowtail jalapeno rolls, tuna sashimi salad, creamy and spicy tempura rock shrimp, a California roll and a kabocha squash layer cake. Valentine’s dinner is served. Please note takeout times: Sunday through Thursday 4 to 9PM, and Friday through Saturday 4 to 10PM. Place orders by Friday, Feb. 12 for pickup on Valentine's Day between 4 to 9PM.
123 N. Jefferson St. / Website
Smash burgers, seared salmon, honey-glazed duck and a plethora of sides are on offer at this Michelin-starred darling for seasonal American favorites. For hors d'oeuvres, try caviar, marinated olives and OG Kristal cheese with lavash crackers. Burrata and sweet potato salad come next, alongside crispy Brussels sprouts with cranberry-chili glaze and candied peanuts. For dessert, chef Lauren Terrill’s Famous Pies include double chocolate hazelnut, tart cherry and a Midwestern sugar pie. All this available for take out or private dining. Sepia’s Valentine's Day package is available for limited indoor dining as well as takeout, which can be pre-ordered on Tock by Feb. 11 and picked up Feb. 13 or 14.
177 N. Ada St., Ste. 101 / Website
The Smyth dining odyssey can now be experienced from the luxury of your own home, perfect for an amorous evening with a five-course tasting menu reimagined on a frequent basis. Menu favorites include the restaurant’s cherrywood and black malt lobster tail, warm caviar in buckwheat butter and almond milk, and smoked short ribs with plums and cheese. Dessert comes in the form of roasted kombu ice cream, fall raspberries with jasmine or lavender, and salted egg tarts. The Smyth At Home program runs Monday through Sunday, from 5 to 8:30PM. Smyth is offering a Valentine's Day package for takeout or pre-order on Tock; it is available for pickup and delivery Feb. 13 and 14.
Relax and unwind at Aire Ancient Baths
800 W. Superior St. / Website
Discreetly located in a restored early 20th-century factory, Aire Ancient Baths has been one of the city’s buzziest self-care spots since its debut two years ago. For Valentine's Day, choose from one of several couples' experiences focused around red berries and offered Feb. 12-15. Bonus: All bookings will have access to Aire's "Love Concierge" to enhance the experience with everything from fresh flower bouquets, take-home Champagne kits and more.
108 E. Superior St. / Website
It doesn't get more indulgent than The Peninsula Spa. From hot stone massages to the ultimate in manicures, pedicures, couples massages and more (plus one of the city's great swimming pools), this Mag Mile destination is the place to be for a romantic getaway. We've got our eye on a Blissful Marma Masssage (from $215): a full body treatment with rare Ayurveda oils and a fusion of techniques, such as Ayurveda strokes, lymphatic drainage and marma point. The Peninsula Chicago also has special Valentine's-themed Entertaining At Home boxes and a Sweet Home Chicago staycation package.
330 N. Wabash Ave. / Website
An Asian-inspired oasis at The Langham, Chuan Spa is a tempting destination for a variety of uberposh treatments and services. From massages, scrubs, wraps and facials to Chinese medicine treatments and more, it's got everything you need to relax and unwind. Treat your love to the Chuan signature treatment ($425 for two hours) with five Wu Xing elements in one.
Photography by: From top, courtesy of: The Peninsula Chicago; Nobu Hotel Chicago; Aire Ancient Baths Chicago