Read about four of Chicago's most outstanding couples, as chosen by our readers.
Valentine's Day Dining
A10 Chef Matthias Merges offers a four-course prix fixe; reservations recommended. $85, $135 with wine pairings. 1462 E. 53rd, 773-288-1010, a10hydepark.com.
Atwood Cafe Chef Derek Simcik's four-course "Beats of the Heart" menu features hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, pig heart with pork tenderloin and sausage, and a boozy cake with Koval bourbon, made from the heart cut of the distillate. $55, $75 with pairings. 1 W. Washington, 312-368-1900, atwoodcafe.com.
Big Jones Chef Paul Fehribach offers a four-course prix fixe menu featuring southern dishes, from "Angel on Horseback" (a crispy oyster and bacon on Sally Lunn bread) to banana pudding for two. Vegetarian option available. $69, $99 with pairings. 5347 N. Clark, 773-275-5725, bigjoneschicago.com.
Blind Faith Cafe Vegetarian "celebration menu" featuring three courses with a choice of no-beef bourguignon or chiles en nogada as entrees. $38, $56 with wine pairings. 525 Dempster, Evanston, 847-328-6875, blindfaithcafe.com.
Cicchetti Five-course menu from chef Michael Sheerin with the theme "Lucchetti dell'Amore" ("locks of love"); a craft cocktail and house-made blood orange "'cello" are included. A vegetarian option is available. $150 per couple. 671 N. Saint Clair, 312-642-1800, cicchettirestaurant.com.
Cyrano's Farm Kitchen Chef Didier Durand offers a four-course traditional French meal in the dining room for $65, $75 in the Barrel Room, which includes live music and a glass of champagne. 546 N. Wells, 312-467-0546, cyranosfarmkitchen.com.
Embeya Chef Thai Dang's four-course menu starts with optional "his and hers" cocktails; the restaurant will be decorated for the occasion with floating candles and a wall of fresh flowers. $69, $110 with wine pairings. 564 W. Randolph, 312-612-5640, embeya.com.
Endgrain A three-course meal with the theme "Love, the Old Fashioned Way" features the option of three paired old-fashioneds made with craft spirits. $40, $60 with cocktail pairings. 1851 W. Addison, 773-687-8191, endgrainrestaurant.com.
Geja's Cafe Now in its 49th year, the self-proclaimed "Restaurant of Romance" offers its Valentine's Day fondue package through Sunday, February 16; prices vary. 340 W. Armitage, 773-281-9101, gejascafe.com.
Homestead on the Roof A three-course prix fixe menu is $75, a five-course $125; both include wine pairings. 1924 W. Chicago, 773-645-4949, homesteadontheroof.com.
Kabocha Chef Shin Thompson offers a six-course prix fixe featuring alleged aphrodisiacs such as beef heart. $75, $110 with wine pairings. 952 W. Lake, 312-666-6214, kabochachicago.com.
Parson's Chicken & Fish No prix fixe and no reservations, but some a la carte specials including skewered duck hearts, steak for one, and the Loved and Lost, a cocktail featuring beet mezcal. 2952 W. Armitage, 773-384-3333, parsonschickenandfish.com.
Taxim A four-course prix fixe with choices includes dessert, a glass of champagne, and roses; vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available. $75. 1558 N. Milwaukee, 773-252-1558, taximchicago.com.
Telegraph Wine Bar Chef Johnny Anderes offers a four-course prix fixe menu featuring an entree of lamb rib eye; the a la carte menu will also be available. $65, $100 with wine pairings. 2601 N. Milwaukee, 773-292-9463, telegraphchicago.com.
Tesori Chef Andrew Deuel's four-course menu offers multiple choices, including pairings—wine, cocktail, or beer/cider. Reservations requested. $45, $70 with pairings. 65 E. Adams, 312-786-9911, tesorichicago.com.
Trenchermen Chef Patrick Sheerin offers a four-course menu; on Saturday, February 15, both prix fixe and a la carte menus will be available. $85, $125 with pairings. 2039 W. North, 773-661-1540, trenchermen.com.
Uncommon Ground on Devon Three-course prix fixe featuring beet tartare, rack of lamb with rose-water couscous, and passion-fruit creme brulee, among other choices. It's $45, $55 in the music room, where jazz pianist Ken Shiokawa will perform. 1401 W. Devon, 773-465-9801, uncommonground.com.
- The Reader's Anti-Valentine's Day Party, 2013
Comedy, dance parties, and more
Chicago Reader Anti-Valentine's Day Party Take aim at Cupid's tyranny with a musical performance by Big Freedia, DJ sets by Swaguerrilla, and Bruised Orange Theater Company's interpretation of our "I Saw You" feature. Send your crush a cherry shot from a Windy City Roller. Fri 2/14, 8 PM, Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N. Kedzie, 773-252-6179 or 866-468-3401, realdeal.chicagoreader.com, $20.
Cupid in Your Pants Improv comedy troupe the Cupid Players perform Valentine's Day skits and songs excerpted from their revue Cupid Has a Heart On: A Musical Guide to Relationships. Fri 2/14, 8 PM, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont, 773-327-5252, stage773.com, $35.
Cupid's Undie Run Runners wear their bedroom best for this charity race around Wrigley Field. Sat 2/15, noon-4 PM, John Barleycorn, 3524 N. Clark, 773-549-6000, cupidsundierun.com, $50.
Date Night Couples create a glass-blown heart after a 60-minute tutorial, with champagne and chocolate on the side. Fri 2/14, 6-9 PM, Ignite Glass Studios, 401 N. Armour, $75 per couple.
Fabulous Ladies of Fitness "Ironic cardio dance routines" for singles and couples set to music by Tina Turner, Bell Biv DeVoe, Hall & Oates, Kanye West, and Pat Benatar. Thu 2/13, 9:30 PM-1:30 AM, Cole's, 2338 N. Milwaukee, 773-276-5802, coleschicago.blogspot.com, free.
4Play Sex in a Series New York City theater company Trip presents this comedy about a sexually charged dinner party, told in the format of a 22-minute sitcom. 2/13-3/15, 10 PM, Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee, 773-609-2336, thedentheatre.com, $20-$50.
The Kiss Kiss Cabaret Valentine's Show A modern spin on vaudeville burlesque paired with a prix fixe dinner including an appetizer, salad, and entree from Vietnamese eatery Simply It. Fri 2/14, 11 PM, Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-404-7336, greenhousetheater.org, $60.
Love Sux Anti-Valentine's games, dueling pianos, themed drinks (including the X-Boyfriend and F-Bombs), and cash prizes. Fri 2/14, 5 PM-2 AM, Howl at the Moon, 26 W. Hubbard, 312-863-7427, howlatthemoon.com, free.
Makeout Party Orchestra The eighth annual Hideout Makeout Party features a 17-piece band performing romantic favorites, Celine Dion numbers included. Sat 2/15, 9 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, hideoutchicago.com.
Manny the Frenchie's Valentine and Birthday Bash The "unofficial mascot of the Chicago Bulls" and Instagram sensation celebrates with a charitable event for pets and owners that includes a kissing booth, cake, and a photo shoot. Sat 2/15, noon-2 PM, Paradise 4 Paws, 10516 United Parkway, Schiller Park, 847-678-1200, paradise4paws.com, $10 without dog, $25 per dog.
The Queers Long-running pop-punk band the Queers, who formed in 1981, celebrate Valentine's by performing their 1993 classic Love Songs for the Retarded in its entirety. Early show is all-ages. Fri 2/14, 7 and 10:30 PM, Township, 2200 N. California, 773-384-1865, townshipchicago.com, sold out.
Romantic Remix: Wagner, Mahler, Lully, Strauss Chicago Philharmonic performs classical works with mezzo-soprano Susan Platts. Also, actors from Chicago's Court Theatre perform excerpts from Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Sun 2/16, 3 PM, Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago, Evanston, 847-905-1500, musicinst.org, $25-$75.
Satellite Slo 'Mo Slo 'Mo hosts a Valentine's party. It's a Sade tribute, but still expect DJs Tess and Matt Roan to play slow jams by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker, Prince, Aaliyah, D'Angelo, and Erykah Badu. Fri 2/14, 9 PM, the Chop Shop, 2033 W. North, 773-537-4440, chopshopchi.com, $10.
Shame That Tune The musical-comedy game show takes an anti-Valentine's stance with a "Tribute to Break-Ups" edition. Check out our 2013 People Issue interview with Shame That Tune cofounder Abraham Levitan. Fri 2/14, 6:30 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, hideoutchicago.com.
Single Mingle Scraptacular Eligible singles create free-style sculptures or wall hangings from recycled materials and scrap wood. BYOB. Sat 2/15, 3-4:30 PM, Rebuilding Exchange, 1740 W. Webster, 773-252-2234, rebuildingexchange.org, $5.
Too Much Love: A Valentine's Day TMLMTBGB Thirty short plays by the Neo-Futurists about "love, sex, romance, hate, loneliness, awkwardness, and every other joy and despair that come with human relationships." Fri 2/14, 8 PM, Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 773-275-5255, neofuturists.org, $25.
Valentine's Bop-a-Thon The self-proclaimed Bop King of Chicago, Lil Kemo, joins Sicko Mobb, Stunt Taylor, Dlow, and Lil Chris for the Battle of the Bop Kingz Valentine's Bop-a-Thon. Fri 2/14, 7 PM-midnight, JLM Abundant Life Center, 2622 W. Jackson.
Valentine's Day Barn Dance Jo Mortland teaches basic square dancing for couples and singles alike. Featuring live music by Mudflapps and an all-you-can-eat dessert table. Fri 2/14, 9 PM-midnight, Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood, 773-465-8005, heartlandcafe.com, $12 advance, $15 door.
Valentine's Day Wine and Chocolate Pairing Logan Square chocolatier Katherine Anne Confections joins forces with City Winery. Fri 2/14, 7-9 PM, City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph, 312-733-9463, citywinery.com, $45.
Valentine's Latin Dance Night A beginner-level, professionally taught rumba and salsa class, with sparkling wine on the side. Fri 2/14, 6:30-7:45 PM and 9-10:15 PM, Ballroom Dance Chicago, 4043 N. Ravenswood, suite 105, 312-504-5866, ballroomdancechicago.com, $85.
Valentine's Wood and Wine Make It Take It for Couples A wood-shop class for couples, in which attendees create a cutting board from reclaimed ash and apply a walnut-oil finish. Take home a bottle from Candid Wines and celebrate your creation. Fri 2/14, 2:30-5:30 PM, Rebuilding Exchange, 1740 W. Webster, 773-252-2234, rebuildingexchange.org, $115.
Weepin' Willows, Grit & the Double Knit, Alice Drinks the Kool Aid, Burlesco Dubbed the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, this party includes a Patsy Cline cover set and burlesque dancers from Burlesco. Fri 2/14, 10 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, hideoutchicago.com, $10.