Valentine’s Day Events: Top Dinner-and-a-Show Pairings


While some couples may be looking forward to the Valentine’s Day release of Fifty Shades of Grey, you and your sig other would rather partake in Valentine’s Day events that are more refined. We’re talking theater, whether it’s culturally significant or gives you a great belly laugh. Whatever the case, we’ve picked some of the best shows happening over Valentine’s Day weekend to share with your sweetie, as well as nearby venues where you can grab a bite to eat. After all, sharing is caring.

Chicago Symphony Center (220 S. Michigan Ave.): Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring Wynton Marsalis and Rene Marie at 8 p.m.

Acanto (18 S. Michigan Ave.): Dig into the regional pasta-tasting menu, as chef Chris Gawronski selects a different region of Italy each month. It’s $45 per person, with wine pairings for an additional $20. This one is already booked for Saturday, but hurry and you can still get in on Friday.

Lockwood (Palmer House Hilton, 17 E. Monroe St.): A special three-course Valentine’s Day menu includes choices such as Tuscan kale salad, chilled seafood (lobster and oysters, of course), roasted mushroom Bolognese, and Kobe beef sirloin. It’s $68 per person (an additional $32 for wine pairings).

Lookingglass Theater (821 N. Michigan Ave.): Lookingglass Alice at 3 p.m., 7:30pm

Fig & Olive (104 E. Oak St.): Just in case you want to get your celebration off to an early start, Fig & Olive is also offering its Valentine’s Day menu on February 13. The three-course menu is priced at $79 per person, with highlights like grass-fed filet mignon, seared sea scallops, and Chilean sea bass. Women diners will receive a special gift, as well.

Sprinkles (50 E. Walton St.): Before or after the Lookingglass Alice matinée, make your way to the popular Gold Coast shop for something sweeter than a box of chocolates. Grab a red velvet or chocolate marshmallow cupcake topped with “XOX” or heart sugar decorations.

Lyric Opera of Chicago (20 N. Wacker Dr.): Tannhäuser at 6 p.m.

Embeya (564 W. Randolph St.): There’s a host of great options to choose from in the West Loop, but Embeya gets our vote for its exotic setting, which is modern Asian flair. The food and cocktail menus combine Asian and French accents, plus you can also grab seats at the bar if the dining room is too busy.

Pearl Tavern (180 N. Upper Wacker Dr.): Another sexy Loop stunner, Pearl Tavern showcases the best oysters in a glorious throwback atmosphere filled with chandeliers and other nods to the past. After that three-hour opera, you’re going to need something beyond oysters, so don’t miss the tuna poke, lobster macaroni, and shrimp & grits.

Neo-Futurarium (5153 N. Ashland Ave.) Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind at 11:30 p.m.

Hopleaf (5148 N. Clark St.): Belgian-style mussels. House-made sausages. A Tuscan kale salad for two. Add a couple of craft beers to the mix, and you’ve got the perfect feast, if you’re looking for something casual with a warm neighborhood feel. Be aware, however, that Hopleaf doesn’t accept reservations.

Ora (5143 N. Clark St.): The intimate sushi BYO serves up signature rolls like nooky (garlic chips, escolar, avocado, tempura salmon, yellow tail, masago, cucumber, ginger, and citrus soy) and blue shell crab (spiced blue crab, soft shell crab, pickled onions, tomatoes, avocado, yuzu tobiko, cream cheese). The music’s a bit clubby, but not so thumping that you’ll feel like you need to get up and dance.

Shattered Globe Theater at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont Ave.) The Rose Tattoo at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Cooper’s (1232 W. Belmont Ave.): Craft beers and BBQ. Sounds like a winner – especially for those who’ve been in a relationship long enough to indulge in the mini cooper. The dinner-for-two deal includes two sides, a half rack of ribs, half brisket sandwich, and half pork panini.

Fish Bar (2956 N. Sheffield Ave.): You’ll get to enjoy a seafood extravaganza for $46 per person at this modern Lakeview fish house. Great selections like an Asian lobster salad topped with sesame ginger dressing, Maine lobster Alfredo, and lobster & shrimp tacos should make for a luxurious evening.

Royal George Theater (1641 N. Halsted St.): First Date at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Steppenwolf Theatre (1650 N. Halsted St.): Marie Antoinette at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Chez Moi (2100 N. Halsted St.): You’re in for a treat at this classic French eatery, as chef/owner Dominique Tougne has created an exclusive three-course menu inspired by Steppenwolf’s production of Marie Antoinette. It’s $45, plus if you show ticket stubs for the day’s performance, you’ll receive an additional 10 percent discount. We’re certain that deal will also include cake.

Coppervine (1962 N. Halsted St.): February 14 is the final dinner service for Coppervine, and the owner has decided to go out with a bang. He’s doing a special prix fixe menu with the restaurant’s hit dishes and drink pairings, from lobster mac & cheese paired with a brown butter old fashioned to crispy fried chicken paired with Allagash Wit.

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