LTH Home

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
    Page 3 of 3 
  • Post #61 - February 15th, 2009, 5:47 pm
    Post #61 - February 15th, 2009, 5:47 pm Post #61 - February 15th, 2009, 5:47 pm
    We were very happy with our two ('cuz they're small) heart-shaped Malnati's pizzas at home, but man, that pizza at Marie's looks good!
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #62 - February 16th, 2009, 12:15 pm
    Post #62 - February 16th, 2009, 12:15 pm Post #62 - February 16th, 2009, 12:15 pm
    I'm coming out of lurker status to comment on this thread. I'm still recovering from Valentine's Day, which was more like Valentine's week than anything.

    For a little bit of background, I've been working in the restaurant industry for almost three years. I spent my first two years as a server at a suburban restaurant that's somewhere between casual and fine dining. We're known for being a romantic spot and we are a large volume restaurant with over 76 tables in regular business, even more than that during patio season. I have been promoted to manager within the last year and this is my first Vday as a manager. It's known in the industry that Vday is nuts, not as nuts as Mother's Day but this year was different.

    Valentine's day was on a Saturday.

    It doesn't sound like a big deal but it makes a huge difference in compared to other years. Last year we had a guest count of 600 people and it was on a Thursday. This year we hit 900 people on Saturday alone. If you have Vday during the week, the reservations get spread out to the weekends before and after. This year we just had one really really busy weekend. We did 500 on Friday, 900 on Saturday and almost 500 between brunch and dinner on Sunday.

    Don't get me wrong, we love having the business. We were so excited to have nearly a thousand reservations Saturday morning. After the abysmal Christmas season, it's nice to see people wanting to go out and eat. We even opened up an hour earlier to accomodate taking more reservations. It's so easy to overbook because people were calling every minute to see if there were any openings. And also that you count on the fact that people do no-shows on this day. We had reservations booked as early as the day after NYE and thanks to opentable lots of new customers trying our restaurant for the first time. I want to thank all of our guests for coming to our restaurant and that we appreciate your patronage though you may never know who I am.

    On the other side, we did have about 10 to 15% of no shows. We did have tables that were late, that took long seating at the table, and we had people try to walk-in in the middle of our busy times. I'm happy to say that the wait at the longest was 30 minutes. And for the most part that everyone was happy and in good moods, I don't recall any major incidents from that night.

    We told our servers that 2-tops needed to be turned in one hour and fifteen minutes. We gave some of them sections larger than they would usually handle. We took out our big tables so we could cram in as many deuces as we could. Even after we increased the amount of tables that we were expecting to have we still had people waiting for tables.

    Would I go out on Vday if I ever had the day off? No, as I have experience on dining from both sides of the table, I would avoid going out on that day. But the romantic in me says that if I had the right reservation at the right restaurant, then yes I would but do so with a grain of salt. I expect long wait times, I expect rushed service, it's hard to have high expectations on that night. But if you have that right partner and there's love in the air, it will be the one of the most wonderful nights of your life.

    Sorry for the long post. I'm happy to answer any question about restaurants. I never expected to love working in the restaurant business but it's become one of my passions.

    Irine

    ETA: Oh and make your reservations now for Easter and Mother's day. We've already had calls for both, we even had someone call on Friday the 13th to volunteer for our Thanksgiving Dinner....
  • Post #63 - February 16th, 2009, 12:27 pm
    Post #63 - February 16th, 2009, 12:27 pm Post #63 - February 16th, 2009, 12:27 pm
    HI,

    Chef Louis Szathmary's The Bakery had an interesting way of handling people who lingered. They gave them a packet of matches with the statement, "Dine here, make love at home." People would giggle and sweetly make it out the door.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #64 - February 16th, 2009, 12:34 pm
    Post #64 - February 16th, 2009, 12:34 pm Post #64 - February 16th, 2009, 12:34 pm
    Mrs. AS and I went to Sol de Mexico on Saturday. It was packed, somewhat disorganized but the food was fantastic.
    I'm not Angry, I'm hungry.
  • Post #65 - February 16th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Post #65 - February 16th, 2009, 12:50 pm Post #65 - February 16th, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Irine18 wrote:I'm coming out of lurker status to comment on this thread. I'm still recovering from Valentine's Day, which was more like Valentine's week than anything . . .

    Thanks, Irine, for the inside look. It's always nice to hear stories from the other side of the table -- especially from someone who loves what they do.

    A few friends of mine who are in the biz were mostly disappointed this year because of the Saturday holiday. What would have normally been an extra night of busy-ness during the week, got compressed into a Saturday, when their restaurants would have been busy anyway. To make things just a bit worse, instead of the larger groups that would typically come in on a Saturday, Valentine's Day is most 2-tops, so while all their tables were going to be occupied, they were expecting to do only about 60% of the covers they normally do on a Saturday.

    Funny how the luck of the draw can have such a profound effect on some businesses. Of course, it sounds like your restaurant was able to absorb the extra Saturday business without a hiccup. Must be good management! :D

    And welcome to LTH!

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #66 - January 15th, 2010, 2:32 am
    Post #66 - January 15th, 2010, 2:32 am Post #66 - January 15th, 2010, 2:32 am
    Help me out. Looking for something that is romantic, but not overly priced. Any options?
  • Post #67 - January 15th, 2010, 7:55 am
    Post #67 - January 15th, 2010, 7:55 am Post #67 - January 15th, 2010, 7:55 am
    Hi!

    The options are nearly limitless! But you gotta give some parameters...

    Geographical constraints? (Do you want to be in the city? In the burbs? Would you travel?)

    Any particular things you think would improve the romance quotient? (My lady finds ethnic dives to be incredibly romantic; your partner might not feel the same)

    What do you consider "not too expensive"? I mean, i can think of lots of things that are not expensive when compared to Alinea/Trotter's/etc.

    To throw out one random idea: Sweets and Savories on Fullerton. I've only been once, but we had a fantastic meal at a very reasonable price (prix fixe in the 30s somewhere, if i recall correctly), and others here sing its praises. BYO helps keep the cost down, and it's ever-so-slightly out of the way, so it's got an air of mystery to it. It's got white tablecloths, etc., so it in no way feels dive-y.

    They may be doing something special for V-day - i'll leave that to you to investigate.

    Good luck,
    -jim
  • Post #68 - January 15th, 2010, 8:49 am
    Post #68 - January 15th, 2010, 8:49 am Post #68 - January 15th, 2010, 8:49 am
    I think a private booth at GRN Sabatino's would be a great option.

    Depending on who you reach and for when you are making your reservations, they might offer to reserve a private booth for you, or, more likely for a high volume evening like Valentine's, they will just give you a general reservation and once you arrive, you may have to wait a little bit for a private booth. There are only a small number of the alcoves/booths, so they are in high demand. But, when you wait, you can always relax at the bar and enjoy some piano music. Not the worst way to spend 30-45 minutes.

    Sabatino's
    4441 West Irving Park Road
    Chicago, IL 60641-2808
    (773) 283-8331
  • Post #69 - January 15th, 2010, 1:53 pm
    Post #69 - January 15th, 2010, 1:53 pm Post #69 - January 15th, 2010, 1:53 pm
    Beware of places that have special menus on Valentine's Day, with "special" prices. :evil:

    You might want to check out these topics:

    Valentine's '09 - where to blow $200??
    Valentine's Day
    Valentine's Day in the 'burbs
  • Post #70 - January 16th, 2010, 4:41 am
    Post #70 - January 16th, 2010, 4:41 am Post #70 - January 16th, 2010, 4:41 am
    A heart-shaped deep-dish pizza from Malnati's is a sentimental favorite for us.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #71 - January 19th, 2010, 3:11 pm
    Post #71 - January 19th, 2010, 3:11 pm Post #71 - January 19th, 2010, 3:11 pm
    With Valentine's Day falling on a Sunday this year, brunch could be a good option (but obviously only at a place that takes reservations). We're going to Nightwood.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #72 - January 23rd, 2010, 2:16 am
    Post #72 - January 23rd, 2010, 2:16 am Post #72 - January 23rd, 2010, 2:16 am
    Thank you everyone. Great responses. My lady friend does enjoy ethnic places, and I love BYOB for the cost cutting. I would like to stay in the city limits. I am in Lakeview, and she is in Lincoln Park, so I was hoping somewhere within that region. I was looking to keep the meal under like $125 total.
  • Post #73 - January 23rd, 2010, 9:31 am
    Post #73 - January 23rd, 2010, 9:31 am Post #73 - January 23rd, 2010, 9:31 am
    Image
    make your reservations today...
  • Post #74 - January 23rd, 2010, 11:15 am
    Post #74 - January 23rd, 2010, 11:15 am Post #74 - January 23rd, 2010, 11:15 am
    Good stuff da beef!
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #75 - January 23rd, 2010, 12:48 pm
    Post #75 - January 23rd, 2010, 12:48 pm Post #75 - January 23rd, 2010, 12:48 pm
    Da Beef wrote:Image
    make your reservations today...

    A few years ago, my friend Jason who lives in NJ, chronicled his Valentines Day meal at White Castle . . .

    A White Castle Valentine

    Gotta love the printed menus and the flowers on the tables. :D

    =R=
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French
  • Post #76 - February 1st, 2010, 4:30 pm
    Post #76 - February 1st, 2010, 4:30 pm Post #76 - February 1st, 2010, 4:30 pm
    On the topic of heart-shaped pizzas, I'd like to mention that Buffo's in Highwood also offers a thin crust version. I've always liked their thin crust (disclaimer: I worked there for a few summers during my college years) and while everything is good, their barbeque chicken is definitely something to try. The sauce is more smoky than sweet and the chicken is grilled and diced fresh for each pizza.

    Buffo's
    432 N Sheridan Rd.
    Highwood, IL
  • Post #77 - February 1st, 2010, 5:00 pm
    Post #77 - February 1st, 2010, 5:00 pm Post #77 - February 1st, 2010, 5:00 pm
    grace21 wrote:On the topic of heart-shaped pizzas, I'd like to mention that Buffo's in Highwood also offers a thin crust version. I've always liked their thin crust (disclaimer: I worked there for a few summers during my college years) and while everything is good, their barbeque chicken is definitely something to try. The sauce is more smoky than sweet and the chicken is grilled and diced fresh for each pizza.

    Buffo's
    432 N Sheridan Rd.
    Highwood, IL


    Barnaby's Northbrook used to offer heart shaped pizza on V-day...since very little there changes from decade to decade, I'd guess they still do but if you're so inclined, best to call first and verify.

    Barnaby's of Northbrook
    www.barnabysofnorthbrook.com
    960 Skokie Boulevard
    Northbrook, IL 60062-4005
    (847) 498-3900
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #78 - February 2nd, 2010, 5:55 pm
    Post #78 - February 2nd, 2010, 5:55 pm Post #78 - February 2nd, 2010, 5:55 pm
    I love to cook and nest at home for holidays where people traditionally go out (New Years Eve), but I also like to take my S-E-X (Spousal-Equivalent-eXtaordinaire) out and treat her to a lovely time. Dining out on VD is rolling the dice when it comes to service, that is why the perfect "dining" experience is Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula. Unparalleled service in a warm soothing atmosphere with live music, sipping tea and noshing on plates of mini sandwiches and pastries. Stroll Boule Mich before or after or take a carriage ride to The Peninsula. It is more memorable than any traditional meal ever will be.
  • Post #79 - February 3rd, 2010, 5:18 pm
    Post #79 - February 3rd, 2010, 5:18 pm Post #79 - February 3rd, 2010, 5:18 pm
    i would recommend spiaggia. it's really good. get the tasting menu and relax for the evening. last time i was there i had some sort of pasta that tasted like the best penne ala vodka i'd ever had. i know that sounds crazy, but for real, it was rad.

    all best,
    sfb
    "cooking is an art. baking a science."
    -- benjamin franklin
  • Post #80 - February 15th, 2010, 9:56 am
    Post #80 - February 15th, 2010, 9:56 am Post #80 - February 15th, 2010, 9:56 am
    G Wiv wrote:For the second year in a row Marie's was the perfect place to spend Valentine's day.

    Third year in a row, the perfect place to celebrate Valentines day with bride and friends. Highly recommended.

    Marie's 2.14.10

    Image

    Image
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #81 - February 15th, 2010, 10:06 am
    Post #81 - February 15th, 2010, 10:06 am Post #81 - February 15th, 2010, 10:06 am
    i spent my v-day in des plaines,il at the winter burn off bbq contest .
    it was a great day ,sunny & the smell of(wood smoke :mrgreen: ) 17 cookteams in the air.
    took 10th overall & got a call in pork 4th place. had alot of fun.
    we had sausage, chicken, ribs,pork loin& chili
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #82 - February 15th, 2010, 11:30 am
    Post #82 - February 15th, 2010, 11:30 am Post #82 - February 15th, 2010, 11:30 am
    Barnaby's Northbrook. Valentine's Day 2010

    Image

    Sorry about the small image size, I can't figure out how to make it any larger.

    My sister-in-law made a reservation over a month ago. We call Barnaby's the recession special for dinner. 10 of us with tons of leftovers for $70. You cant beat that.
  • Post #83 - February 15th, 2010, 9:00 pm
    Post #83 - February 15th, 2010, 9:00 pm Post #83 - February 15th, 2010, 9:00 pm
    Also enjoyed a heart-shaped pizza at Marie's last night (1/2 bacon and spinach, 1/2 cheese) - like all of our previous meals there, it was GREAT. The beginning of a Valentine's Day tradition for the fiance and myself!

    Next year I'll keep my eyes peeled for others enjoying this tradition . . .
  • Post #84 - February 15th, 2010, 11:50 pm
    Post #84 - February 15th, 2010, 11:50 pm Post #84 - February 15th, 2010, 11:50 pm
    Spoon delivery...nam khao thawt, duck larb and chinese broccoli with pork bits for me...red curry chicken (with extra chicken) for NFBF (non-foodie boyfriend). And i get to re-live the magic with lunch leftovers tomorrow... :lol:
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #85 - February 9th, 2016, 10:16 am
    Post #85 - February 9th, 2016, 10:16 am Post #85 - February 9th, 2016, 10:16 am
    Da Beef wrote:Image
    make your reservations today...

    For reservations: 708/458-4450 extension 510

    I already made mine!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #86 - February 9th, 2016, 12:58 pm
    Post #86 - February 9th, 2016, 12:58 pm Post #86 - February 9th, 2016, 12:58 pm
    Noting that this is in reference to reservations for White Castle (had to look pretty far back to see the context) :P


    Cathy2 wrote:
    Da Beef wrote:Image
    make your reservations today...

    For reservations: 708/458-4450 extension 510

    I already made mine!
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more