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Valentines day recs... Again...

Valentines day recs... Again...
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  • Valentines day recs... Again...

    Post #1 - January 24th, 2005, 2:00 am
    Post #1 - January 24th, 2005, 2:00 am Post #1 - January 24th, 2005, 2:00 am
    such a contrived date for fine dining... but my orig. planned restaurant got voided simply because we went there TODAY. ugh.

    so.. something Frenchy.. in Chicago proper... with a price tag NEAR la sardine's tuesday pre-fix? not brasserie jo... some bistro fanfare (tho we are off to Paris 4 days after V-day) does this even exist?
  • Post #2 - January 24th, 2005, 5:44 am
    Post #2 - January 24th, 2005, 5:44 am Post #2 - January 24th, 2005, 5:44 am
    Bistro Zinc or Kiki's Bistro are stalwarts that may fit the bill for you. Also, how about Tournesol or Bistro Campagne in Lincoln Square? All will be packed for V-Day, so call ahead.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #3 - January 24th, 2005, 9:58 am
    Post #3 - January 24th, 2005, 9:58 am Post #3 - January 24th, 2005, 9:58 am
    My honey and I went to Ixcapulzco (or however it's spelled) last V-day. It was our first time back to that place in years, and we went a lot 'cause we had some certificates. We had not very high expectations, and they were lowered when we saw they were not serving the regular menu.

    Boy were we wrong. It was five course of yum, plus 2 drinks in the fixed price. So good, that I am pretty sure we are gonna go there again this V-day.

    Not French though.

    Rob
  • Post #4 - January 24th, 2005, 10:08 am
    Post #4 - January 24th, 2005, 10:08 am Post #4 - January 24th, 2005, 10:08 am
    If you're willing to stretch out of the city a bit to Evanston, I think Jacky's Bistro is a good choice. I haven't been there since Jacky left, but I hear nothing has changed. The prices are very reasonable, the service is very good, and the food is above average. I have had excellent cassoulet as well as braised lamb shank at Jacky's.

    I think there's a built-in benefit this year with v-day falling on a Monday. You could theoretically do your v-day celebratory dining out anywhere from Friday - Mon. (Thurs. if you stretch it). We're doing Topolobampo on Friday the 11th and we'll be cooking at home on v-day.

    Jacky's Bistro
    2545 Prairie Ave
    Evanston, IL
    (847) 733-0899
    http://www.jackysbistro.com/
  • Post #5 - January 24th, 2005, 1:25 pm
    Post #5 - January 24th, 2005, 1:25 pm Post #5 - January 24th, 2005, 1:25 pm
    FWIW: Ixcapuzalco & Jacky's both hv certificates on restaurant.com . cept both have been 'sold out' for weeks and weeks...
  • Post #6 - January 24th, 2005, 1:35 pm
    Post #6 - January 24th, 2005, 1:35 pm Post #6 - January 24th, 2005, 1:35 pm
    Has anyone eaten at Bistro Margot. I am thinking about doing French for V-Day. Any food suggestions?
  • Post #7 - January 24th, 2005, 5:57 pm
    Post #7 - January 24th, 2005, 5:57 pm Post #7 - January 24th, 2005, 5:57 pm
    Was just at Bistrot Margot on Saturday...the duck is great, the rosemary chicken was wonderful and I liked the steak with the pommes frites
  • Post #8 - January 25th, 2005, 8:49 pm
    Post #8 - January 25th, 2005, 8:49 pm Post #8 - January 25th, 2005, 8:49 pm
    Hi,

    I totally understand you are seeking restaurant recommendations. Though I consider Valentine's Day up there with Mother's Day and New Year's Eve as the worst days for dining out. I'm really not trying to be your wet blanket, though I have had too many negative dining experiences on those days that hope no longer triumphs experience.

    Why not a romantic dinner at home with the special dinner out postponed for a day when you will get great service from any favored restaurant.

    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 #9 - January 28th, 2005, 2:19 pm
    Post #9 - January 28th, 2005, 2:19 pm Post #9 - January 28th, 2005, 2:19 pm
    I've narrowed it down to Tournesol or Bistro Campagne.

    opinions on either much welcomed. they both seem to still have plenty of reservation spots available. Altho it's somewhat strange neither is offering pre-fixe menus for this v-day. I just realized: Parking avail. is KEY to this decision making process.
  • Post #10 - January 28th, 2005, 3:00 pm
    Post #10 - January 28th, 2005, 3:00 pm Post #10 - January 28th, 2005, 3:00 pm
    TonyC wrote:I've narrowed it down to Tournesol or Bistro Campagne.

    Tournesol, no question.

    I've been to Tournesol any number of times and have had nothing but positive experiences. Once even ate there twice in one weekend, the hostess really did a double take when she saw us walk in the second night.

    Bistro Campagne, on the other hand, is low on my list of ever going back. Last time there we had a horrid case of waiter fade and the time before I swear the lardons in the salad Lyonnaise were soaked in liq*id sm*ke. ~ugg~

    You can usually find street parking at Tournesol.

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

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - January 28th, 2005, 3:19 pm
    Post #11 - January 28th, 2005, 3:19 pm Post #11 - January 28th, 2005, 3:19 pm
    eatchicago wrote:If you're willing to stretch out of the city a bit to Evanston, I think Jacky's Bistro is a good choice. I haven't been there since Jacky left, but I hear nothing has changed. The prices are very reasonable, the service is very good, and the food is above average. I have had excellent cassoulet as well as braised lamb shank at Jacky's.


    I've never really been all that high on Jacky's myself. Like you say, good service but I'd say just average food, overpriced for the total package. You'll do a lot better for the same money at Jilly's a couple of blocks away, or The Stained Glass on Benson in downtown E-town.
    I exist in Chicago, but I live in New Orleans.
  • Post #12 - January 28th, 2005, 3:41 pm
    Post #12 - January 28th, 2005, 3:41 pm Post #12 - January 28th, 2005, 3:41 pm
    TonyC wrote:I've narrowed it down to Tournesol or Bistro Campagne.

    opinions on either much welcomed. they both seem to still have plenty of reservation spots available. Altho it's somewhat strange neither is offering pre-fixe menus for this v-day. I just realized: Parking avail. is KEY to this decision making process.


    I've had nothing but excellent experiences at both, but I think Tournesol is better for "date" dining.

    Bistro C. has become more of a "snack" place for me. Ms. EC and I love to sit at their small bar and have some beglian ale, a charcuterie plate (excellent), and a couple other appetizers.

    While I do believe that French dining in Chicago is generally weak, the food at Tournesol has always pleased me and their service level is second-to-none (in the price range). I think V-day at Tournesol will not be disappointing.
  • Post #13 - January 28th, 2005, 3:49 pm
    Post #13 - January 28th, 2005, 3:49 pm Post #13 - January 28th, 2005, 3:49 pm
    I've not been to Bistro Campagne, but I have nothing but warm feelings toward Tournesol...a splendid neighborhood restaurant.
  • Post #14 - January 29th, 2005, 12:12 pm
    Post #14 - January 29th, 2005, 12:12 pm Post #14 - January 29th, 2005, 12:12 pm
    done! tournesol booked for 5:30 on v-day. anyone else gonna be around? it's a wee bit of a drive from south side but... i figured if i go early enough, i can avoid the loop traffic..

    thanks for the tips guys!
  • Post #15 - February 5th, 2005, 10:32 am
    Post #15 - February 5th, 2005, 10:32 am Post #15 - February 5th, 2005, 10:32 am
    Have you considered Bistro Campagne (if you can get a reservation at this point!)? Or LeBouchon in Bucktown? It's Le Sardine's sister restaurant.
  • Post #16 - February 5th, 2005, 10:35 am
    Post #16 - February 5th, 2005, 10:35 am Post #16 - February 5th, 2005, 10:35 am
    Oops. Guess I didn't read far enough into the thread. But it's clear that my weigh-in between BC and Tournesol is BC. I think the food is much better, more authentic, less pretentious.
  • Post #17 - February 16th, 2005, 3:40 am
    Post #17 - February 16th, 2005, 3:40 am Post #17 - February 16th, 2005, 3:40 am
    Tournesol turned out to be TRES BIEN on v-day. the pork tenderloin was done 'medium rare' to my liking (tho brasserie jo served up a lil bloodier pork) and was just amazing. my wine was a lil conservative on the pour, but otherwise, even the walnut cracker served w/ the chocolate mousse was perfect.

    I chose Tournesol over BC simply because of the noise factor when I called to make reservations. couldn't hear the person on the phone @ BC due to the rowdiness. Tournesol's environment was perfectly (older?) subdued and peaceful yesterday.
  • Post #18 - January 27th, 2006, 2:32 pm
    Post #18 - January 27th, 2006, 2:32 pm Post #18 - January 27th, 2006, 2:32 pm
    Any good places someone would like to recommend? Some non-traditional suggestions would be good, too.
  • Post #19 - January 28th, 2006, 1:16 pm
    Post #19 - January 28th, 2006, 1:16 pm Post #19 - January 28th, 2006, 1:16 pm
    From the 10th to the 15th of February, Sweets and Savories, which just won a neighborhood restaurant award on the board, is offering a 5 course menu at $35 ($55 with paired wines). We will be out of town, or otherwise we would definitely go. We went last year, and it was well worth the trip.
  • Post #20 - January 28th, 2006, 2:27 pm
    Post #20 - January 28th, 2006, 2:27 pm Post #20 - January 28th, 2006, 2:27 pm
    We went to Jacky's Bistro for V-day last year and it wasn't too spectacular. Everything felt rushed and crowded, the food was good but not worth the cost, and the desserts weren't all too special. A lackluster meal, in my opinion.

    I recommend Cafe Bernard. They have a moderately priced valentine's special, it's a french restaurant that's kind of small but quaint. They make an amazing. creme brulee.
  • Post #21 - January 28th, 2006, 4:37 pm
    Post #21 - January 28th, 2006, 4:37 pm Post #21 - January 28th, 2006, 4:37 pm
    Funnelhead wrote:Any good places someone would like to recommend? Some non-traditional suggestions would be good, too.


    I've been waiting for this thread to pop up ever since I was driving home from Indianapolis last week. I stopped at a White Castle in Kokomo. While dining at one of the counters I saw an advertisement for their Valentine's Day special. When I saw this, my immediate thought was to go online and post a link to the special on LTH Forum. Alas, they don't have the special online. However, I do remember that guests were going to be waited on by staff in tuxedo's, a rose for the lady, and food. What a special event to take your date on.

    No sommelier though. :(
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #22 - January 28th, 2006, 6:37 pm
    Post #22 - January 28th, 2006, 6:37 pm Post #22 - January 28th, 2006, 6:37 pm
    Schwa. But only if you are feeling frisky.':wink:'

    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t= ... c&start=30
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #23 - January 30th, 2006, 10:53 am
    Post #23 - January 30th, 2006, 10:53 am Post #23 - January 30th, 2006, 10:53 am
    White Castle

    For the 16th year, White Castle will turn hundreds of restaurants into love dens. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a night you'll likely forget in a week, go to White Castle and be seated by a well-dressed hostess at a table, complete with candlelight and tablecloth. At this point, you can feel free to stuff your faces. Even better, you could stuff each others.


    In the Chicagoland area, reservations are being taken at 708.458.4450

    E.M.
  • Post #24 - January 30th, 2006, 11:31 am
    Post #24 - January 30th, 2006, 11:31 am Post #24 - January 30th, 2006, 11:31 am
    how about a heart shaped thin crust from My Pie??

    i took a prom date to Taco Bell once.... is that considered finer dining than White Castle?

    and btw, Sweets and Savories is pretty much all booked up on V-day, less you like eating 5 course meals @ 10pm ;)
  • Post #25 - February 15th, 2006, 3:50 pm
    Post #25 - February 15th, 2006, 3:50 pm Post #25 - February 15th, 2006, 3:50 pm
    White Castle Valentine's Day

    Candlelight, romance in a castle -- all for $9.19
    Pics from Chicago
    Gothamist on New York's version
    White Castle V-Day at Flickr
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #26 - February 15th, 2006, 6:01 pm
    Post #26 - February 15th, 2006, 6:01 pm Post #26 - February 15th, 2006, 6:01 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Why not a romantic dinner at home with the special dinner out postponed for a day when you will get great service from any favored restaurant.


    Hey, good idea, that made me remember this:
    http://www.impromptugourmet.com/
    Has anybody tried it?

    Hubby got OT, has system-entry test tomorrow, have to keep the home fires on the back burner...
  • Post #27 - February 15th, 2006, 6:22 pm
    Post #27 - February 15th, 2006, 6:22 pm Post #27 - February 15th, 2006, 6:22 pm
    Mhays wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:Why not a romantic dinner at home with the special dinner out postponed for a day when you will get great service from any favored restaurant.


    Hey, good idea, that made me remember this:
    http://www.impromptugourmet.com/
    Has anybody tried it?

    Hubby got OT, has system-entry test tomorrow, have to keep the home fires on the back burner...


    Actually, yes, impromptu gourmet sent a sample to the publication i work for. I was the only one who's culinarily inclined (save for our food critic, who really doesn't cook), so I tested the bad boy out.

    It was a few months ago, but IIRC, I tested the pork tenderloin, green bean with almonds, red potatoes and the chocolate molten lava cake.

    It arrives in a styrofoam chest packed with dry ice.

    All were really easy to prepare, as long as you remembered to take them out to defrost in the morning so it'd be ready to cook for dinner.

    It's not quick cooking either. I believe the tenderloin still had to cook about 45 minutes, but they tell you that you can throw all the other side dishes in the oven as well, or they can be microwaved.

    The food was better than expected, and fed three of us happily, with even a few leftovers.
  • Post #28 - February 4th, 2008, 8:09 pm
    Post #28 - February 4th, 2008, 8:09 pm Post #28 - February 4th, 2008, 8:09 pm
    This may be a little early, but I'm trying to be prepared this year. First Valentine's since we got married, so I'd like to take my wife somewhere special. Add a bit of romance to this cold, dreary season...Can anyone recall a wonderful past Valentine's dining out experience? Or any particularly romantic dinner? Preferably not south of the Loop or west of Kedzie.

    Thanks.
  • Post #29 - February 4th, 2008, 8:33 pm
    Post #29 - February 4th, 2008, 8:33 pm Post #29 - February 4th, 2008, 8:33 pm
    Sorry - I got nuthin'.
    Any time I've decided to dine out for Valentine's Day, I've been underwhelmed.
    The best Valentine's meals I've had were cooked by Mrs. Johnny or myself (mostly Mrs. Johnny :wink: ).
    I love restaurants. You're sitting there and all of a sudden, there's food. It's like magic.
    - Brian Wilson
  • Post #30 - February 4th, 2008, 8:37 pm
    Post #30 - February 4th, 2008, 8:37 pm Post #30 - February 4th, 2008, 8:37 pm
    I hate to be a wet blanket as well--particularly since I'm so relatively new at the marriage thing, too. But I gotta tell ya: Valentine's Day has got to be the single worst day of the year to eat out. Everyone wants to do it, the good places--ALL of them--are swamped. The servers and front of the house are harried beyond reason. And it all adds up to a less-than-enchanting evening. Do something else special: take her for a carriage ride, go out on the town in any other way, stay home and make it a special evening. And then celebrate over the weekend, a few days "late." That's what I've learned to do--the hard way. Sorry to be so negative, but this is the voice of experience whining. :(
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)

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