Things to do on Valentine's Day that aren't awful | Valentine's Day | Chicago Reader

Things to do on Valentine's Day that aren't awful 

If you insist on being romantic . . .

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Kabocha will offer a six-course prix fixe featuring alleged aphrodisiacs.

Kabocha will offer a six-course prix fixe featuring alleged aphrodisiacs.

Andrea Bauer

Power Couples

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 - A/S/L_MEDIA
  • The Reader's Anti-Valentine's Day Party, 2013
  • A/S/L_Media

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.

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