Chicago's a great eatin' town. From deep-dish pizza to ethnic fare to haute cuisine, Chicago serves up tasty choices for romantic couples. These are among the best restaurants we sampled on a recent visit to Chicago.
Relais & Chateaux restaurant; elevators inside the Chicago Stock Exchange swoop diners up to this 40th floor aerie. While the decor is a bit dated (brass railings, mirrored walls) and we couldn't understand why window-side chairs faced into the restaurant rather than out at the view, savoring the cuisine yields a peak experience. Chef Joho is a masterful melder of flavors who had us at the amuse bouche, an array of four complementary delights that piqued our palates. Although patrons can order from the à la carte menu that changes monthly, if you come to celebrate a special romantic occasion, trust the chef and select his tasting menu. It's pure seduction.
Blackstone Hotel. The cuisine is Catalan — derived from the Andorran region close to the border where Spain meets France and it encompasses the city of Barcelona. It was here that tapas, those tasty, tiny appetizer plates, began. It's the kind of food that fosters fun, friendship, and the impulse to share so that you can taste a little of everything. Main courses predominantly come from the grill, and you can wash down your choice of meat, poultry, fish, or shellfish with sangria (choose red, white, or the seasonal specialty), martinis, beer, or any of 40 Spanish wines.
Four Seasons Chicago hotel makes us feel as if we have to be on our best behavior and dress to suit the formal environment. (Jackets are recommended for men.) It's a minor sacrifice for well-prepared Midwestern fare enhanced with pickings from the chef's rooftop garden and local farmers markets. Every week the chef creates a new tasting menu. Lamb and lobster, filet and foie gras are among the regular menu selections. Sunday brunch is a Chicago institution where diners feast on everything from California rolls to chicken parm, applewood-smoked salmon to chilled crab claws. Those with the heartiest appetites can pull into both the omelette and waffle stations, and even vegetarians won't go hungry.