The courting process is very important in a relationship. Dining becomes a major event the two of you can share together. In my relationship I prefer to dine out to discuss important issues that my mate and I are having. This way no tempers flare and the environment is relaxed. Special occasions are also blended with the dining experience. I am going to share with you my favorite three restaurants in and around Chicago that will meet the mark for any of the ups and downs for a new or existing relationship.
10275 West Higgins Rd.
The first time I stepped foot into Nick’s I was 17. I was walking downtown and saw stairs leading underground to a restaurant, when I entered there was a maitre d’ at the podium that greeted me. I told him that I wanted to look around and he allowed me. What first struck me was the ambiance was like that of a movie. The lights in the bar area were a faint purple. There were no other lights on besides the candles lit at each table in the dining area. The room was dark, very dark. I thought the restaurant was so sexy and swanky. There was smooth jazz playing in the background and I was sold, I made reservations. I had a date with my boyfriend the next evening and I told him that was where I wanted to go. Although business casual was the usual dress code, we were dressed formal and still fit in. We sat in our booth and began to browse the menu and noticed the food was very expensive. We spent over $100 for our meal. I never forgot that experience as a young girl. Nick’s has since moved and is no longer underground but that does not take away from its’ uniqueness. I have been to the new location and the sexiness remains. There are more lights than the previous but there is a level of privacy that is unmatched. The furnishings are of the highest quality. The way the booths and tables are situated gives you the utmost intimacy, which makes you feel like there is only you and your honey around. Being there makes you feel sophisticated. There is a full bar that is upscale like a posh lounge. A noticeable difference is the menu has since expanded but is still a little pricey. An excellent meal will run you around $100 for two, but that is not including drinks, tax or tips. The experience is well worth it and it will be something that the two of you remember.
Riva Restaurant on Navy Pier
700 E. Grand Ave.
Navy Pier is a very popular upscale destination in Chicago that has fine dining to match. Upon exiting the elevator that leads to Riva, you notice a very busy place that still has managed to keep its’ intimacy. My boyfriend and I were shown to our table, as we had no reservations, and the first thing we noticed was the view of Lake Michigan and Chicago Skyline. We went at night, which is what I recommend and I will tell you the swagger is unparalleled. The positioning of tables is very important to me, as I like a level of comfort when I dine that allows me to talk with my mate and eat and not feel like someone is hearing every word I say. Ironically we did not speak very much during dinner because we were so struck by the view and the serenity. The lighting was low and the glass walls brought the outside in. I don’t recall how much we spent on dinner but bring extra money as you would with any upscale restaurant. Also, parking at Navy Pier can get pretty expensive. Expect to pay around $15-$30 for parking for the evening. If you are looking to have a very private date with the special person in your life, you cannot go wrong with Riva.
Grand Lux Cafe
600 North Michigan Avenue
The Grand Lux is the sister restaurant of The Cheesecake Factory. One of the differences is the Grand Lux is very posh, chic and young. The Grand Lux is located on Michigan Avenue and as busy as that street is, there is a romantic quietness going on upstairs at the Grand Lux. The lights are always dim, no matter the time or day and the food is always delicious. This place has a particularly unique booth and table setting that I like, that affords me peace and tranquility every time I go. The first thing you will notice is the sexiness of the ceiling and décor. The theme is Venetian and Moroccan. It is beautifully decorated, which will help break the ice if this is a first date you can talk about all the details of the ceiling fixture, walls and furnishings. If you sit near the windows, you can see the busy rush going on outside along the Magnificent Mile. The Grand Lux Cafe is located blocks from the famous Watertower Plaza. I particularly love to go to the Grand Lux in winter. The store windows are decorated so nicely, and the warm dim environment is a romantic mix with the cold busy shopping season. The draw in the summer is during the evening hours; the two of you can take a long stroll downtown and enjoy the sites and weather. The food is reasonably priced, despite the location and it always tastes so great.
These romantic restaurants in Chicago have served me well in good times and bad. I continue to dine at these establishments with my mate no matter the season or occasions.