For decades, Chicagoans' go-to restaurants for romance involved stunning views (think Signature Room on the 95th Floor of John Hancock Center, Spiaggia and newcomer, Gibsons Italia. Or the old reliable Geja's Cafe for spinning melted Swiss or chocolate around a bread cube or a strawberry. All nice ideas, but they're everyone's ideas so book your table months in advance if you thinking of a Valentine's Day experience.
Our list recognizes that for every couple that goes for a dark, hushed room another gets the fuse lit by an airy elegant space; and while oysters and chocolate are the de rigueur choices for friskiness, some have a shared affinity for anything but the expected.
Ella Elli, topping "hot" lists from Zagat to Chicago Magazine, is a 75-seat restaurant dotted with sofas, two-person bar stools and alcoves seating for a sexy getaway from the bustling Southport Corridor. If you want to witness the physical incarnation of "connection," get to Artango in Lincoln Square and feel the endorphins. Let's not forget about the animal magnetism of a nicely charred steak, either, whether a cowboy cut or a slab of cauliflower. Chicago has it all.