So it’s almost Valentine’s Day.
You forgot, didn’t you? No, don’t try to apologize. The best you can hope for at this point is a couple weeks of apology backrubs and no less than three dinner dates to make up for this. This is the price you must pay.
But don’t despair just yet. It turns out that our fair city of Chicago has a wealth of options for last minute Valentine’s Day ideas. Whether you’re looking for a high-class date, cheap fun, or a good prelude to some Grade-A sexy times, you can still salvage this most vaunted of Hallmark Holiday’s and take your date somewhere nice.
This wonderful city truly does offer something for everyone. Even you, you Valentine-forgetting dork.
What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? How about…
1. Classy fun time at Rootstock
If classy romance is to your taste, please check out Humboldt Park’s Rootstock, one of the few bars where “cozy” is actually an appropriate adjective and not just code for “broom closet-sized”. Nestled into a wonderful little indoor-outdoor establishment at 954 North California Avenue, Rootstock serves small plates that are as appetizing as they are reasonably priced. The lighting is dim and the mood has a sexy mysteriousness to it all, a wonderful place to get tipsy and practice staring deeply into your partner’s eyes.
At Rootstock, olives, nuts and soups all come in under the $10 mark, with oysters that be purchased a la carte for under $3 apiece. There’s a fantastic wine selection that tends to come at around eight to ten dollars a glass, featuring bubblies, reds and whites with names you can’t even begin to pronounce, as well as wonderful beers and ciders from favorites like Three Floyds, Stiegl, and Founders.
There are also some charcuterie plates (“fancy meat plates” for you philistines out there) as well as burgers and steaks if you want something a bit more filling.
But really, Rootstock is all about the tease. Dimly lit, loaded with appetizers, and capped off with wine that tastes like candy, an evening at Rootstock is a promise of fun to come.
Also they have bacon toffee. No, I’m not kidding.
2. Impress the clothes off your date at D.O.C. Wine Bar
Valentine’s Day is a day for wine.
Yes, I know, you’d rather be knocking back Irish car bombs and pretending you enjoy the taste of Guinness. Well, St. Paddy’s day is still a month off so in the mean time you can hop over to D.O.C. Wine Bar at 2602 North Clark Street in Lincoln Park and get a crash course in the art of the fermented grape with one of their exquisite wine flights. You’ll find something you’ll enjoy, guaranteed.
The restaurant features a homey atmosphere with couches and a fireplace that just begs you to get snuggled up. D.O.C.’s stated goal is that wine is meant to be enjoyed by experts and initiates alike. Wines tend to come at around $10 a glass, with wine flights featuring several expertly-paired selections costing around $15. The menu features fries, deviled eggs, artichokes, and a dozen meats and cheeses that arrive on wooden platters.
So head on over and charm your significant other’s fancy clothes right onto the floor…you little Cassanova.
Oh, they also have a Valentine’s Day special coming up. Bottles of champagne come with free chocolate covered strawberries and you can show them a ticket stub for 50 Shades of Grey to get a free glass of sparkling wine, which should be just enough to help you forget that you sat through 50 Shades of Grey.
3. Sexy fun time at Gorilla Tango Theater
We’ve spoken before about the cavalcade of sexy, goofy debauchery that goes on at Gorilla Tango Theater, but this Valentine’s Day the theater is looking to outdo themselves with a midnight burlesque act called “I’ll Do Anything to See Boobs Tonight”.
True to its title, Gorilla Tango’s vaunted cabaret styling features a copious amounts of near-nudity from its cast of incredibly extroverted geek girls.
Oh, and don’t worry, ladies. There’s more than a few Magic Mike’s-In-Training occupying the “boylesque” portion of the evening.
But really, Gorilla Tango’s burlesque is about the sheer madness of it all. There’s a universal kind of fun watching half-naked people prance around onstage. Whether you’re into guys, girls, both, or neither, Gorilla Tango promises sheer, manic exuberance for around thirty bucks a seat. There are also some Star Wars-themed burlesques earlier in the evening if you really want to geek your partner out.
4. Check out some really, really expensive classic rock.
So Fleetwood Mac’s back in town.
Who are they, you ask? Really? You mean you haven’t heard “Rumors”?
Yes, you have, come on. You can go your own waaaayyyy. That one.
Okay, well, if you’re too young to remember Fleetwood Mac’s heyday, it’s still entirely possible you were conceived while one of their songs was playing. Honor that legacy by checking them out at Allstate Arena on February 14th. One of the top-selling artists of all time, Fleetwood Mac is widely considered one of the greatest soft rock bands in music history, bringing a mellow, passionate vibe to their special brand of breakup music. Former band member Christine McVie rejoined the band for the first time since 1998, joining longtime collaborators John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and the indelible Stevie Nicks for a world tour.
Anticipation has been sky high for this tour, which of course means tickets are insanely expensive. Like, “take out a mortgage, empty your college fund, and sell your kidney” expensive. The cheapest seats in the house will cost closest to $150 apiece, with seats closer to the front costing upwards of $800 dollars.
But really, can you put a price on classic rock?
Yes, yes you can.
5. Avoid the entire holiday, and drink
Plenty of us are just done with the whole Valentine’s thing. If you are done with the whole Valentine’s thing, considering dropping $25 on the “Screw Cupid” Pub Crawl, and join other people who are done with the whole Valentine’s thing. The package includes eight drink tickets, a buffet, transportation between all four bars, and “cupid punch”, whatever that is.
Because who needs romance when you have enough booze to preserve a baby elephant?
Not you, that’s for sure.
(Featured photo courtesy of D.O.C Wine Bar)