Dining out: Portillo's heart-shaped chocolate cake is back for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day specials

Haven't thought about what you're going to do for Valentine's Day yet? Here are some dining options to fit all budgets. For more ideas, see what other suburban restaurants are offering for Valentine's Day weekend at

Arcada Theatre: Fans of murder mysteries won't want to miss the Arcada's St. Valentine's Day Massacre Murder Mystery Dinner. Doors open at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, with the dinner from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the show from 8 to 10 p.m. Dine on salad, prime rib, potatoes, veggies, red velvet cake and more while trying to solve the murder mystery. Tickets cost $65. A cash bar will be available. The Arcada is at 105 E. Main St., St. Charles,

Che Figata: Take the guessing out of Valentine's Day with Che Figata's $75 pre-fixe menu. Dine on prosecco toast, baked oyster pie, orecchiette, lobster sausage and peppers, filet Rossini and for dessert, budino (vanilla bean budino, chocolate dumante, strawberry jam, balsamic vinegar and pistachio crumble). Reservations requested. Che Figata is at 2155 CityGate Lane, Naperville, (630) 579-3210,

The Chocolate Sanctuary: Valentine's weekend, Feb. 14-15, is for chocolate and dinner together at the Gurnee restaurant. Take advantage of specials such as baked goat cheese and dark chocolate marinara ($15), pan-seared scallops with cocoa nib bacon jam ($15), charcuterie for two with meats, cheeses and chocolates ($15), 14-ounce beef Wellington for two featuring pastry with Valrhona dark chocolate and roasted potatoes ($70), 10-ounce New York strip and lobster surf and turf with cocoa-dusted oven-baked Parmesan fries ($35), 8-ounce miso-marinated Chilean sea bass with yuzu white chocolate coconut rice ($38), cocoa ginger-spiced fried tofu ($22), and special Valentine's desserts and drinks. Reservations required. The Chocolate Sanctuary is at 5101 Washington St., Gurnee, (224) 944-0808,

Cooper's Hawk: The Arlington Heights location is hosting a Valentine's Day wine pairing from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. For $79.99 a person, the event begins with a toast of Scarletto before moving on to truffle bisque paired with Lux Chardonnay. Next is roasted beet carpaccio paired with riesling before the main course of surf and turf filet medallions and Parmesan-crusted lobster tail paired with Caspaña. Dessert features salted caramel crème brûlée and flourless chocolate torte paired with Nightjar. Buy tickets at Cooper's Hawk is at 798 W. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights, (847) 981-0900, The other Cooper's Hawk locations (Burr Ridge, Downers Grove, Morton Grove, Naperville, South Barrington, St. Charles, Wheeling) will be serving a special a la carte Valentine's menu featuring filet medallions and Parmesan-crusted lobster tail for $36.99, twin Parmesan-crusted lobster tails for $38.99 and dark chocolate flourless torte for $8.99.

The Drake Oak Brook: Wine and dine your date with the special Valentine's Day menu featuring seared ahi tuna ($13), Bookbinder soup ($10), surf and turf for two ($75), duck breast ($34), pan-seared T-bone steak ($38), and desserts of lava cake ($7), chocolate surprise ($8) and trio de bonbons ($8). Enjoy live music in the lobby starting at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Reservations recommended. The Drake is at 2301 York Road, Oak Brook, (630) 571-0000,

Now through Friday, Feb. 14, Einstein Bros. Bagels will be baking up plain, chocolate chip and cinnamon raisin heart-shaped bagels. Courtesy of Einstein Bros. Bagels

Einstein Bros. Bagels: Now through Friday, Feb. 14, Einstein's will be baking up plain, chocolate chip and cinnamon raisin heart-shaped bagels. A single bagel runs $1.49, while a half-dozen is $11.99 and a baker's dozen costs $15.79. Einstein's has locations in Barrington, Glen Ellyn, Glenview, Gurnee, Hinsdale, Lake Forest, Lake in the Hills, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Naperville, Palatine, Park Ridge, Schaumburg and Wheaton. See

Fox & Turtle: The Itasca restaurant will be serving up Valentine's specials such as lobster bisque, crabcakes, Chef Ron's Cioppino, truffle risotto filet and chocolate lava cake this weekend. Fox & Turtle is at 400 E. Orchard St., Itasca, (630) 773-1801,

Gene & Georgetti: Enjoy a memorable Valentine's weekend dinner at the Rosemont steakhouse. Specials include shrimp de Jonghe ($24), heart-shaped ravioli Valentino ($28), King crab legs ($69 a pound), surf and turf (8-ounce prime filet mignon and grilled shrimp for $75), bistecca fiorentina for two (40-ounce dry-aged T-bone for $98) and white chocolate mousse ($12). Gene & Georgetti is at 9421 W. Higgins Road, Rosemont, (847) 653-3300,

Express your feelings with a Krispy Kreme Conversation Heart Doughnut. Courtesy of Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme: Express how you're feeling with Conversation Heart Doughnuts, featuring 24 edible phrases such as “BE MINE,” “DREAMY” and “ILYSM.” Available now through Friday, Feb. 14, doughnut flavors include Cake Batter, Strawberries and Kreme, Original Kreme and Chocolate Kreme Filled. Krispy Kreme is at 412 E. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village, with other locations in Chicago, Evergreen Park, Hillside and Homewood. See


Make it a funny Valentine's this year at Maggiano's Valentine's Day Comedy Show from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, in Naperville. Dine on a family-style dinner while Chicago Comedy Scene Radio provides the laughs. Tickets cost $60 for adults, including tax and gratuity. A cash bar will be available. Note: This is an adult-themed show; 21 and older only. Maggiano's is at 1847 Freedom Drive, Naperville, (630) 536-2280,

If music is more your style, Maggiano's Oak Brook hosts a Dueling Piano Valentine's Day event from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14. Tickets, which cost $75 for adults 21 and older, include a family-style dinner and a prosecco toast plus music from Windy City Dueling Piano's Entertainments. A cash bar will be available. Maggiano's is at 240 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 368-0300,

Miller's Ale House: Now through Friday, Feb. 14, sip on the special Valentine's-themed Strawberry Amaretto Margarita featuring a blend of Sauza Tequila with Disaronno Amaretto Liqueur, strawberry and lemon-lime juice and served on the rocks with a sugar rim, lime and strawberry. Also, bottles of wine are 50% off on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 13-14. Miller's Ale House has locations in Aurora, Chicago Ridge, Lombard, Norridge, North Riverside, Orland Park and Schaumburg.

Portillo's: The restaurant's famous heart-shaped cake is back for Valentine's Day. The single-layer chocolate iced cake, which is $15.99, is available now through Sunday, Feb. 16, in store. Portillo's will donate 100% of the purchase price (up to $25,000) of the heart-shaped cake to the American Red Cross. Portillo's has locations across the suburbs. See

The RAM: On Friday, Feb. 14, treat your Valentine to a $21.99 three-course dinner. Start with a cup of soup or salad and then choose an 8-ounce grilled sirloin steak with seasoned vegetables and cheddar mashed potatoes or the simply grilled Atlantic salmon with seasoned vegetables and Spanish red rice. For a treat, choose from the Kona ice cream pie, mint chocolate chip pie, peanut butter pie or salted caramel cheesecake. Plus, take advantage of half-priced bottles of wine and the $7 Cherry Pom Sweetheart Cosmo. The RAM is at 9520 Higgins Road, Rosemont, (847) 692-4426,

Stan's Donuts sweetens Valentine's Day with chocolate-covered strawberry doughnuts. Courtesy of Stan's Donuts

Stan's Donuts: Make Valentine's Day extra sweet with a box of 10 chocolate-covered mini cake or red velvet doughnuts for $12.95. Other Valentine's specials include the Sweetheart Stan (a chocolate-glazed red velvet cake doughnut with a candy conversation heart) for $3.75, or the Turtle Cake, Chocolate-Covered Strawberry or V-Day Sprinkled cake and glazed doughnuts for $2.75. Wash them down with a chocolate-covered cherry hot chocolate, a chocolate-covered cherry mocha or a cherry chocolate lightning (cold brew coffee, chocolate milk and cherry syrup). Stan's is at 529 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 590-1060, or 5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, (224) 353-6092,

The Table at Crate: The special Valentine's Day menu features edamame dumplings ($10), mac and cheese to share ($12), surf and turf featuring skirt steak and shrimp quinoa fried rice ($36), and baked Alaska ($10). Plus, sip on a glass of Lucien Albrecht Brut Rose for $9. The specials are available Valentine's Weekend only. The Table at Crate is at 35 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, (630) 590-9444,

White Castle: For those who love Sliders, share your affinity with your love during White Castle's special Valentine's Day Dinner that includes a sit-down dinner with hostess seating and tableside service in a decorated room. Reservations, which are available from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at participating locations, can be made through Find out more at

Busy weekend at Buffalo Creek

Long Grove's Buffalo Creek Brewing has a lot on the calendar in February. But first, Valentine's Day. To fete the special day, owner/brewmaster Mike Marr is releasing the new Raspberry Marrvelous brew at 5 p.m. Friday. And to sate your appetite, Wee Acres Farm Restaurant will be selling tacos Friday. From 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, Brittany Lumley will perform during the no cover Pint of Music. Return at 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, for Yoga & Beer. The hourlong yoga class is free and Marrvelous pints will be half-price. Sign up at

Buffalo Creek Brewing is at 360 Historical Lane, Long Grove, (847) 821-6140,

Chili cook off

Do you like your chili spicy, mild or somewhere in-between? Find one you like at the Lions Club of Arlington Heights' 10th annual Chili Cook Off at Arlington Ale House. From noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, reps from the Arlington Heights Fire Department, Old Orchard Country Club, Eddie's of Arlington, Emerson's Ale House, Arlington Heights American Legion, Cortland's Garage, Birch River Grill, Thuringer Meats, and JD's Q and Brew will be going head-to-head with their best chili offerings. Plus, there will be raffles and a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting the Lions of Arlington Heights Foundation. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Buy tickets at

Arlington Ale House is on the third floor of the Metropolis at 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights,

Yard House recently added 12 new cocktails, including the Tiki Blue, to its menu. Courtesy of Yard House

12 cocktails

Sick of all this gloomy weather? Yard House wants to help cheer you up with 12 new colorful cocktails. Taste-test the Tiki Blue (RumHaven coconut water rum, blue Curacao, pineapple, passion fruit, coconut foam), Grey Goose Strawberry Mule (Grey Goose vodka, strawberries, ginger beer, lime, mint), Crown Apple Mule (Crown Royal Apple whiskey, ginger beer, lemon, mint), Long Beach Tea (Hangar 1 vodka, Bacardi rum, Chavo Malo tequila blanco, Tanqueray gin, triple sec, citrus agave, cranberry juice, Sprite), Dragon Fruit Cosmo (Skyy vodka, dragon fruit, citrus agave, cranberry juice, lemon), Aperol Spritz (aperol, prosecco, club soda, orange), Ultimate Jameson & Ginger (Jameson Irish whiskey, Jameson Caskmates IPA whiskey, Jameson Caskmates Stout whiskey, ginger ale, lemon), Hendrick's Elderflower Tonic (Hendrick's gin, Q elderflower tonic, lime, cucumber, mint), Black Cherry Hard Seltzer (filthy black cherry syrup, Truly hard seltzer, drenched cherry), Lime Refresher Hard Seltzer (Truly hard seltzer, lime), Ginger Citrus Hard Seltzer (housemade ginger beer, Truly hard seltzer, lemon) and Passion Fruit Hard Seltzer (passion fruit syrup, Truly hard seltzer, mint). Plus, Yard House recently added hard seltzer to its draft list.

Yard House is located at 2301 Fountain Square Drive, Lombard, (630) 495-1912, and 1880 Tower Drive, Glenview, (847) 729-9273,

The Gorgonzola-topped sirloin and fettuccine Alfredo con broccoli is new to Olive Garden's menu. Courtesy of Olive Garden

Plates of pasta

Olive Garden's Never Ending Stuffed Pastas are back, and this time there are new options to choose from, including cheese-stuffed shells, cheese ravioli or stuffed ziti fritta that can be topped with a choice of four sauces and four toppings. The pastas start at $11.99. Also new to the menu is the Gorgonzola-topped sirloin and Parmesan Alfredo-crusted sirloin, both served with fettuccine Alfredo con broccoli.

Olive Garden has locations throughout the suburbs.

<i> Email with dining and night life events.</i>

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.