by Kimberly Bellware
Just because you and your sweetheart have to get up the next day doesn't mean that your mid-week dates have to lack a sense of occasion. While the long, luxurious outings are great for weekends, we've picked out a few choices place to dine so you can get cozy up and share some romance - even if it is a school night.
Hours: Sun-Fri 5pm-2am; Sat 4pm-3am
Cozy, low-lit and chock-full of amazing drinks, The Bluebird is a relaxing mid-week option in a cozy, romantic setting. With a huge beer, wine and liquor menu you can enjoy a fancy cocktail or one of the specialty beers featured that month before digging into the Bluebird's tasty small plate options. Share a plate of fried mussels, some charcuterie or one of their indulgent desserts like the chocolate porter cake (dark beer, chocolate, figs and cream, anyone?)
Don't let the Telegraph's moniker as a wine bar throw you - there are plenty of good eats to be had inside this Logan Square hot spot. While you should of course come for the wine, you'll be missing out if you don't try some of the eats, each of them a veritable aphrodisiac. The small plate range from savory to unconventionally sweet: caramelized mushrooms with poached eggs, luscious fig-infused meat, or the vanilla panna cotta. The perfect mood lighting and unexpected dishes will make your mid-week date feel like a super special outing.
Hours: Mon-Sat 5pm-1am; Sunday Brunch 11am-4m
Sustainably-farmed food is the order of the day at this Humboldt Park eatery. With a small but well-selected wine and beer menu and simple, tasty food, Rootstock is a winning combo of classy, wholesome and comfortable. Though the restaurant's seasonal, veggie-based items like salads and soups are hearty and delicious any time of year, the real menu standouts are the charcuterie. If you and your date favor smaller bites over a huge meal, you have a perfect excuse to cozy together over a plate of hand-selected meat and cheese.
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-11:30pm; Fri-Sat 11am-1:30am; Sun 11am-11pm
Whisking your lover off for a mid-week trip to Spain might be out of the question, but Cafe Iberico in River North is your next best option for enjoying an evening with Spanish flair. The restaurant does some of the best authentic Spanish cooking in the city, with tapas, marisco paella and sangria that's second-to-none. Most nights you can also catch flamenco guitar players during the dinner hour - a perfect complement to a noche romantica.
Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-2am; Sat 5pm-3am; Sun 10am-4pm
To eat and drink in a classy setting and feel like a million bucks (without spending that) spend the evening tucked into the vault of The Bedford. Housed in the former MB Bank Building, the snazzy interior glimmers with gold and brass finishes dating back to the 1920s. When you're done admiring the golden glow radiating from your date, try one of their seasonal cocktails or menu bites "From the Soil," "From the Sea" and "From the Pasture."
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