Dining Chicago

Weekend Planner: Valentine's Edition

Sushi Cupcakes (and More) at Seadog Sushi

Sushi burritos are so 2015. Sushi cupcakes are what's in this year. The novelties are on special for Valentine's Day weekend at Seadog Sushi, along with a couple other non-cupcake specials. The savory cupcakes are cupcake-looking nigiri sushi that's been molded into cupcake form. There's also the Sea Rose, Seadog's latest menu addition made with soft-shell crab, avocado, shredded daikon, masako, sushi rice, tuna, and shiso leaf tempura. The third special is the Lover Roll, a heart-shaped maki roll with smoked salmon, squash tempura, and masago wrapped with fresh tuna. 

Valentine's Day Treats at Floriole Cafe & Bakery and Magnolia Bakery

In other sweet special news, there's lots of Valentine's goodies on deck for the weekend. Some not-to-miss pastries can be found at Floriole Cafe & Bakery, in the form of chocolate ganache souffle cake, hazelnut linzer heart cookies with raspberry jam, conversation heart cookies, and milk chocolate mousse with passion fruit caramel and passion fruit cream. The venerable cafe has also partnered with Fox Glove Studio this weekend to offer hand-tied bouquets. 

Another option would be to pillage everything in the cases at Magnolia Bakery, which is stocked to the gills for Valentine's Day weekend. Chocolate bars come in six different flavors, including banana pudding, red velvet, lemon bar, toffee, and PB&J. Special Valentine's Day cupcakes come in vanilla, chocolate, or red velvet flavors, with chocolate or vanilla buttercream and red and white heart decorations. There's also red velvet whoopie pies, "Luv Note" cupcakes, chocolate-covered strawberry cupcakes, heart cookies, and more.


Seadog Sushi
Heart-shaped sushi on deck at Seadog Sushi


Whole Hog Butcher Class

If your idea of Valentine's Day hearts skews more towards offal, than Chop Shop has just the occasion for you! The Wicker Park restaurant and butcher shop is hosting a special whole hog butcher class on February 14, perfect for couples looking for something a little more... exotic. The adept butcher team will teach attendees how to break down a whole pig and then serve up four servings of different pork dishes: meatballs, pulled pork, porchetta, and Italian sausage. The class takes place from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. and costs $50 per person. Reservations can be made by calling the butcher shop. 

Classic American Romance at Tortoise Club

For a suave all-American Valentine's experience this weekend, head to Tortoise Club. The richly appointed, innately romantic haunt is the perfect setting for the love-fueled holiday, what with its fireplaces, wood paneling, and lavish ambience. The restaurant is offering a handful of specials for the holiday too, including a pistachio-crusted red snapper with lobster and black trumpet mushroom gnocchi, and a surf & turf dish with a 6-oz. filet and shrimp scampi. The restaurant is also featuring live jazz music and dancing this weekend, both Saturday and Sunday, from the likes of the Mark Burnell Trio and the John Wade Band. 

Billy Joel-inspired Valentine's Dinner

Finally, here's a fun riff on the typical Valentine's Day tasting menu: Longman & Eagle is hosting a prix fixe inspired by Billy Joel. The Piano Man-influenced menu is a five-course affair featuring dishes like tomato-ricotta agnolotti, pave of braised lamb with banana puree and butter rum gel, and much more. These dishes are inspired by "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" and "Captain Jack," respectively, but you obviously knew that if you're a Joel diehard. The menu is $85 per person, with optional wine and beer pairings for additional prices. Seatings are available at 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m., and reservations can be made by emailing info@longmaneandeagle.com. 

- Matt Kirouac

Neighborhoods: Wicker ParkLincoln ParkLogan SquareLoopWest TownRiver North

This multi-tiered dining and drinking destination is housed in a 100-year-old former auto body shop. Chop Shop, based in Bucktown/Wicker Park, offers a number of components that complement each other,...

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Floriole specializes in "rustic French pastries" including croissants, gallettes and brioche. Some lunch items, namely sandwiches, salads and quiches, are also available.

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The New York bakery and cupcakery made its mark on pop culture when it was first featured on "Sex and the City" in 2000. Since then, the husband-and-wife team has...

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Seadog sushi bar is contemporary with its elegant design, the interior is cozy and romantic by a warm ambience to the dim dining space, plus BYOB atmosphere. Seadog is perfect...

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Timeless cocktails and cuisine are the focus at this private club-styled restaurant harking back to a gilded era. Setting the atmosphere are classic Chicago paintings, sketches and artifacts, including Mahogany...

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