Love & Other Stuff

Thu. February 7, 2013 12:00 AM
by Rick Karlin

February isn't just about Valentine's Day. There are plenty of reasons to indulge and treat yourself (as well as your loved one).

D.O.C. Wine Bar, known for pairing life's great indulgences inside its intimate, warm atmosphere, offers a special Valentine's weekend celebration, "Chocolate & Wine", Feb. 14-17. A flight of four wines paired with chocolate is $25 per person. Go to the restaurant's web site, docwinebarchicago.com, for more information.

Many restaurants jack up their prices for Valentine's Day. If you want to treat your sweetie without breaking the bank, head over to Riva's on Navy Pier any Friday this month, for its three-course prix fixe menu with wine pairings for $55 per person. Among some of the menu, selections are Blue Crab gumbo, sirloin or swordfish and dessert. Check out rivanavypier.com for more information.

Beginning on Valentine's Day and continuing through Saturday night Kit Kat (Rate | Review) promises no "Bad Romance" as Diva Aurora Sexton entertains as "Lady Gaga." With Gaga-themed martinis all weekend and a special dinner menu you'll feel like a "little monster."

If you live or work near the French Market in Union Station, you can pick up a heart-shaped chocolate mousse torte and any number of French goodies from Delightful Pastries for less than $20. Or you might opt for Pastoral's "Caviar for Two" with a bottle of Grower Champagne for $160. If that's a bit rich for your blood, the Pralus Mini 'Tropiques' Tower is a tower of ten 5 oz. single-origin chocolates by Francois Pralus Confections from Roanne, France for less than $20.

If Valentine's Day isn't your thing why not treat your love to a Mardi Gras celebration? When we think of Mardi Gras, New Orleans and Brazil come to mind, but Italy? Italian Carnival begins on Tuesday, Feb. 12, when nearly 3 million visitors invade San Marco Square in Venice wearing traditional Venetian masks. In celebration of Italian Carnival, Viaggio and Viaggio in the Park will offer $10 off any bottle of Italian win Sunday thought Tuesday, Feb 10-12. Call (312) 829-3333 for more information.

There are a number of places hosting Oscar-watching parties on Sunday, Feb. 24, many as benefits for worthy charities. Rather than sitting at home watching the action, why not be part of the scene at one of these events?

Quay teams up with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to bring a touch of Hollywood to Chicago with its Red Carpet Party. Joan Rivers impersonator Ellie Weingardt will greet guests in Quay's Atrium Lounge, which has one wall of floor to ceiling windows with breathtaking views of the city and the Chicago River. The room is equipped with multiple televisions broadcasting all of the red carpet action. Partygoers will be able to bid on upscale items in a silent auction while enjoying dinner-by-the-bite and sipping on themed cocktails. Tickets are available at jdrfillinois.org.

Center on Halsted's annual Oscar bash at Park West features cocktail service, reserved seating, buffet dinner, silent auction and a raffle drawing. Last year's event was a sell-out raising in excess of $70,000. For more info, check out centeronhalsted.org.

(Image courtesy: mikewhitephoto.com / Facebook)