During most of the year, date night might mean a little, dark, romantically vibey restaurant where you can hide away from the cold. But summer date night means doing it outside, ideally in some sort of garden or place with a pretty view. Cue the romance.
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Impress a date with something a little different and take them to Tanta for high-end Peruvian food and tasty tropical cocktails. The trendy River North restaurant has an awesome rooftop complete with a beautiful bar area, bumpin’ music, and attractive people - all the makings of a great date night out.
The back patio at Piccolo Sogno is the hold standard for wining and dining over a nice Italian meal. Take a friend who you want to be more than a friend and order a lot of pasta and red wine. This is the closest thing you're going to get to the Tuscan hills or streets of Rome in Chicago.
Bistro Campagne is one of the best kept semi-secrets near Lincoln Square. We say semi-secret because the people who live nearby know all about it, but the rest of the city should also be going out of their way to get here. If you won’t travel a short distance for French food on a quaint courtyard patio, you should reevaluate your priorities.
A lot of restaurants talk about being “farm to table,” but Homestead On The Roof is one of the few that actually feels like it is. They grow their own vegetables and herbs in their rooftop garden, which also doubles as an outdoor seating area. You’ll feel good knowing a lot of the food on your plate came from the plants you’re surrounded by.
Fusion is a term that’s thrown around a lot, but the Asian fusion flavors at Mott St. are pretty unique. Try things like the General Tsao’s lamb sweetbreads or the catfish claypot. The quiet and serene atmosphere make it the perfect patio to eat interesting food while you get to know a date.
Another year down and The Duck Inn is still doing great things for Bridgeport. The food here is great - particularly the signature duck - but the enclosed backyard patio makes it even better. The Duck Inn feels like an escape from the city, and sometimes on a date that’s exactly what you need.
The outside of Ada St. looks more like the beginnings of a bad horror movie than a place for a nice date night. (A weird side street location near a Home Depot can do that to a place.) But once inside, you’ll realize why this is the perfect summer date night spot: the quiet and enclosed middle courtyard is surrounded by brick walls and hanging lights, and it’s a great place to get to know someone over shared small plates.
We’ve been high on Bernie’s since it opened, and now it's time to experience the best part - their rooftop. The food is fantastic, and the rooftop space on the west side of River North is the perfect amount of action without being obnoxious.
RM Champagne is the perfect solution for date night when you can’t decide whether to take someone out for dinner or drinks. Settle in over a cocktail on their cozy patio out back, and step it up a notch with oysters and crab claws if things are going well.
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