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Five creative ways to celebrate Valentine's Day

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Whether you know that Valentine’s Day originated in Roman times with St. Valentinus or St. Valentine or the day was celebrated in the Middle Ages then took on a more romantic bent in England during the 1700s, you might prefer to impress your sweetheart with a romantic or fun night out than with information. But be creative. Here are five suggestions ranging from different dining experiences to a clever hotel package and a way for you to bring the makings of a creative dinner.

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Dining out

Eduardo’s Enoteca in Chicago’s Gold Coast will show Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” romantic comedy over drinks, appetizers, pasta or pizza plus dessert for $55 a person. The package includes a bottle of wine to go. Reservation times are 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Enoteca is at 1212 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610. For reservations or more information call 312-337-4490 or visit Eduardos Enoteca.

Barbakoa, in the western suburbs takes a page from the “I Love Lucy” series to serve its contemporary Latin cuisine to a Ricky Ricardo bongo beat. Shown on the screens are “I Love Lucy” TV episodes. Dinner of $39 per person covers a tasting menu. Reservations recommended. Barbako is at 1341 Butterfield Road, Downers Grove, IL 60514. For reservations or more information call 630-852-2333 or visit Barbakoa.

Brookfield Zoo is doing a Valentine’s Day dinner-dance Feb. 14 and a Champagne Brunch Feb. 16. Dinner starts with drinks and appetizers in the Seven Seas Underwater Viewing section followed by dinner and dancing in Bocaditos, a Mexican restaurant at Brookfield zoo. Cost $225 per couple.For more dinner information and reservations visit Brookfield ZooValentine Dinner. The brunch features salads and soups, omelet and carving stations and a dessert table. cost is members $45 members, non members $55 and children $35. For more brunch information and reservations visit Brookfield Zoo Champagne Brunch. Also call 708-688-8355 for dinner or brunch information. Brookfield Zoo is on First Street between Ogdon and Thirty-first Street, Brookfield, IL 60513.

Dining In

Bring goodies from Chicago’s French Market in the West Loop. Located at street level of the Ogilvie Transportation Center, the French Market is at131 N. Clinton St., Chicago, IL 60661. Look for Ecuadorian roses at Les Fleurs, then plan the meal of cheeses and wines from Pastoral, lobster at City Fresh Market or Da Lobsta, and dessert of French Macaroons (no this isn’t coconut) or heart shaped cookies at Delightful Pastries or chocolates at Superior Nut and Candy. For more information and ideas call 312-575-0306 and visit French Market Chicago.

Staying Out

The Blackstone, a historic hotel at Balbo and Michigan Avenues, likes the Monroe-Curtis-Lemmon film title: “Some Like it Hot.” The hotel’s package of the same name mixes a Vosge Red Fire Milagro Heart of Love chocolate, with bottle of wine, hot chocolate paint and breakfast in bed for $269 a night, extend to Feb. 15 at $169 a night. The Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel is at 636 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605. For more information and reservations call 312-447-0955 or visit Renaissance Blackstone.


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