My Valentine’s Day Surprise

Heart Shaped Ravioli

Although I’m about as much of a hopeless romantic as you can get, I’ve never been all that into Valentine’s Day. Sure, it’s nice to get the flowers and the chocolate, but as my best friend says, “it’s all about the card.” And it’s true. For me, Valentine’s Day is more about telling someone you love them rather than showing it. Besides, there are plenty of other occasions during the year to give me diamonds that don’t involve a greeting card-created holiday!

So R and I have always kept it pretty simple on February 14 (we can’t even remember what we did last year!), which is why I was surprised when he mentioned that he had made reservations at a “secret” restaurant almost a month in advance! The restaurant turned out to be Prosecco, a new Italian restaurant that opened recently in River North in Chicago. From the outside, the restaurant is an unmarked doorway with a large window looking into an elegant dining room. I’d always assumed that it was a rental space for people who threw fancy dinner parties or something (I assume there are people who do that…), but this time I got to go in!

The decor is Venetian-inspired with lots of heavy wood, large chairs and gorgeous drapery and we were immediately relieved of our coats and whisked away to our table. I must admit I was a little overwhelmed at first by all the menu and beverage choices. Before we even got menus, we were treated with a small taste of fruity prosecco that was bubbly and sweet without as much of the bite as champagne. Luckily, the friendly sommelier helped us pick a wine and it was smooth sailing after that.

For our first course we split a Watercress Salad with Pine Nuts and Warm Goat Cheese Croutons that was quite tasty. Unfortunately, it was very dark in the restaurant and it was hard to take a picture of this. I got braver for the next course and turned on my flash. For dinner, I had Heart-Shaped Homemade Ravioli with Spinach, Artichoke and Shrimp in a cream sauce. I ate every bite. The ravioli was tender (and adorable!) and the filling was smooth and cheesy.

Heart Shaped Ravioli

I loved my dish, but I think R had the real wow-factor dinner of Risotto with Saffron, Parmesan and “a touch of gold.”

Risotto with Gold

You can see that touch of gold literally was gold leave on top of his risotto, which really brought the dish to another level presentation-wise. It tasted amazing too – the flavor and color of the saffron really came through and the cheese wasn’t too heavy. Needless to say both of our plates were clean.For dessert, we had trouble deciding between the Flourless Chocolate Cake and the Raspberry Creme Brulee… so we got both. Yes, that’s right, we’re the kind of couple that would rather split a salad and get two desserts. It’s good to be us. Although the creme brulee was wonderfully smooth and sweet, my heart belonged to the chocolate cake (which was eaten too quickly for a picture to be taken). The dense cake melted in my mouth so it tasted almost mousse-like, but with the consistency of cake. It was the perfect meal. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

And on the way out I was even presented with a long stem red rose! It’s all in the details and this restaurant really had it down. Plus I had the best Valentine of all for planning it!

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  • JEP

    I am so happy you received this VIP treatment…I’ll bet R felt he had the best Valentine as well! Umm…how will you top this next year–ha!

  • Karen Thompson

    I’m sorry but the Heart Shaped Raviole looks REALLY GOOD!!! I’d love to be able to make that.
    Karen

    P.S.
    I’m glad to hear that you had a good nite and was treated so nice.
    I made a wonderful dinner for my HONEY!,To much to go into right now,it is late and I’m tired.
    GOODNITE EVERYONE!

  • http://aloshaskitchen.blogspot.com melissa

    that is so wonderful that he planned that.

    his dish looks fantastic, but I have to defer to the ravioli with spinach, artichoke and shrimp. all three? really?? yes please. :)

  • Sarah P.

    Wow this looks fantastic Maxine! I have to say that your dish looks much better! I can’t believe you and R had room for desert! I would of loved to see what the desert looked like but I believe you when you said you ate the flourless chocolate cake in a matter of minutes! You and your love for chocolate!

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