Best Romantic Restaurants For Valentines Day Near Lake Forest, IL

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about dinner reservations for the special day. We have several suggestions to help. Treat your partner to something special with an indulgent meal at one of these wonderfully romantic local restaurants.

The English Room at Deer Path Inn

Cinnamon Toast On a Platter
American Breakfast Honey Toast by I Do Nothing But Love is licensed with Unsplash License

Travel + Leisure ranked Deer Path Inn as the number-one resort hotel in the Midwest. This romantic retreat has everything you need for a memorable Valentine’s Day, including the sophisticated English Room. This fine dining restaurant offers a decadent dinner menu with entrees such as lobster and scallop risotto, Chilean sea bass, steak frites, and Angus filet mignon.

If you’re staying overnight, you can also enjoy a special brunch with your partner after a cozy night at the inn. The brunch menu features an abundance of indulgent options, such as maple and cinnamon challah French toast, smoked brisket and white cheddar skillet, and avocado Caprese toast.

Location: 255 East Illinois Road, Lake Forest

Hours: Breakfast: 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Saturday and Sunday. Lunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Dinner: 5 p.m. to 10 .m., Tuesday through Saturday. A la Carte Brunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday. Buffet Brunch: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday.

Francesca’s Intimo

Francesca’s Intimo serves hearty Italian cuisine inspired by the flavors of Rome, Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria. Enjoy fresh pastas in flavorful combinations, including linguine with shrimp, scallops, and tomato brodo or fettuccine with braised short rib and Parmigiano. The menu also includes gourmet entrees, including a center-cut filet with roasted Brussels sprouts, a roasted half chicken with roasted potatoes, and pan-roasted pork tenderloin with wild mushrooms, spinach, fontina, and white truffle sauce.

The restaurant also offers a full wine and cocktail menu with intriguing options such as the Italian old-fashioned or java Manhattan. The dessert menu has just what you need to top off your night. Options include tiramisu, chocolate torte, candied apple crostata, and more.

Location: 293 E. Illinois Road, Lake Forest

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday; and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday

The Gallery

The Gallery is a distinctive date destination that offers an original and enriching experience every time you visit. Part restaurant, part art gallery, this dining establishment serves gourmet meals inspired by the current exhibit on display. These rotate quarterly, so you can enjoy something new time after time.

The menu features a three-course dinner. Start with options such as deviled eggs, shrimp, or salad. You can look forward to gourmet entrees like salmon, Australian Wagyu filet, halibut, and lamb chops. Each evening features a unique selection of specialty desserts. Parties under 10 may bring their own drinks for a corkage fee of $10 per bottle.

Location: 202 Wisconsin Ave., Lake Forest

Hours: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday

Kuro Bistro

Kuro Bistro serves contemporary Asian cuisine, including a wide selection of sushi. You can start with shareable appetizers, such as edamame, shrimp dumplings, softshell crab with ponzu sauce, and deep-fried calamari. Continue your romantic meal with a gourmet entrée, such as filet mignon with asparagus, fingerling potatoes, and blueberry reduction, or Scottish salmon with Chinese black rice, baby bok choy, and champagne sauce.

If you and your partner enjoy sushi, you can order a selection of rolls to share. You’ll find classic options, such as spicy shrimp tempura, Philadelphia rolls, and California rolls. Kuro Bistro also offers over two dozen signature maki rolls. The Woodland roll features sauteed scallops, crabmeat mix, avocado, and four types of tobiko. The French Kiss is an alluring pick with smoked salmon, shrimp tempura, cream cheese, tempura crunch, and unagi and wasabi sauces. Call ahead to make your Valentine’s reservation.

Location: 950 N. Western Ave. #106, Lake Forest

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday and Wednesday through Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday


Inovasi relies on local ingredients sourced from more than 30 area farms. The menu features a diverse selection of flavorful scratch-made dishes, including an abundance of gluten-free options. You can begin with appetizers, such as hand-hewn ancient grain bread with churned butter, spicy seared ahi tuna, or the house chicken liver pate. Move on to gourmet entrees, such as dry-aged filet mignon with grilled black truffle asparagus or caramelized duck breast in a spiced rye whiskey-orange sauce with brown butter haricots verts.

If you’re not sure what to order, go with the five-course tasting menu. This is the perfect pick for a special Valentine’s Day meal. You’ll receive five individually plated courses, including both menu items and exclusive dishes you can’t get any other way.

Location: 28 E. Center Ave., Lake Bluff

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday


Oaken Bistro + Bar is a modern, upscale bistro that’s perfect for date night. The dinner menu includes something for any diet, from the vegan impossible burger with basil cashew cheese to the vegetarian grilled eggplant parmesan. Carnivores will love the red wine braised short ribs. If you’re looking for something light, explore the “skinny menu” with picks such as miso-glazed tofu, crispy cauliflower steak, and grilled vegetable lasagna.

Oaken features a full bar with signature herbal cocktails. Try the Rainforester margarita with hibiscus-infused tequila, the lavender-infused purple forest mule, or the ginger and spice Manhattan.

Location: 200 N. Field Drive, Lake Forest

Hours: Breakfast: 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Lunch: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Dinner: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Brunch: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Lounge: 11 a.m. to midnight daily.

These are our top picks for romantic Lake Forest dining. Do you have a favorite restaurant we missed? Contact our team at Pasquesi Sheppard and let us know so we can update our recommendations and make sure we always have the best local information for our clients.