Friday Foodie Forecast: A Valentine's Day for all

February 11, 2011

People love it; people hate it. There may be no more of a polarizing day than Valentine’s Day, but it’s that time again, and whichever side of the fence you’re on, this week’s Forecast has got you covered. Couples - indulge in another classic pairing of champagne and oysters. Singles – rally together and satisfy your sweet tooth with gatherings in both Logan Square and Ukrainian Village. Whether pro-Cupid or not, there are plenty of reasons to go ahead and eat your heart out.

Perfect Pairing at Shaw’s

Romance is in the air at Shaw’s Crab House for a weekend-long Valentine’s Day celebration. Both Shaw’s locations (Chicago and Schaumburg) will offer a deal on another favorite couple – oysters and champagne. Guests will enjoy a dozen Wellfleet Oysters, plump and clean with a good balance of creamy sweetness and brine, with two glasses of Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne for $38 (normally valued at $54). This special will be available from Friday, Feb.11 to Monday, Feb. 14, for dinner only. For reservations, call Shaw’s Crab House at 312-527-2722 (21 E Hubbard St.,Chicago) or 847-517-2722 (1900 E Higgins Rd.,Schaumburg). For more information, visit www.shawscrabhouse.com.

Local Love in Logan Square

Come see a certified sustainable kitchen in action as Logan Square Kitchen presents its Valentine’s Day Pastry Market this Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 3 pm. The delicious event gives attendees a taste of some of the best sustainable, small-batch, pastry, cake, ice cream, handmade confections and culinary gift items available in Chicago. All of the local food artisans showcased are dedicated to the local food movement, and many are not widely available outside the LSK and local markets. Attendees are invited to ask questions and learn more about the artisans, their craft and what makes this kitchen truly green, as well as purchase treats to take home for their Valentine or simply devour these sweet and savory creations on the spot for themselves. Current confirmed vendors include: De-floured (gluten free), Flour Cake and Pastry, Salted Caramel, Mayana Chocolate, Jo Snow Syrups, Small Comfort and more. Admission is $1 for adults and kids are free. Logan Square Kitchen is located at 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave. For more information, visit http://event.pingg/LskValentinePastry, or call 773-342-2333.

Sweet and Savory Treats for Singles

For those of us who are tired of watching couples look dreamily into each other’s eyes for one day of the year, Sweet Cakes Bakery and Black Dog Gelato have teamed up to remind us that sweet desserts aren’t just for lovers. The gathering in these Ukrainian Village eateries takes place Feb.14 from 6 pm to 9 pm, and gives everyone – even the singles – a reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day. For $18, guests can mingle as they sample freshly-baked treats and pizza made from scratch thanks to father-daughter chefs Vern and Emily Smith at Sweet Cakes. Gourmet gelato and sorbet (think Mexican hot chocolate, cocoa nib with toasted pecans, goat cheese cashew caramel and sesame fig chocolate chip) comes courtesy of neighbor Jessica Oloroso’s Black Dog Gelato. There will also be some adult libations provided as well. Sweet Cakes Bakery is located at 901 N. Damen. For reservations please call 773-772-5771. Black Dog Gelato is located at 859 N. Damen, 773-235-3116. For more information, visit www.sweetcakeschicago.com and www.blackdogchicago.com.