February is the month of romance—hearts and flowers ornament shop windows, candles spill flickering light throughout Chicago’s nightspots, and chocolatiers experience a surge in sugar-loving customers. What really says Valentine’s Day, though, is an intimate, decadent dinner for two. And there’s really nothing more fitting than booking a favorite Chicago restaurant run by a husband-and-wife team that shares their love through food. You can sense that affection in every nuance of a place—it permeates the atmosphere and touches every tiny detail, from the fragrant posey on your table to the soothing playlist serenading you in the background.
With that in mind, our favorite restaurant couples share what it's like to work side by side—and where they like to go on their very own date nights.
Danielle & Thai Dang – HaiSous
Best seat in the house: Chef's counter for an intimate one-on-one dining experience and views of the kitchen.
Favorite date night spot: Mirai Sushi in the Gold Coast and El Milagro in Pilsen.
“The best and easiest part of my every day is being married. Thai and I have been through a lot together both in life and business. Our hardships have made us so strong and I’m so proud of that. I couldn’t imagine doing this without him. We are better together, as a pair, and I believe our businesses reflect that. At the end of each service Thai and I enjoy a meal together in our kitchen. It usually consists of us standing, holding our plates, and talking about the night, how it went, and how we can improve. While we have enjoyed much more romantic settings, there is nothing more meaningful and romantic to me than those moments together.” – Danielle Dang
HaiSous is located at 1800 S. Carpenter St. Make your reservation.
Jennifer Jones & Brian Enyart – Dos Urban Cantina
Best seat in the house: Leather booths for two in the dining room.
Favorite date night spot: Daisies in Logan Square.
“Not every couple is able to work together, but especially because we work such long hours, we are so thankful that this works! We would not have it any other way. We have realized more and more that we are on the same team and have each other’s backs. Our most romantic dinners together have been at home. Brian is incredible at leaning in to soulful meals – ribeye with artichokes and homemade pasta with lamb ragu immediately come to mind.” – Jennifer Jones
Dos Urban Cantina is located at 2829 W. Armitage Ave. Make your reservation.
Karen & John Shields – Smyth and The Loyalist
Best seat in the house: Corner table one by pastry or corner table four by the windows.
Favorite date night spot: Le Bouchon in Bucktown.
“It's great working together. We get to collaborate and work together as a team and see progress and accomplishments together, making milestones along the way really special. We’ve worked together for most of our professional careers, dating back to when we were just friends and colleagues, so that hasn’t changed very much, just evolved. Our most romantic meal was roast chicken on the floor of our apartment right before we moved - we had no utensils or plates, table or chairs.” – Karen & John Shields
Smyth and The Loyalist are located at 177 N. Ada St. Make your reservation.
Anna & David Posey – Elske
Best seat in the house: The tables facing the outside patio are especially romantic, with views of the fire, reindeer skins and blankets.
Favorite date night spot: Maude's Liquor Bar in the West Loop.
“David and I had never really worked together so it was definitely a risky move for our relationship. We discussed everything that concerned us as a couple before opening Elske, but there is only so much you can prepare for. Of course there were fights, and it takes time to figure out how to work closely with your romantic partner, but I think our relationship has become stronger. We were treated to a caviar table at Alinea for David's birthday a couple of years ago. That was maybe the most unexpected and romantic dining experience.” – Anna Posey
Elske is located at 1350 W. Randolph St. Make your reservation.