Children know that dipping food in ketchup is a surefire way to improve everything from fish sticks to bananas. Today's deal gives grown-up palates a chance to re-imagine dipping as way to complement and enhance flavors, instead of a savvy coverall. For $25, you get $50 worth of fondue, fine wines, and romantic atmosphere at Geja's Cafe in Lincoln Park. The skewer-wielding, dip-and-eat fondue process inspires communal conversation, sampled snacking, and even the greatest hit of classical composer Freak Nasty, "Da Dip."
Geja's has a wide selection of fondue dinners and smaller cheese or chocolate fondue dips. All dinners start with the famous cheese-fondue appetizer, a Geja's salad (romaine lettuce with cucumbers, drizzled with dijon-mustard vinaigrette), an assortment of fresh vegetables, and eight classic dipping sauces to complement your entree of choice. Entrees range from the fresh vegetable medley ($27.95 per person) to the epic Prince Geja's Combination (aged beef tenderloin, lobster tail, jumbo shrimp, plump Atlantic sea scallops, and boneless chicken breast, $48.95 per person), with numerous platters of land and sea meats in between. After you optionally douse your dining partner with a celebratory vat of fondue, the experience draws to a satisfying conclusion with the included flaming dessert fondue and a steaming cup of Geja's freshly ground coffee. You can order any premier fondue dinner frill-free with just the dips and dippees for $9 less.
After dinner, go for the flaming chocolate fondue served with a smattering of seasonal fruits and sweets such as pound cake and marshmallow ($11.95 per person). Or order a few glasses of wine and pair it with the melty cheese fondue served with apples, grapes, and numerous bread types ($13.95 per person). There are more than 300 wines (50 offered by the glass) to partner with the cheeses in tiny mock wedding ceremonies presided over by a skeptical pepper mill.
The romantic atmosphere at Geja's makes it an ideal date destination. A candle-lit interior complete with curtained booths and self-playing flamenco guitars (made from real flamencos) create an escape worthy of illusionist David Blaine. Tables for more than two are more than welcome to share the fondue love. Squads of ballroom dancers, members of the Polar Bear Club, and other groups of big and little dippers have all been known to get their fix at Geja's.
- Geja's is often touted as the most romantic restaurant in town. There are dissenters, but I'm among those who find it a wonderful evening out. The candlelit basement feels like a Spanish cave, with wine bottles, curtained booths, and a live guitarist. And the fondue dining experience is a welcome change from the usual restaurant routine. – Rachel Klein, Chicago Reader
- The fondues were outstanding - cheese and chocolate fondues were to die for! It's a real event, not just a dinner out. – OpenTable user who dined on 02/12/2010
- This is one of the most romantic places to go. It not only has romantic ambiance, but it also has some great tasting food. – fischy221, Metromix
What's your idea of romance? If it includes candlelight, curtained booths, and live guitarists strumming flamenco on their nylon strings, you've likely already spent a night at Geja's Cafe, named #1 of USA Today's most romantic restaurants. If you haven't, picture an intimate fondue restaurant with all the ambiance of a Spanish hideaway—right down to the vintage wine bottles lining the walls. This setting could only be Geja's, a Lincoln Park institution that has traded in melted cheese and melted hearts since 1965. Here's a look at the key elements that keep couples coming back to Geja's for more.
A half-century of memories fills this softly lit eatery on Armitage Avenue. (The restaurant was originally located on Wells Street, then moved to its current home in 1971.) Geja's has played host to literally thousands of marriage proposals over the years, earning it an enduring reputation as one of Chicago's most romantic restaurants. The staff doesn't forget these future brides and grooms, either. In 2010, when Geja's marked its own 45-year anniversary, approximately 35 of these couples returned to the restaurant for a celebration—and around 20 of them renewed their vows out on the patio.
Fine Fondue Dining.
The signature Geja's experience is the four-course Premier Dinner. To start the meal, servers fire up a cast-iron pot filled with brandy-spiked Swiss gruyere, into which diners then dip fruits and breads. A crisp green salad with dijon vinaigrette cleanses the palate for the main course: veggies and your choice of meat—perhaps lobster tail or chicken breast—cooked in sizzling vegetable oil or broth. The communal meal closes with a dessert of pound cake, marshmallows, and fruit dipped in flaming belgian chocolate.
International Wine List.
Geja's Cafe has specialized in wine since opening in the mid-1960s. In fact, the restaurant claims to be the oldest wine bar in the city, and this legacy is written all over the current wine list. Servers will recommend the perfect white, red, or crisp sparkling varietal to accompany your meal; Geja's also works with the San Antonio Winery to produce its own private-label chardonnay, merlot, and cabernet sauvignon.
Explore Lincoln Park
Groupon has partnered with the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce to curate a deal collection that embodies the spirit of this iconic Chicago neighborhood. From candlelit dinners at Geja’s to chasing butterflies at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, these are some of the city’s most essential destinations. Shop the full collection