What You'll Get
People naturally feel romantic when they're bathed in mood lighting, whether it's the twinkle of the flame beneath a fondue pot, the full moon in a starry sky, or the slow, glowing flow of lava oozing through a downtown thoroughfare. Heat up the mood with today's deal: for $25, you get $50 worth of fondue and fine wines at Geja's Cafe in Lincoln Park. If you redeem your Groupon Monday through Thursday, it will be worth $60.
Geja's Cafe offers an interactive and edible experience in an intimate dining space, perfectly suited for a romantic meal or the celebration of a panda birth. Four-course premier dinners start with a bubbling food Jacuzzi of melted swiss gruyere, followed by a crisp green salad as a cool contrast to other sizzling stages. Entrees run from a fresh vegetable medley ($29.95 per person) to the regally approved Prince Geja's combination of aged beef tenderloin, lobster tail, jumbo shrimp, Atlantic sea scallops, and boneless chicken breast ($49.95 per person), all served with assorted vegetables and eight dipping sauces to tastily tailor each bite. Shivering sweet teeth left untended during savory meal phases find simmering solace in the Belgian chocolate fondue, flamed tableside. Dinners are available a la carte without cheesy and chocolatesque accoutrements for $9 less. Geja's wine rangers have compiled an extensive collection of international wines to complement skewered suppers. For aural flavors, there's live flamenco guitarists. Their sweet sounds combined with soft candlelight and curtained booths give rise to the restaurant's reputation for being the hottest romantic dining destination in the city (there is one more romantic restaurant, but it's on fire). Call ahead to make a reservation.
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The Chicago Reader and Centerstage Chicago discovered the romance at Geja's Cafe, while Check, Please! gives the restaurant five out of five forks. More than 600 OpenTable reviewers give Geja's an average of 4.3 stars, and more than 350 Yelpers give the restaurant an average rating of four stars.
- 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 Fine Print
Promotional value expires Sep 30, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 3 per person. Limit 1 per table. No online reservations. Not valid 2/12 - 2/14/11. Tax and gratuity not included. Not valid with other offers. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Geja's Cafe
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.