Whether it’s a first date or a milestone wedding anniversary, there’s something special about conversing over a nice bowl of pasta or a juicy ribeye steak. Whatever your preference for date-night dining, the TriCities offer plenty of variety to suit any palate. Here is a sampling of options to consider for your next date night.
FoxFire, 17 W. State St., Geneva – 630-232-1369, www.foxfiregeneva.com
This charming restaurant in downtown Geneva been a date-night hub for more than 15 years. The intimate dining room features original brick and wooden trellises from the 1900s. The extensive steak menu ranges from strip and ribeye to filets and medallions – all finished with a garlic-shallot compound butter.
Wildwood, 477 S. Third St., Geneva – 630-377-8325, www.wildwoodsteak.com
Settle into the cozy dining room at Wildwood for an intimate dining experience complete with soft lighting and hints of light jazz music playing in the background. The seasonal menu changes every two to three months. Current offerings include blackberry duck breast, wild mushroom risotto and beef short ribs with gnocchi. Stop by on a Thursday evening for the weekly fresh oyster bar served with lemon wedges, a champagne mignonette sauce, hot sauce and horseradish. Be sure to save room for Wildwood’s signature raspberry tiramisu.
Fiora’s, 317 S. Third St., Geneva – 630-262-1317, www.fioras.com
Nestled inside a historic landmark building in downtown Geneva, Fiora’s sets the scene for casual fine dining. Kick off your meal with a sampling of artisan cheeses served with brandy-marinated apricots and figs, roasted candied pecans, crostini and quince jam. Dinner, which is served from 5:30 to 9 p.m., ranges from casual burgers and fries to fare including a Cajun spice duck breast and Alaskan king crabmeat topped with a bearnaise sauce.
Taste of Himalayas, 110 N. Third St., St. Charles – 630-444-1575, www.tasteofhimalayas.com
For a touch of international fare on your next date night, leave your passport at home and check out the cuisines of Nepal and India at Taste of Himalayas. Fresh vegetables, meats and seafood are flavored with spices and herbs. The tandoori specialties – kebabs, prawn and two types of chicken – are roasted at 600 degrees in a barrel-shaped Indian clay oven. Try a sampling of food during the lunch buffet or order items à la carte for dinner.
La Za’Za’ Trattoria, 5 S. First St., St. Charles – 630-443-9304, www.lazazas.com
If you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine, check out this quaint eatery along the Fox River. The thin crust pizzas – including the ZaZa trio topped with homemade crumbled Italian sausage, mushroom and red onion – can be served as an entrée or split as a small plate. Or delve into a sumptuous gnocchi, rigatoni or other pasta dish. Gluten-free pasta also is available. With a wide selection of beer, wine and champagne, you’re sure to find the perfect drink to toast your date night.
ROX City Grill, 100 W. Main St., St. Charles – 630-845-5800, www.roxcitygrill.com
Nestled inside the historic Hotel Baker in downtown St. Charles, the ROX City Grill offers the ambiance of fine dining you’d find in Chicago, but without the commute. Steaks and chops come with a choice of bordelaise, maître d’ butter or bearnaise sauce and are served with crushed Yukon gold potatoes or pommes frites. Or try the tortellini pasta topped with peas, pancetta, scallops and a sherry cream sauce. After dinner, head over to the adjoining lounge to sip a glass of wine or a bananas foster martini while listening to live music on Thursday through Saturday evenings.
Livia Italian Eatery, 207 S. Third St., Geneva – 630-402-6444, www.liviaitalianeatery.com
Livia Italian Eatery has served up northern Italian dishes in downtown Geneva since 2017. House specialties include both pork and lamb chops, a slow-braised short rib served over polenta and a roasted lamb gnocchi topped with shaved pecorino. You’re sure to find the perfect beverage to complement your meal from the handcrafted cocktails and regional Italian-inspired wines. Cap off your night with a seasonal gelato or sorbetto, or share a slice of ricotta cheesecake topped with a raspberry sauce.
Chianti, 201 S. Third St., Geneva – 630-232-0212, www.chiantisgeneva.com
Located in a former house, Chianti offers diners unique experiences depending upon where they sit. The casual dining room in the front is perfect for people-watching while sipping one of the many martinis on the menu. For a more intimate experience, the elegant dining room in the rear seats up to 40 and offers old-school charm with the sounds of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra playing in the background. Wherever you sit, you’ll have a wide variety of dishes to choose from, including hearty classics such as pork osso buco and linguine and clams, as well as comfort food such as grinders and burgers.
Acquaviva Ristorante, 35 N. Water St., Batavia – 630-761-1010, www.acquavivabatavia.com
For an upscale twist on traditional Italian food, look no further than Acquaviva. Start off your date night with the antipasti course, featuring comfort food favorites, including calamari fritti, lightly fried and served with lemon and marinara sauce. Next, settle into the primi, or pasta course, for upscale versions of classic dishes such as the pappardelle with shrimp, porcini mushrooms and shallots topped with a cherry tomato mascarpone sauce. Complete the experience with the secondi course that features a variety of beef, chicken, veal and seafood entrées.
Swordfish, 207 N. Randall Road, Batavia – 630-406-6463, www.swordfishsushi.com
This contemporary sushi and grill restaurant serves specially ordered fish from overseas. There are a variety of options for your meal from classic sushi rolls to bento boxes to poke bowls. On the last Wednesday of the month, check out the buffet for a sampling of sushi entrées, sushi rolls, specialty maki and barbecue meats. Swordfish also dishes up gluten-free offerings, including salads, soup, maki and sashimi options. You can pair your sushi and entrees with cold and hot herbal teas, American and Japanese beers, wines or signature martinis.