RestoRomance: Mercat a la Planxa

Mercat a la Planxa

courtesy of Timeout Chicago

This hot spot isn’t the kind of place for hidden-corner canoodling, but Mercat a la Planxa makes my “Romantic Dining Destination” list any day. Iron Chef Jose Garces has laid out a tempting array and the only thing sexier than your new  foodie spouse is Garces’ dessert menu.  There are dozens of opportunities to impress your date with the sexy sounds of that high school Spanish you dusted off for just such an occasion.

Order dishes you’ll both love, and play some Tapas Twister, reaching across the table to sample bites from your partner’s plate. If red wine has the same effect on you that it does on me, make sure to order up a glass (or bottle) from the extensive Spanish wine menu. The small plates allow you to sample as many of the aphrodisiacs as you like, but I certainly recommend the Gorrotxa (goat’s milk cheese) served with Roasted Garlic Dulce de Leche and the perfectly grilled Yellowfin Tuna.

Two tips:

1) After you’ve tasted the food, you’ll understand why this step takes willpower, but leave room for “dessert” (if you catch my drift). Nothing will spoil a honeymoon night like acid reflux.

2) Book a room at the equally romantic Blackstone Hotel and you can literally step from the restaurant to the hotel lobby without having to brave the (aptly named) WINDY city.

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