By Audarshia Townsend

When it’s bone-chilling cold outside, you’ll be tempted to hunker down inside with a significant other. But why hibernate when you can gather around a fireplace or embrace the natural warmth of a great spot? This is Audarshia Townsend, also known as the 312 Dining Diva.

A perennial neighborhood favorite for young and old alike, 404 Wine Bar never disappoints as a great date night destination. It’s nestled on a quiet block in Lincoln Park, and you’ll want to settle into its cozy sofas in front of a roaring fire with a nice bottle of vino and cured meats. 404 Wine Bar is located at 2852 N. Southport Ave.

While Celeste may not have a fireplace, its second-level lounge emits a warmth that’s just as effective. That’s because the low lights, sensuous sounds and vintage supperclub setting make you feel as though you’ve arrived to a magical place. Try your luck in scoring the window table for two overlooking the action on the street below. Celeste is located at 111 W. Hubbard St.

Le Colonial’s top floor is exotic, intimate and one of the city’s sexiest spots for a romantic night out. Settle into the bar to share a steaming bowl of pho or make your way to the tree-lined terrace for a table overlooking bustling Rush Street. Le Colonial is located at 937 N. Rush St.

Looking for something new and exciting yet not too overexposed? River North newcomer Oak + Char offers a contemporary wood cabin vibe, with hearty wild game dishes and bold cocktails to match. Oak + Char is located at 217 W. Huron St.

Quince used to be the home of Trio, which helped spawn the careers of three-star Michelin chefs Grant Achatz and Curtis Duffy. In its current iteration in the Homestead hotel, Quince is more of a casual dining destination, but it also appeals to couples this time of year for its fireplace. Grab seats nearby and chow down on contemporary American fare. Quince is located at 1625 Hinman Ave. in Evanston.

And getting seats in front of the fireplace at Western Springs’ mainstay Vie may be a challenge, but definitely worth the effort. Get ready to share plates of exceptional seasonal fare in a toasty setting. Vie is located at 4471 Lawn Ave. in Western Springs.


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