Local Valentine’s Day memories date back to 2013, then some


UPDATED, February 14, 2022 / Again, readers searched this website for “Valentine’s Day.” We too just did a search for “Valentine”.

We also look back with fond memories of visiting a museum in London some 15 years ago, where the Victorian Valentine on display offered a taste of the sometimes sentimentally petty antics that were sent with lizards and frogs. The postcards presented below are more sincere!

Valentine’s Day greetings from local historian Bryan Ogg!

In short with some historical notes dating back to the Middle Ages (500 to 1500 in Europe) for local lovebirds, people in France and England believed that February 14 was the start of the bird mating season, creating a day for the romance. Early today in Naperville, Illinois, birds were chirping loudly in the trees outside our window. Go figure.

The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer recognized Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1381-1382 poem “Parliament of Fowls”. In fact, the poem, written before printing, is one of the earliest references to the idea that Valentine’s Day was a special day for lovers.

At the time, Chaucer wrote, “For it was sent on the day of Seynt Valentyne / When every fowl comes to choose its mate.”

Valentine’s Day greetings were popular as early as the Middle Ages, although the written Valentine’s Day did not begin to appear until after 1400.

Keep digging and the history of Valentine’s Day yields a wide range of stories, sometimes dating back to 270 AD. Some historians trace it to an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia. Others suggest it began with the saints of the early Christian church. Believe the birds chose their mates on February 14 and create a captivating love story to tell every day.

Reports for 2022 suggest that over $24 billion will be spent on Valentine’s Day.

Thank you for shopping and eating where your heart is…in your hometown!

One more thing… A friend just called with a message about a potential reunion next week and mentioned he was on his way to the store to pick up ingredients to make a homemade pizza. He and his wife have a long-standing Valentine’s Day tradition of baking a heart-shaped pizza on February 14.

Flashback to February 13, 2021 / While trying to navigate pandemic protocols, Valentine’s Day 2021 provided a time to note why many individuals and families have chosen to live in this community. Celebrate safely.

The heart of the Riverwalk offers a warm welcome every day at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Eagle Street, marking the site of Landforms, a sculpture donated by the Naperville Art League to the community in 1984. Every visit to the Riverwalk is a chance to discover historical markers that help showcase a small sample of the community’s contributions to the city’s rich heritage, dating back to the city’s rural roots. And, of course, downtown Naperville is filled with dozens of great restaurants and across the city, over 270 restaurants are ready to whet your appetite!

Click here / Since 1831, many hearts have contributed to Naperville’s rich history

Flashback to February 2, 2020 / According to website analytics, this page has received many views in the past few days. Since PN’s archives are saved in the cloud, PN’s editors thought readers might find it interesting to see some changes to most of the constants since 2013.

Watch for Naperville Restaurant Week 2021 when it returns around the same time next year.

For starters, in 2015 Naperville hosted its first Restaurant Week. And since then, Dine Naperville has invited its local hospitality industry to participate. Currently, the sixth annual Naperville Restaurant Week is underway, running through February 8, 2020.

For everything you want to know about dining at over 260 restaurants for Restaurant Week or Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14, 2020, visit Dine Naperville.

Find a restaurant that will appeal to all today’s and everyday tastes!

Looking ahead, restaurant insiders often refer to Valentine’s Day as DeuceCity because each reservation is a “table for two”.

Book a quiet little table in the corner anytime for Valentine’s Day weekend, February 14-16, 2020.

An interesting inquiry came from a reader looking for a white castle in Naperville. The fast food chain known for its sliders and chocolate shakes is also known, we have learned, for taking reservations on Valentine’s Day. The fast food restaurant, however, is not among the more than 260 restaurants in Naperville.

To book a room at one of Naperville’s 19 hotels for a weekend getaway, visit www.visitnaperville.com.

Think Valentine’s Weekend dinner and show…

Also, consider live musical entertainment on the campus of North Central College for your darling.

An evening with jazz singer Janice Borla is scheduled for Valentine’s Day at 8 p.m. at the Madden Theater.

A tribute to Whitney Houston “The greatest love of all” will begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, February 16 at Pfeiffer Hall.

Better yet, have a Valentine’s Day experience with your friends and family right where your heart is…in your own hometown. Enjoy the show and Enjoy your meal!

Long live Valentine’s Day, Friday February 14, 2020! Celebrate safely!

Original post from January 30, 2013 (Alert! Prices updated to reflect 2020/Other information remains the same, so menus may be different.)

Roses are red, dinner for two – Valentine’s Day is often the busiest day of the year for restaurants and hotels in the area. Many offer special menus and packages and here are some local hotspots perfect for romantics.

Be sure to book early to avoid disappointment! For a complete directory of Naperville restaurants, visit www.dinenaperville.com. For a list of Naperville hotels, click here.

Hotel Arista offers a “Love is in the air” Valentine’s Day package. It includes overnight accommodation, $50 food and beverage credit, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, complimentary valet parking. Packages start at $279. Visit hotelarista.com for more information. (2020 update /Weekend Love Story is an overnight stay with champagne, rose petals, dinner at Che Figata, luxury accommodations and late check-out @ $209 + an options menu.)

Agapornis fischeri -World of Birds-8a

Meson Sabika will engage romantics in the likes of Spain from February 14-17. A pre-set menu for two is available. (For 2020, live Spanish guitar and flamenco dancer from 6.30pm) The normal dinner menu will not be available after 2pm.

A few highlights of the San Valentin menu include grilled tiger prawns in a lemony garlic butter sauce and a beef tenderloin skewer with caramelized onions; baked stuffed mushroom caps and baked aubergines rolled with Spanish goat cheese; Grilled New York strip loin with asparagus tips rolled with imported Jamon Serrano served with a white wine sauce with herbs and Mahi Mahi.


Desserts include a three-layered chocolate cake with honey buttercream and chocolate chunks; and vanilla mousse covered with hazelnut sponge cake.

Reservations made before February 12 will be entered into a raffle for a free dinner. For reservations, call (630) 983-3000 x2 or visit www.mesonsabika.com.

Catch 35 offers Valentine’s Day-inspired seafood specials Feb. 14-16 along with their full seafood menu. Diners can avoid the Valentine’s Day crowds and visit Catch 35 during Chicago Restaurant Week February 1-10, 2013. Specially priced three- and four-course menus are $33 and $44 (menu updated in 2020 and prices are grilled filet mignon for $38, steak and cheesecake crab for $44 and Stuffed Maine Lobster Tail for $49 from Feb. 12-16.) respectively, featuring George’s Bank sea scallops, Florida red grouper and Maine lobster will delight seafood lovers Reservations can be made by calling (630) 717-3500. Catch 35 is located at 35 S. Washington in downtown Naperville.

CityGate Grid asks “What type of romantic are you?” Enter their Facebook page, facebook.com/citygategrille, for a chance to win a free dinner for two on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14, 2013. Le Grille will be serving their full menu inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean. Reservations can be made by calling (630) 718-1010 or visiting opentable.com. CityGate Grille is located in the Calamos Investment Building at CityGate Center, I-88 and Rt. 59.

SugarToad at the Arista Hotel*** will warm up the night with a “Red” menu for Valentine’s Day, from February 14 to 16. The three-course menu costs $55 and includes a free welcome cocktail.

Entrees include ravioli with porcini mushrooms and truffles; house-smoked trout, fuji apple, pomegranate cream; Maine lobster bisque with celeriac, blood orange and hearts of palm; and fried oyster salad. Appetizers include Prime Beef Tenderloin; pan-fried ono with baby bok choy and Asian pears; and roasted quail with red chard and creamy parmesan polenta. Desserts include hot red current cake, raspberry tart, and sweet and sour chocolate cream pot. A flight of red wine is also available for $20.

Editor’s note, February 2020:

***The space previously occupied by Sugar Toad at the Arista Hotel now houses the Zorba Naperville Lounge and Cocktail Bar and Che Figata. (For Valentine’s Day 2020, Che Figata will be offering a 5-course prix fixe menu for $75 pp).

Again, be aware that restaurant insiders often refer to Valentine’s Day as DeuceCity because each reservation is a table for two.

Additionally, given the recent announcement of the closure of NOAH events (February 8, 2020), brides have been looking for alternative venues. Please contact Carlos Madinya at [email protected] for assistance in finding an alternate local venue as featured in his monthly column, Visit Naperville.

For a full menu of over 250 restaurants to whet your appetite, visit Dinner in Naperville.

For a link to an overnight stay or weekend getaway at any of Naperville’s 19 hotels, visit www.visitnaperville.com.


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