LINCOLN SQUARE — Waited til the last minute to make Valentine's Day plans, didn't you? Welcome to the club.
Leaving the fancy restaurants to folks who had the foresight to make things called reservations, we dug up a few options that, if you stretch your imagination, totally count as romantic. Got a better neighborhood date planned? Follow us on Twitter and tell us about your #hotdateinthehood.
Meat and a movie: The love gurus at Lincoln Quality Meat Market, 4661 N. Lincoln Ave., are offering a 20 percent discount, Friday only, on steaks, pork chops and pork tenderloins. Because the surest way to a man's heart is a hunk of raw animal flesh, amiright, ladies? For her: Guys, take your gal to a showing of "Winter's Tale," opening Friday at the Davis Theatre, 4614 N. Lincoln Ave., and skip the usual box of chocolates. The movie's tagline is so sickly sweet — "This is not a true story. This is true love." — our teeth hurt just typing it. Prepare to come out on the short end of comparisons to Colin Farrell for the rest of the evening.
Say it with succulents: Rose are red, women love them it's true; but how 'bout this V-Day, you try something new? Alapash Home & Terrariums, 1944 W. Montrose, sells an array of potted succulents, providing an alternative to the more traditional long-stemmed bouquets found in every Jewel across the city. The fact that these plants survive in harsh climates is in no way a comment on your relationship.
Celebrate Valentine's like it's 2000 B.C.: Anyone can ply their honey with champagne, but it takes a true original to ply their honey with honey. The Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave., will be sampling honey wines, also known as mead, during a Valentine's Mead Tasting from 7-10 p.m. Friday. Admission is $12 per person, which includes a flight of five mead varieties. No word on whether the drinks will be served in flagons.
A legitimate reason to look at naked people: For the third year in a row, the Northcenter Neighborhood Association is celebrating Valentine's Day by hosting "Em.Body.Peace," a figurative art show — code for nude paintings and drawings and a performance by unclothed models. The event also features food, drink, music and a silent auction. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door or $20 for association members. Proceeds will benefit a mural project involving the 47th Ward office, Lake View High School and Lillstreet ArtReach. So when your mom asks what you did for V-Day, you can say you went to a fundraiser.
For the couple whose idea of sexy lingerie is a pair of long johns: Turn that romantic walk in the woods into a more productive, eco-conscious activity. On Saturday, the Chicago Park District's Great Backyard Bird Count comes to Eugene Field Park, 5100 N. Ridgeway Ave., from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Every pair of binocular-ed eyes is welcome during this survey of the city's feathered friends. Just make sure no one includes you in the count, you crazy love birds, you.