Do 'Galentine's Day' Right With 5 Awesome And Delicious Itineraries

By Chicagoist_Guest in Food on Feb 9, 2016 5:41PM

By Leigh Kunkel

It may be almost a year since the final episode of Parks and Recreation aired, but the show left us with a holiday legacy. I’m speaking, of course, of Galentine’s Day: a day for ladies to celebrate ladies. And to have amazing food, plenty of drinks, and the opportunity to do something awesome together. All of these suggested itineraries feature badass women, whether it’s behind the bar or in the kitchen (or both), and, in the spirit of Leslie Knope, celebrate community in some way. So whether your friends are foodies, boozehounds, or taking a stand against Valentine’s Day, we’ve got the perfect way to celebrate, lady-style.

The interior of Rhine Hall Distillery

If the gals are...
A bunch of lushes—Start out doing a tour of Rhine Hall Distillery in West Town, where Jenny Solberg and her father distill their own brandy. You can also stop by their bar and grab a cocktail made with their spirits, like their apple brandy old-fashioned. Tickets are $10.

Head north to Logan Square, where you can visit Erin Hayes behind the bar at Lost Lake, and Jacyara de Oliveira pouring at Sportsman’s Club, both of whom competed in the Speed Rack National Finals this past summer. After a signature daiquiri at Lost Lake, and something from the ever-changing menu at Sportsman’s Club, hop over to Liquor Park, where owner Janel Syron can help you buy supplies to hold your own bartending competition. Everybody wins!

Solid chocolate butterflies at Chocolat Uzma

If the gals are...
Always Instagramming their food—Kick things off in Pilsen at one of Uzma Sharif’s chocolate-making classes ($65/person), where you’ll also be able to pick up sweets decorated with candied rose petals, or some sipping chocolate mix. Next up is Punch House, where you can all share a bowl of classic milk punch.

For dinner, make a reservation at Iliana Regan’s Elizabeth in Lincoln Square, where her plates are almost too beautiful to eat. (Almost.) And no food-centric Galentine’s Day would be complete without a stop at Mindy Segal’s Hot Chocolate for their signature drink and desserts like the Bucktown Buckeye, made with whiskey-peanut butter frozen mousse.

Tools at the International Museum of Surgical Science. Photo via Facebook.

If the gals are...
The “strange and unusual” sort—If you’re more April Ludgate than Ann Perkins, then start your day off at the International Museum of Surgical Science, where you can see some of the amazing and gruesome contributions that women have made to medicine. Admission is $15.

And what could be witchier than eating actual hearts with your girlfriends? If you want serious goth-girl credentials, venture up to Avondale to visit Beverly Kim at Parachute, where she’s serving duck hearts with chili paste, grapes and sesame. Finish things off with a haunted bar crawl to commune with some ladies from the other side: check out Tonic Room, which was supposedly a hotbed of occult activity in the past and where a woman in white roams the halls; then the Liar’s Club, where the ghost of a young woman murdered on the premises with an axe has been seen at the bar.

The interior of Ada Street. Photo via Facebook.

If the gals are...
Saying “screw relationships”—Sometimes “Galentine’s Day” really means “down with Valentine’s Day.” Embrace it. Visit Wet Paint for some tipsy arts and crafts, where we’re betting you’ll meet some kindred spirits. Classes start at $35. Have an indulgent dinner at Ada Street, where executive chef Joanna Stachon is serving up steak tartare with fried capers, and diver scallops with Italian sausage.

Before moving up north, stop by Alliance Bakery in Wicker Park, where every year they have heart-shaped cookies frosted with sentiments like “I Faked It” and check out the crowd: maybe some of your drunken painting brethren are there. Finally, it’s up to Wrigleyville, for Improv Olympic’s “Your F***ed Up Relationship,” where audience members are invited to bond by sharing the reasons that their exes were the worst. Tickets are $14.

Deliciousness at Joy Yee. Photo via Facebook.

If the gals are...
Up for anything—Have you ever watched Cirque du Soleil and thought, “I can do that”? Well here’s your chance. Get airborne by taking a trapeze or aerial silks “taster” class at Aloft Loft, where you can live out your dream of floating gracefully above the ground. For a minute, anyway. (Classes are $10.) Once you’ve worked up an appetite, drop by any one of Joy Yee’s three locations to sample co-owner and executive chef Jennifer Au’s durian freezes with red bean topping. What is durian? Maybe better not to know going in.

Make dinner a communal event by ordering a traditional Ethiopian meal at Demera Ethiopian, where you can select a number of dishes to share, and try out a few of the African beers they offer. Finish up by visiting Miranda Breedlove at Broken Shaker, where she’s mixing up strange and delicious cocktails like the Chicago Dog margarita, made with a spicy mustard pickle shrub.