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Romantic Valentine's Day Gifts, Eurofest and Paczki Day Featured this February at the Chicago French Market

The Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton, Chicago; 312-575-0306) is offering a variety of gift options perfect for Valentine's Day.
    CHICAGO, IL, February 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton, Chicago; 312-575-0306) is offering a variety of gift options perfect for Valentine's Day. Whether you are in the market for a traditional box of chocolates or an indulgent caviar and champagne set for two, the Chicago French Market has everything you need for one-stop shopping. Also featured this month, are Eurofest February 9 and Paczki Day February 12 as well as weekly live music performances.

Try the Three Newest Chicago French Market Vendors
You are cordially invited to visit the three newest vendors at the Chicago French Market. First stop at Beavers Coffee + Donuts, a unique shop that serves original sugar-dusted and gourmet donuts covered with indulgent toppings such as chocolate, strawberry and peanut butter.

Next, pick up lunch or dinner at Le Cafe du Marche (312-575-0306). The eatery is a special taste of France which debuted at the Chicago French Market this past January. Cafe du Marche offers French sandwiches, quiches, soups, salads and desserts. Brought to you by the owner and chef of Bistro Voltaire in River North, the new booth will feature the popular Croque Monsieur (grilled ham and cheese sandwich), Le Chasseur (duck confit, caramelized onions and lettuce) and other French specialties.

Pickup Traditional Red and Color Roses at Les Fleurs
For Valentine's Day, a bouquet of long stem roses is always an appropriate gift. The Chicago French Market's resident florist, Les Fleurs, will be showcasing Long Stem Red and Colored Rose Bouquets $65/bouquet and Cymbidium Orchid Stems $30/stem. More information on Les Fleur available at (312) 463-1111.

Two Valentine's Day Drink Recipes from Bello Tea
Spending Valentine's Day at home or going to a potluck party? Bello Tea (312-380-0707) at the Chicago French Market has offered up delicious recipes for two tasty Valentine's Day drinks. The Bello Mojito is made with delicious hibiscus spearmint tea, freshly squeezed lime juice, sparkling water and finished with a touch of sweetness. For an adult only beverage, try your hand at making Lara's Caipirinha Bubbly ''Champagne.'' This easily prepared drink combines Bello Organic Lara's Caipirinha Herbal Tea with sparkling juice or champagne with a fresh strawberry. Look below for step by step instructions on how to prepare both of these drinks.

Bello Mojito
Serves 2

8 oz. of Bello Hibiscus Spearmint Tea
1 oz. of Fresh squeezed lime juice
2 oz. of Simple Syrup ( ½ water, ½ sugar)
1 oz. of Sparkling Water
Fresh mint
Slices of lime

Brew Hibiscus Spearmint Tea and chill it until ready to prepare. In a martini shaker, muddle mint and lime slices together. Add simple syrup, lime juice and tea. To that add ice and shake well. Strain it into a martini glass and add sparkling water. Garnish with a mint sprig and a slice of lime. For a fun twist add your favorite rum. Substitute sugar with agave, if preferred.

Brewing Hibiscus Spearmint Tea
Add 2 tsp. of Hibiscus Spearmint tea to a tea pot then add 8 oz. of boiling water. Let it brew for 5 minutes. Strain and chill.

Lara's Caipirinha Bubbly 'Champagne'

1-2 oz. of Bello Organic Lara's Caipirinha Herbal Tea
6 oz. of Sparkling Juice or Champagne
A fresh raspberry or strawberry

Pour Sparkling Juice or Champagne into a glass. Add Lara's Caipirinha tea and garnish with fresh raspberry or strawberry.

Brewing Organic Lara's Caipirinha
Add 3 tsp. of Lara's Caipirinha to a tea pot, and then add 8 oz. of boiling water. Let it brew for 5 minutes. Strain and chill. It yields 4-8 servings.

Delightful Pastries Offers Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and other Valentine's Day Gifts
Delightful Pastries at the Chicago French Market has arranged an assortment of gift packages filled with delicious pastries and sweets for Valentine's Day. Treat your sweetie to a dozen fresh strawberries dipped in bittersweet dark chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate ($25). Delightful Pastries also has a Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Tart ($30), this luscious treat is a sweet buttery tart layered with chocolate ganache and covered in fresh raspberries.

The Heart Shaped Chocolate Mousse Torte ($6.75) is perfect for two to share. This moist chocolate sponge cake is layered with chocolate mousse and decorated with rosettes of whipped cream. Also Delightful Pastries has a number of Valentine's Day gifts under $20. These mini bundles include an assortment of raspberry and chocolate Parisian macarons, beautifully decorated gingerbread and sugar cookies, sweet gift boxes of handmade truffles and other chocolates. Place your orders at (312) 234-9644.

Delightful Pastries gift options don't end there. Here are two gift box packages with loads of Valentine's Day goodies.

Sweetheart Gift Box- $30
ginger bread and sugar cookie hearts
small box of raspberry and chocolate Parisian macarons
cookie bag of your choice
¼ lb. handmade chocolate bark or ¼ lb. handmade truffles

You're Amazing Gift Box- $50
heart cookie sandwich with chocolate butter cream
black and white cookie and cupcake
large box of raspberry, passion fruit and chocolate Parisian macarons
box of rum balls and chocolate pecan turtles
maple cranberry almond granola
two chocolate dipped strawberries

Lavazza Espression's New Strawberry Èspessone and Oscar Party Treats
Lavazza Espression (312-207-0500) at the Chicago French Market is featuring two special Valentine specials, the Strawberry Èspessone and a gift with purchase promotion.

Strawberry Èspessone (small $2.95 - large 3.75)
It's love at first taste with a fresh and velvety strawberry foam layered over decadent Italian drinking chocolate or a smooth espresso shot.

Lovely Shopper Promotion
Receive a complimentary "Falling in Love with Coffee" Shopper tote with the purchase of a pound of whole bean coffee ($13.50 - $14.75) through February 14.

Oscar Experience: Chicago 2013
Join Lavazza Espression at Chicago's only official Academy-sanctioned Oscar party. Lavazza will be preparing unique coffee creations throughout this annual event at the Gene Siskel Film Center.

Visit Pastoral for its Decadent Valentine's Day Offerings
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine at the Chicago French Market is catering your special Valentine's Day evening at home with pre-packaged bundles. The first is Caviar for Two with Grower Champagne ($159.99). Each tin of farm raised Oscietra caviar from Italy is Friend of the Sea certified and can be traced back to sourcing and production with designation on the label. This caviar is well matched with Picolo, a triple-crème from Andante Dairy in California and crisp mini toasts from France. Purchase this gift for pre-order online here.
If your special Valentine is a chocolate lover, pick up the Katherine Anne Confections Truffle Duo ($6.99). These seasonal treats are locally made in Chicago by confectioner Katherine Anne, who has been making delicious confections since she was just 10 years old. Silky ganache and well balanced flavors make these local treats delectable.

For serious chocolate connoisseurs, Pastoral also is offering Midnight Oasis Drinking Chocolate ($19.99) a rich mix of 70% cacao, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. Drinking chocolate is a tradition which dates back to the Mayans and is thicker and richer than a hot cocoa. The powder should be mixed with 6 oz. of warm milk for a dense, chocolate treat.

The Pralus Mini 'Tropiques' Tower ($11.99) is an unforgettable tower of confections featuring a collection of ten 5 oz. single-origin chocolates featuring cacao sourced from all over the globe and transformed by Francois Pralus in Roanne, France. Each square is from a different country, allowing you to travel the world in one sitting. Taste the flavors of Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Sao Tome islands, Ghana and more. Pick up any of these Valentine's Day treats at Pastoral at the Chicago French Market. Place your orders at (312) 454-2200.

French Conversation Cookies, Mascarpone Heart Cheesecake and more at Vanille Patisserie
Vanille Patisserie, the French bakery at Chicago French Market is offering a variety of Valentine's Day treats for the big day. In lovely heart shaped pre-packaged Chocolate, Vanilla and Raspberry Macarons are available in sizes of 8 ($15) and 18 ($32) pieces. Vanille's French Conversation Sugar Cookies ($3 each), Mascarpone Heart Cheesecake ($5.75 serves 1) and heart boxes of handmade chocolates also are available (3 piece $5.95, ½ lb. box $25, 1 lb. box $47).

Vanille Patisserie wants you to start the week off with your best foot forward. Starting Monday February 4th, every Monday at the Market, get a complimentary coffee with the purchase of any bakery item. Place your orders at (312) 575-9963.

Valentine's Day Dinner and Dessert by City Fresh Market
Surprise your loved one with a special dinner from City Fresh Market. The Chicago French Market vendor known for fresh produce, meats and seafood will be featuring Surf and Turf (New York Strip Steak and Lobster Tail at $21.99 per package), Filet Mignon ($20.89/lb.), Lobster (12.99/lb.) and King Crab Legs (18.99/lb.).

Also, for a special Valentine's Day treat, the pastry counter will be showcasing its Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Heart Shaped Cakes. For more information call (312) 575-0230.

Visit Wisma for Special Savings this Valentine's Day
For an affordable, organic and local dining option for Valentine's Day, Wisma (312-382-1805) at the Chicago French Market will be offering holiday savings consisting of 25% off any two dinners when purchased February 13-14. Try Wisma's featured Vegetable Lasagna ($11) or Shells Carbonara ($9).

Abbey Brown Soap Artisan's Valentine's Day Gift Options
The Chicago based soap manufacturer has designed a special Valentine's Day gift package, perfect for your loved one. The Chicago based soap manufacturer will offer four heart shaped soaps nestled in a box made with Bloomer's Cocoa. It's a perfect gift at $15.

Chicago French Market Music and Events

Thursday, February 7 - Rush Hour Music with the Harris Family
4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Complimentary

The Harris Family consists of three Chicago siblings all too young to drive: Olivia, Jack and Julia. The three siblings grew up listening to folk, gospel and rock music while developing a passion for artists like Joni Mitchell and Crosby Stills and Nash, which influenced their sound. Two years ago, The Harris Family started playing block parties and farmers markets around Chicago. They have since appeared at multiple venues including the Lincoln Park Whole Foods, St. James Cathedral Cafe, Macy's on State Street, The Old Town Art Fair and at the Chicago French Market. The kids surprise and delight both young and old with their tender harmonies and infectious joy. Catch them for a Rush Hour Music special at the Chicago French Market 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. February 7.

Saturday, February 9 - Eurofest 2013
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Complimentary

Join us for Eurofest 2013 which showcases European fare, artisan vendors and specialty food products located within the Chicago French Market, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. February 9. This complimentary event will feature intimate tastings of the market's unique European inspired culinary scene.

Some of the featured items are: English Tea Lattes from Bello Tea and Italian Olive Oils from Oh Olive. City Fresh Market will offer a mix of Bureks and European Sausage and Cakes. Vanille Patisserie will feature its French Macarons and Wisma will offer Beef Stroganoff, Linguini with Italian Sausage Ragu. You can also sample Lavazza Espression's Affogato al Caffe, The Hot Dog Guy's Ditka Spicy Polish Sausage and The Spicy Monkey's Brunswick Stew.

Explore the many foods and beverages while you listen to cultural music and watch demonstrations throughout the day.

Tuesday, February 12 - Paczki Day
All Day

Paczki Day (Fat Tuesday) may sound like an excuse to have a mid-February donut feast, but it's much more than that. The Paczki is a Polish doughnut (fried dough filled with fruit preservatives, sweet cream or chocolate custard and topped with powdered sugar or glaze). Historically, Fat Tuesday was an opportunity for Polish Catholics to eat all the sugar, eggs and lard in their house before Lent. But these days many people around the city, Catholic or just celebrating Mardi Gras, know a good holiday when they taste it.

Delightful Pastries will be featuring the Polish pastry in a variety of fruity flavors including: Apricot Jelly ($2), Strawberry and Custard ($3), Plum Butter ($2) and Rose Petal Jelly ($2). The shop also makes a delicious Drunken Paczki. These sweets are made from different types of liqueurs including Patron Cocoa XO and chocolate custard ($3) and Vodka Vanilla Bean Custard ($3). Paczki Day orders can be taken up to February 8 by calling (773) 545-7215. Stop by the Chicago French Market this Paczki Day, February 12 to fill up on your share of sweets.

Wednesday, February 13 and February 27 - Lunch Hour Music with Chris Goranson
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Complimentary

Notable Chicago musician Chris Goranson is coming to the Chicago French Market for a Lunch Hour jazz performance, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. February 13. Goranson is a guitar teacher with a degree in Jazz Performance from Northern Illinois University. Currently, Goranson plays in a rock band called OurGlass, who has had several gigs at Ace Bar in Lincoln Park and OurGlass recently performed for JBTV. Catch the Libertyville native again, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. February 27 for another Lunch Hour performance at the Chicago French Market.

Thursday, February 14 - Pastoral Cheese, Bread and Wine Tasting
4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Complimentary

In honor of Valentine's Day, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine will be hosting their special wine tasting featuring varieties of artisan sparkling and dessert wines.

Thursday, February 21 - Rush Hour Music with Coventry Jones
4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Complimentary

Coventry Jones will be stopping by the Chicago French Market for a special Rush Hour performance 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. February 21. Jones is a dylan-esque singer and songwriter from Milwaukee, WI. He combines his critically acclaimed vocals with styles ranging from folk to delta blues.

Thursday, February 28 - Divine Dine & Wine
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Six Chicago French Market vendors will be participating in the upcoming event, Divine Dine and Wine. The evening organized by the West Central Association (WCA) will feature local chefs and restaurateurs to benefit the WCA. Chicago celebrities and hosts of Windy City Live, Ryan Chiaverini and Val Warner will co-host the event. The duo is known for their ease with guests, warmth and quirky humor.

The six participating Chicago French Market vendors are Lavazza Espression, Lillie's Q, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine, Saigon Sisters, Vanille Patisserie and Wisma. They will be joined by tops chefs from the West Loop, Fulton Market, Fulton River District, Randolph Street, Greektown and Taylor Street.

The event will be held at Venue One (1044 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL). Tickets are available for sale now for $125 and can be purchased here.

About Chicago French Market
Chicago French Market is a European-inspired market offering an array of local produce, meats, seafood, breads, pastries, cheese, wine, chocolates, pastas, artisan-made goods, specialty drinks, flowers, prepared meals and a seating area for customers. Chicago French Market's diverse group of local vendors stay open year-round, six days per week, and is located within the new MetraMarket development at 131 N. Clinton St. (between Washington and Randolph Streets).

Chicago French Market offers complimentary garage parking with entrances at 164 N. Canal St. and 165 N. Clinton St. for one hour or less with a minimum purchase of $20 or more (receipt required).

For more information, visit "Like" Chicago French Market on Facebook at and follow the market on Twitter at @ChiFrenchMarket or at #ChicagoFrenchMarket.

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Cindy Kurman
Kurman Communications, Inc.

Chicago, IL
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