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Aug 9, 2000 12:41 PM

Business Dinner for 35-40

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I am going to be in Chicago for a Convention in early October. I am looking for a restaurant that can accomidate a dinner-meeting in the Downtown area. Must be a private type room, within a short cab ride from convention hotels, be an impressive destination for our representatives and their spouses, and of course, our budget is a concern.


Nick Manning

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  1. I've been to large, work-related, private dinners at Vinci, Trattoria Parma, Hubbard Street Grill, and Klay Oven. [Others, as well, but these would be convenient for you.] They are not the best that Chicago has to offer, but they are comfortable for larger groups...on a budget. See the link below for the Vinci Group Restaurants.


    5 Replies
    1. re: Erik M.
      Clifford Abrams

      Try Cafe Mossant. On Wabash Ave. in the loop--though at the extreme north end. Great room and food, and they may have private facilities since it's in a hotel. It's worth asking them. Maybe some of your guests are even staying there. Good luck.

      1. re: Clifford Abrams

        It would be nice to know what your constraints are. Are these the kind of people who wouldn't mind a banquet in Chinatown? How about table service in little Italy? Let us know and I think you would have more choices. Are you limited to the Loop? There are other parts of Chicago that are easily accessible from McCormick, if that's were you'll be. More info please.

        1. re: bryan

          More problem. In the past, this is what we have done, last year in San Antonio, Tex Mex at Boudro's on the Riverwalk, 2 years ago in Toronto, had a nice room at Bellini's in Toronto, 4 years ago we had the 2nd floor of Paladino's in Chicago. All were nice, and all were kind of different.

          I want the restaurant to be within a short cab ride of the Loop, and I want a restaurant that my Reps necessarily wouldn't be referred to by the Concierge at their hotel.

          I don't want a "banquet room" where we are hidden away, I want our group to feel a part of the restaurant, but I also want to feel comfortable when we take a few minutes to congratulate some people for their achievements, and not feel like we are interrupting the entire restaurant.

          At almost all of my previous choices, people have wanted to know "how in the heck I found this place?" That, in addition to the food and drink being excellent, is what I am looking for.

          Thanks you,

          Nick Manning

          1. re: Nick Manning

            Thanks. Sounds as though Italian goes over well so I would suggest Tuffanos (AKA Vernon Park Tap). Large rooms but there's almost always a wait. Dinners are served family style for large parties - which, in my opinion, is always fun. And there's always lots of parties on weekends. Last time I was there Tony Bennett was holding court over a table of about 25. Their chicken vesuovio is fabulous as are their antipasto salad and all the standards. Good prices, nice wines. Close to the loop. Directly in the loop are the Italian Village restaurants - also good and priced a little higher than Tuffanos - but fun and right in the action, there's a piano bar in the basement for hanger-oners. Hope this of some help to you.

            1. re: bryan

              Thanks for all the great input. We have scheduled our dinner for Tufano's Vernon Park Tap. I will let you know in October how everything turned out.

    2. l
      Laura Levy Shatkin

      I work for the Chicago Reader, the independent weekly in town. If you check out our site at and look at the restaurant finder, you can search for places with certain criteria (ie; private rooms) in a specific location. That might be your best bet. If you're looking for contemporary American-- try the private rooms at Blackbird or it's neighbor Grace. For chic-chic dining and excellent food, onesixty blue is killer (they also have a private room but it's a $100 minimum per person). A cool new rustic Italian, Gioco, opened recently in the South loop and is worth a visit, too. All these places are cab rides within the loop.
      Bon Apetit!

      1. Papagus Greek Taverna 620 N State can acomadate a group that size, Located next to the Embassy Suites Hotel. OPAH! Private room availably. Great Food