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Fun, High-End, Great Private Room for approx 25?

I'm a NY 'hound who will be in town hosting a business dinner. Where do I have it? We want great food and wine, non-stuffy vibe, and price is not an issue. Location may be -- we're only in town for a short while and staying at the Park Hyatt or Peninsula. FYI for those familiar with NY, dinners here tend to be places like Gramercy Tavern, Craft, and Oceana's wine cellar.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I like the private room at Brasserie Jo, 59 W. Hubbard, so a short cab ride from your hotel. Here's a link: http://www.brasseriejo.com/

    I attended a business function there, and the food was great (a special menu of items not on the regular menu, which is French brasserie-style food), and the room was charming.

    Another great place is the Signature Room, a restaurant atop the John Hancock Center that has several private rooms with spectacular views of the city. I've been to two wedding receptions and several office parties there, and the food has been great each time (buffet style and pretty lavish). Here's a link to that one: http://www.signatureroom.com/

    1. Price not an issue? Check out Tru, one of the premier high-end restaurants in Chicago. Private salons are available:


      1. A few years ago I hosted a business dinner for about 20 at Everest, a restaurant on the 40th floor of the building that houses the Chicago Bd of Options Exchange in the Loop. The food and service were superb, and the room we were in gave a wonderful view over the City. I would definitely go back, especially for a business setting and when cost was not an issue.

        1. Blackbird sounds to me to be the perfect fit for your needs. http://www.blackbirdrestaurant.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: RottenTanx

            Thx, though I went there a year ago and wasn't impressed in the least. FYI, I have very limited Chicago food experience. Other than Blackbird, I've had Bfast at NoMi (which I like), dinner at Alinea (pretentious and silly, but worth it a look from a food-as-intellectual-experience standpoint), Japonais (mediocre but GREAT doughnut dessert), and Le Lan (my fave of the bunch.

            1. re: skigirl

              Skigirl, given your comments on Alinea and Blackbird (and I don't why anyone would go there given the recent thread on terrible service), I urge you to consider Everest. See my post from yesterday. It serves very high end, creative French food in a civilized setting, with service to match. Alternately, you might consider Gibsons. Its private room is really comfortable. While the food is not on the same par as Everest (or Tru, which is also a good recommendation), if your group includes a fair amount of people who are looking for more mainstream fare -- steak, especially, but they also have fish, etc. -- Gibsons is a good place to host a business group. Our company used to do its holiday party there every year, and they never let us down.

          2. So, I looked at the various places. Tru would be perfect, but their private room is taken the night we want to do it. I fear that Everest is a bit too stuffy and traditional. Someone I know in Chicago recommended Carnivale. Any thoughts? Thanks for the Gibson's tip, but I don't eat red meat and, since I'm the one doing the planning. . . .

            1 Reply
            1. re: skigirl

              Carnivale is a huge fun place, but it's very good, but not high end if you have a demanding crowd. It is one of my regulars with consistently good food. Best Guacamole in town.

              If you want a higher-end meal, have you considered Spiaggia? Generally regarded as the best Italian in town. Several private rooms overlooking Mag Mile and the south end of Lincoln park. It's a walk from the Park Hyatt.

            2. Saw mention of Spaggia elsewhere on the board and perused their website. The menu looks nice. What is the vibe and crowd like? No good pics of the interior of the place on the sprawling Levy Restaurants webiste.

              To give you Chicago folks a bit more clarity on what I'm looking for---this is a relativly young, lively crowd that likes very good food and wine, but not stuffy pretension.

              My beef with Blackbird, when I was there 2 years ago, was that the service was middling and, more significantly, I just don't think the food tasted all that spectacular. Relatively generic, high end fare (sea bass anyone?). The space was quite nice.

              At Alinea, I thought the "emperor had no clothes." The food was very interesting from a scientific/intellectual standpoint, but too many of the courses simply didn't taste very good (white pepper soup?) and was presented and served with such pretention as to be downright silly. Also, the meat in one course was terribly tought. Also, they made my guest and I wait 45 minutes for my table, and comped us only 2 glasses of inexpensive wine for the inconvenience of having to sit in their uncomfortable little hallway the entire time, something I found grossly inappropriate for a top flight restuarant.

              I do, however, like Le Lan. Solicitous service, great wine list, consistently very good (though not mind-blowing) fare, and serious but not uptight or overly formal vibe. If they had a private room, I'd go there.

              In any event, thanks again for all of the input-- Greatly appreciated.

              1 Reply
              1. re: skigirl

                Spiaggia has superb food, and I would not call it stuffy or pretentious yet neither would I call it young and lively. Although, if you're in a private room with 25, you might add a little youth and liveliness to the place.

              2. In a private room, we will, no doubt, make our own party. :)

                1. Topolobampo has a private room which seats up to 30:

                  The food would be very good, high-end, and perhaps unusual for your guests. But the room is down one floor from the regular restaurant, which may feel slightly odd, I don't know.

                  by the way, since you mentioned some guests are staying at the Peninsula, is there any private room option available at Avenues?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Amata

                    Actually, we've decided to stay at the W Lakeshore instead. Much more our scene.

                    I think we're leaning towards Topo or Spiaggia....gotta wait for some return phone calls now.

                    1. re: skigirl

                      You might want to check out MK or Nine. Both have private rooms and good, *sometimes* great food. And at Nine, you can all go upstairs to Ghost Bar after dinner to continue the party.