Thurs, Fri dinner for ten buckeyes
I own a very small business in Ohio and will be in Chicago next week with my employees and spouses - just to get away and have fun. Thursday night we will be in the theater district. We plan to eat before the show and are looking for an Italian restaurant that can seat a group of 10. Giordano's? Any other suggestions?
Friday night we are looking for a restaurant a little to the north - Rush St. area. We are looking for fun more than fancy. When you are from Ohio you eat anything. Thanks for your help.
Re: Italian, near Theatre District - you could check out Italian Village (71 W. Monroe - between Dearborn and Clark, 312/332-4040) - where you will find a choice of three (3) Italian Restaurants - though you should decide upfront and make RESERVATIONS. Vivere is the fancier of the three and in my experience (of all three) people tend to either love them or hate them, had great experiences or terrible ones. Maybe some others will weigh in on this with their insights.
Actually, KateOC might be on to something if Evanston doesn't sound too quaint or off the wall. Both bar/restaurants are within two blocks of the Dempster Street "L" station and only a block further from the Davis St. Metra Station. Nevins is very lively until the wee hours with music and a festive spirit - spirit is even livier if Northwestern is doing well (in this case much better than they are..)
Also accross the Steet is Pete Millers Steak House - featuring good steaks/seafood/chops and first rate live jazz. There is also a cheaper "Bar Menu" for quality burgers and sandwiches with either good fries or a mountain of yummy garlic msshed potatos. In a more casual bar area there is a billiards room with 4 or 5 pool tables.
Nevins serves Irish Pub food and burgers and tends to cater to a young University crowd - though older folks enjoy it too. Be sure to wear BuckEye colors if you want to evoke smiling, good natured "boos" from other clientele... Have fun!
Its a couple blocks from Rush, but there are a bunch of good places on Wells Street between Division and North - Adobo Grill (high quality Mexican), OBriens (Irish), Fireplace Inn (Ribs, etc), Topo Gigio (Italian), Bistro Margot (French) among many others. Not too casual, but not too fancy either. Its kind of a happening street these days. Good cigar store too if you're into that.
For what it's worth, Second City, the comedy club, is right at the corner of Wells and North. Plus what must be the biggest Starbucks in the Midwest.
Trattoria #10 at Dearborn and Madison isn't too far away. I've been there for lunch and the food was very good.
Petterino's is at State and Randolph. While I've not eaten there, it gets recommended a lot.
I can't help much with the "fun" part of Rush Street. Good food abounds at Gibson's, Hugo's Frog Bar.....lots of good places there.