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Nov 13, 2006 07:31 PM

Italian Restaurant with Private Room in Loop or River North

A friend and her family come to town every October from the San Francisco area, and meet in Chicago prior to going to South Bend for a Notre Dame game. She was recently displeased with the food and service at Harry Carey's and is looking for an alternate location for 2007.

Any suggestions on a fun Italian place with good food, for 25-30 people, in the Loop or River North area? Knowing them, price isn't really an object. I think she'd prefer a local restaurant, and not a Maggiano's type place.

Thanks for the help!

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  1. Coco Pazzo is in River North at 300 W Hubbard. Outstanding Tuscan food. I've never gone wrong there. Not your traditional Fettucini Alfredo and Chicken Vesuvio kind of place, so it would be an interesting alternative. Certainly one of the better local Italian places. www.cocopazzochicago.com/

    However, I can not recall a private room, but its a big place and they certainly have accomodated large parties in the past.

    1. The first thing that leaped to my mind was Italian Village. Out of three restaurants, they should have some private dining space, no? Otherwise my vote would be for Jay's Amore, 1330 W Madison, Chicago. They have a semi-private area that would easily accomodate that size party, the food is excellent and Jay is really a Chicago legend.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Suburban Sandy

        When Amore first opened up a couple of years ago I was an instant fan and went there quite often. Good straight ahead Italian. A nice neighborhood place, although I was always a little concerned because it was never very full, but the food was good and we brought friends there on several occasions.

        At some point a year or two ago it changed hands and became Jay's Amore. We went there two more times and the food really took a dive in my opinion. They said that the chef was the same, and the food had not changed much, but in those small ways - chicken coming out over-cooked, sauces not quite as savory as before. I went there two more times and haven't been back in about 9 months. Maybe its improved recently?

        1. re: wak

          Hmmmmmm. It's been a few months since I've been there but my food has always been plentiful and tasty. I didn't think anything was overcooked. My current favorite is that penne con pollo. I've also had the fish dishes (tillapia) and also very good. I would say maybe give it another shot? Let me know...

      2. 437 Rush has upstairs seating similar to Harry Carey's but better Italian food, IMO.

        1. Quartino is a fun italian place with excellent food, a nice upstairs private dining room, and as an added bonus - cheap valet parking.

          1. I like Calitera. The food is very good, and I believe the private room can seat a party of that size.
            Also, it is about a block off Michigan Ave. which is nice for a pre or post-dinner walk.