Marcello's on North Ave.
Hi - We're looking at wedding reception options for a cocktail style reception and we'd love to have it at a restaurant in Chicago city limits (prefer north side or downtown - church is on north side and we love downtown as well). One spot we looked at was Marcello's (Father & Son) on North Ave. in Old Town - fits our budget, but seems kind of "suburban."
Anyone eat there before or been to a reception there? Would love to get feedback. Also, other suggestions are welcome... Wedding is Sept. '08 and we're having approx. 75 - 100 guests with a budget of about $65 for food and drinks (2 -3 hour open bar, beer/wine). We're not necessarily big hotel type reception people - we're very laid back, hence why we are looking for more of a cocktail/heavy apps type reception party.
I have been to a party at Marcello's and the food was decent, but not great. It's nice to have parking and the staff was great, but everyone kept commenting that they felt like they were in the suburbs. I would recommend Quartino. They have an upstairs area that can be reserved for private parties. Their food and wine are very reasonable and the staff goes out of their way to help. Since they serve all small plates, it would be perfect for the kind of reception that you want. Good luck!
They used to cater lunches at my old office. Not good, IMO. Just barely edible pizza. Since you have so much time, I'd poke around for an interesting restaurant that would provide finger food and beer/wine. Feast might be an option. A lot of moderately price restaurants have party rooms or can hook up with a site and cater your event.
For instance, there's a catering hall in the building at Clark and North (just south of the old Village Theater) that has wedding receptions regularly. Very nice place, too.
We did a pre-wedding party at Cafe Iberico. They have a downstairs function room with a bar, and could easily meet your price with some knockout food, sangria and beer, I bet. The room is very cozy, I thought, although a bit claustrophobic.
If you haven't been it Iberico, it's VERY moderately priced and the food is good to excellent. I regularly have meals there with sangria for $20 to $30 a person.
I'm sure others here know of good places with function rooms who could meet your price and offer something better than pizza and fried mozzeralla..
Its a big family type restaurant. I've ordered their thin crust pizza and its pretty good. Don't know much more about it.
Another option in the area is the Goose Island Brewery on Clybourn. Very casual, but the food is not bad and its a fun place, although parking is a little tough.
I suppose it depends on what your priorities are. I've eaten there. It's certainly not a destination restaurant. There's parking. It's open late.
It's not "terrible," but hardly memorable. If it fits your budget and the people attending aren't expecting much more than something to eat and the opportunity to be together, I'm sure it will be fine.