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Suggestions: moderate dinner for 16 near loop

Help! My oldest friend is getting married Saturday Sept. 1 in Chicago. I'm a foodie from Boston charged with finding a place for Friday night dinner for out of towners and bride and groom, about 14-16 people on Friday 8/31.

This is not a traditional wedding, nor a traditional rehearsal dinner. It will be informal and probably people will pay for themselves or if I can get it cheap enough, maybe I'll host. I don't know all of the people but was told that a few are not into spicy food, too bad! Bride wants to eat early so she's home by 9pm and wants something quiet. Searched this site and thought of Greek town--Greek Islands or Costas-- but wonder if they are too boisterous and tho I grew up in Chicago my geography is bad, seems like it might be too long of a trek?

Most people are staying at Club Quarters on 111 W Adams St, near LaSalle. It would be great to get a place that's is walking distance or easy cab ride.

I really appreciate any ideas or help you can give me. Thanks so much!

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  1. The Greek Town idea is the best one I can think of for your situation. As you're probably aware, there aren't a lot of inexpensive places in or near the Loop that can do a reasonably-priced dinner for a good-sized group, but Greek Town is a notable exception. Yes, the Greek places can be boisterous, but not uncomfortably noisy. (Since this is a concern, you can ask them to reserve you a table that's a bit quieter, off in a corner rather than in the middle of the hubbub.) You'll find all of them listed at www.chowhound.com/topics/119233

    The Greek places are along a few blocks of Halsted Street, 7/8 mile west of the Club Quarters, so it's a 15-20 minute walk or an easy cab ride. Club Quarters is at the south end of the Loop; you may want to check any suggestions you get on a map for distance from there.

    1. Maybe Tapas at Café Iberico? That's usually fun with a group.
      http://www.cafeiberico.com

      3 Replies
      1. re: Roger Spark

        I also was thinking about Iberico as well, but it MAY be a little on the boisterous side?

        1. re: gordeaux

          Also, there was just another recent thread where a group of the same size was not able to make a reservation in advance at Iberico -- sounds like a long wait on a Friday night would not be what your friends have in mind for the evening.

          1. re: Amata

            Yeah, I thought they took reservations for groups of 8 or more people, but apparently that doesn't apply on Friday and Saturday nights. Oh well, unless you can secure one of their private rooms, I guess Iberico is not such a good idea.

      2. I don't know if it would be over your budget, but Trattoria no. 10 is near your hotel and has a private room, I think.

        -----
        Trattoria # 10
        10 North Dearborn, Chicago, IL 60602

        1 Reply
        1. re: Amata

          Trattoria 10 mentions several private dining rooms (for 12 to 250) on their website at www.trattoria10.com but I think the price rules it out. Similarly, Atwood Cafe mentions that they can seat up to 25 in the semi-private area of their dining room (their private room is much larger) but it's not moderate in price, either. www.atwoodcafe.com Another option is Italian Village, which has three restaurants, two moderate-priced Italian options which are only so-so (and not quiet), and a wonderful fine dining restaurant, Vivere, which is on the expensive side. www.italianvillage-chicago.com All of these are just a few blocks walk from your hotel. You'll need to decide whether the convenience of a closer location outweighs the higher price (compared to Greek Town).

          Pizza is another option; Giordano's, with their double-crust "stuffed" pizza, has a location at 223 W. Jackson that's just a couple of blocks from the hotel. Also not quiet, but moderate in price. Also, it's a delicious local treat for out of towners to have real Chicago-style pizza. And affordable enough for you to spring for the cost if you like. www.giordanos.com

        2. Not exactly a chowhound haunt, but Petterino's does make an attempt at creating an old-Chicago ambience, and it's close to your hotel. Check it out:

          http://www.leye.com/lettuceplanet/

          1. I'd second (14th?) the Greek Town idea. Give Greek Islands a call, and let them know what is going on. They should have no problem finding a quiet-ish table for you.

            1. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm checking in with my friends. I didn't realize Greek Town was so close. If we do go to Greek Town, we'll go Greek Islands or Santorini. I have a fondness from my adolescence for saganaki, anything else that is a must get?

              1 Reply
              1. re: rmanna

                If your group likes garlic, scordalia is a must get -- but everyone has to eat it, otherwise whoever doesn't will be miserable.

                It's basically garlic held together with mashed potatoes just enough to be spreadable on bread.

                It is oh so good, but like I said, everyone has to try it.

                Also, at Greek Islands, my favorite is Lamb with Artichokes. Yumm.

                Thanks, now I'm hungry. :) Off to find some lunch.