restaurant - good for groups?
My friends and I will be in Chicago and we'd love a great restaurant recommendation for a sat night. We're from NYC, so it would be great if it serves food we can't get in NY. Obviously great food is first priority, scene/ambiance not very important. There will probably be 8 of us. $50-60/head budget (incl. alcohol)
Good Mexican/Latin food is something that we see a lot in Chicago, so Carnivale could be a good fit. Its my old standy recommendation for groups.
Given the size of the group, you could also try some other options - Frontera or Zocalo are good Mexican options if you want something a little more focused than Carnivale's pan-Latin menu. I'd also recommend Salpicon, but it might be tough to keep that within your budget.
If you are a little more adventurous and real foodie types, there are also some outstanding Thai places farther north in the city. I would highly recommend Spoon Thai. You would probalby be best off hopping on the Brown line North to the Western Ave. El stop. Its half a block south of there. Very authentic. Many many Thai specialties that you do not normally see. A perfect place to order a dozen dishes for everyone to share. Note that its BYO, so you can bring your own drinks. Last time we went, we left stuffed for $35 each, not including wine.
For Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, you'll find plenty of recommendations in these two topics, and the big chains have multiple locations in the downtown area:
I would also suggest considering one of the Greek restaurants in Greek Town, just west of the Loop:
There are lots of great contemporary American restaurants, but most of them will be tough within the budget you mention; they're typically in the $80-120 range per person including tax, tip, and alcohol.