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Chicago Kosher Rehearsal Dinner

t
Thissteaks4you Dec 22, 2007 09:37 AM

So, I'm looking for a venue for a kosher rehearsal dinner in the Chicago area -- with a strong preference for downtown.

I know there are virtually no kosher restaurants in the area and am aware of the Spertus Museum. Any other venue/catering suggestions, though, would be most welcome, from the quirky (is there a vegetarian Indian restaurant certified as kosher?) to the more standard (a good hall with good kosher options). The key would be to keep costs relatively reasonable for 150-200 people, and to make it have as few moving parts as possible (i.e. it would be best if the venue has a relationship with a caterer, rather than having to assemble the whole party from scratch, but we're open to that if it would make the difference). Again, strong preference for downtown.

I've also posted this on the kosher board, but thought I should go to the Chicago area experts.

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  1. stellamystar RE: Thissteaks4you Dec 22, 2007 09:19 PM

    Danzingers Catering. Not the cheapest, but a great reputation. They go anywhere and will provide it all. They can also suggest places with whom they work.

    Most hotels or in-house halls with charge you a per person fee if you don't use their catering and booze. So, call Danzingers and see what they would recommend. I think they may have a hall, but not sure.

    1 Reply
    1. re: stellamystar
      t
      Thissteaks4you RE: stellamystar Dec 23, 2007 09:55 AM

      Thanks! We are aware of Danzinger's (and they are in the running for the wedding itself), but ideally we'd like a different, less expensive, perhaps quirkier option for the rehearsal dinner.

    2. a
      ah81 RE: Thissteaks4you Dec 25, 2007 08:43 AM

      You'd have to find a location, but Kosher Gourmet (Skokie) has very good catering and will work with you to develop a menu.

      Spertus restaurant is run by Wolfgang Puck, so I'm sure it would be good, but I'd guess not inexpensive. There is no indian Kosher restaruant in Chicago.

      1. r
        rorkesdrift RE: Thissteaks4you Jan 2, 2008 04:30 AM

        I don't want to hijack this thread but why does Danzinger get so much business. I moved to the Chicago area about 2 years ago and have been to many events where Danzinger was the caterer. The food has never been anything but average, the cost is high and they are not creative or easy to work with. Why do they get such rave reviews? And why is there so little competition?

        2 Replies
        1. re: rorkesdrift
          stellamystar RE: rorkesdrift Jan 2, 2008 10:27 AM

          They have partnered with many of the hotels & halls in Chicago & burbs as the hotels exclusive Kosher caterer. From a hotel perspective, they were easy to work with and willing to train the staff on kosher practices, etc. (I used to work at a large hotel in the area).

          I also wonder "who else" is in the business. Nobody comes knocking at the door!

          1. re: stellamystar
            weinstein5 RE: stellamystar Jan 5, 2008 08:13 PM

            There are a few others - Kosher Gourmet, Kirshner, Yitzy's, Pa' Nosh and with the Sperus Cade there is now Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering available - but Danzinger is still the big playe rin the market - check out http://www.juf.org/guide/category.asp... for a fairly comprehensive list -

        2. m
          mailsf RE: Thissteaks4you Jan 5, 2008 07:43 PM

          A new kosher restaurant just opened up in the west loop. MetroKlub is located in the Crowne Plaza hotel at 733 W. Madison.

          I was taken there for my goodbye lunch when I left my position as a Jewish organization. My sandwich didn't blow my mind, but it was well executed. The fries were great. There were some nice-sounding entrees as well, but my party all stuck with sandwiches and salads.

          The one catch is that I'm sort of remembering that they're only open for lunch... perhaps for a private party they'd make special arrangements? After all, they're not prohibitively expensive, and they're downtown. I recall there being a separate room from the main diningroom as well.

          Hyatt Regency, right on the river, has the capacity to do very nice kosher meals in some pretty elegant rooms. Same with the Hilton on S. Michigan. The aforementioned Jewish organization holds many events at both places.

          MetroKlub
          733 W. Madison (in the Crowne Plaza Hotel)
          (312) 602-2104

          1. m
            mailsf RE: Thissteaks4you Jan 5, 2008 07:48 PM

            Now that I think of it, the Hyatt Regency (right on the Chicago River) and the Hilton on S. Michigan Ave. both have the capacity to do very nice kosher dinners, and they have gorgeous rooms as well. The Jewish org I mentioned in my other posts holds lunches and dinners, frequently at both locations. They've got caterers they work with and do a pretty stellar job. All my experiences there have been with meat meals.

            1. a
              Anne Bernstein RE: Thissteaks4you Jan 7, 2008 07:15 AM

              The Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel @ 151 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago Ill. 60601 located east of Michigan Avenue's Magnificient Mile has our own on-site Glatt Kosher (pareve) Kitchen and bake shop under the supervision of the Chicago Rabbinical Council. Our culinary staff is second to none and produce some of the finest and creative kosher cuisine.
              Please contact my office directly to further discuss your plans.

              abernste@hyatt.com

              1 Reply
              1. re: Anne Bernstein
                t
                Thissteaks4you RE: Anne Bernstein Jan 8, 2008 11:55 AM

                Thanks for the wonderful helpful advice. Now, we have a bunch of leads to chase down! (though since nothing is set, if more come to mind, please post, if for nothing else, then for posterity)

              2. Chew on That RE: Thissteaks4you Jan 7, 2008 10:13 AM

                I could have sworn this restaurant was actually downtown but after looking it up, I see it's in Skokie. Still might be worth a try though...

                It's called Shallots Bistro, here's the Zagat review with the address and phone number: http://www.zagat.com/verticals/Proper...

                I went there many years ago and loved it - very high quality food, definitely made for kosher special occasions!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chew on That
                  weinstein5 RE: Chew on That Jan 7, 2008 11:01 AM

                  It was originally in th eLIncoln Park neighborhood of Chicgao - just north of the loop - moved to skokie about 4-5 years ago - still excellent - http://www.shallotsbistro.com/

                2. s
                  SuzMiCo RE: Thissteaks4you Jan 7, 2008 11:03 AM

                  Shallots used to be in the city, but they moved a few years ago.

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