Chicago Kosher Rehearsal Dinner
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
733 W. Madison (in the Crowne Plaza Hotel)
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.