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Jan 17, 2008 10:26 AM

Corporate Event on a Budget

Hey everyone,

I'm a foodie, but I'm trying to plan an outing for my company and the budget is TIGHT. We're looking to do a boat tour late in the evening (from North Pier), and an early dinner before. I've gotten quotes from DelaCosta and Park Grill, but both are a little high. Not sure where else to go around there which is solidly good, but also less pricy. Please help!


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  1. How much are you looking to spend per person and how many people? If Greektown is not too far, maybe that's the direction you should . . . perhaps Greek Islands. If you need to be very close to North Pier, I've heard decent things about the Italian restaurant Volare, but I have not been there myself. P.J. Clarke's is also right there, but I'm not at all impressed with the food.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BRB

      I agree that Greektown is a great alternative. If you are doing this in January, the Parthenon Restaurant in Greektown offers its family-style dinner for $12.95 per person and it's a lot of food for the price. Even for dinner after January, it's a good choice at $19.99 per person: saganaki, taramosalata, gyros, Greek salad, domates (stuffed grape leaves), lamb/chicken, potatoes, pastitsio, etc. and dessert. We have a big family dinner event there every January and all are well-fed, happy, and friendly!

      1. re: CJT

        Greektown is a great idea, but then the cost of cabs all that way would take away from the cost of food. I think, per person, we could stand to spend $55, but that would need to include drinks and tip...

    2. The boat tour that you are doing, it is a private boat tour? Have you asked the touring company if you would be allowed to bring drinks or appetizers on board? If you were able to do so, I would ask them for recommendations from a catering company and then work with the caterer to stay within your budget.

      I know its not dinner before, but you could alter the outing into a cocktail/coffee and dessert party (if its late in the evening) or heavy appetizers and drinks.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. Again, thanks so much for all of the input guys! Here's what I'm thinking about dining on the boat - we're looking to do a boat trip on a Wed night so we can enjoy the fireworks, and those don't start until 9 or 9:30. We are out of work at about 5:30, and I just can't imagine making people stay on a boat for that long, so dinner on board is out (certainly we'll have drinks on board, just after dinner!)

          We'll have about 20 to 25 people. Again, THANK YOU, and any additional thoughts are great!!

          1. re: lgolanty

            Emilios Tapas (walking distance from Navy Pier/fireworks) or Cafe Iberico for Tapas is always fun and more affordable. You can stick with wine, sangria, and beer to keep within the budget.
            Greektown is a great choice as well.

            1. re: lgolanty

              Did you check and see what time the boat leaves? I take it that your event is starts after May 15th (boating season). Sometimes these boat tours will depart around 7 to ensure that they have a great spot on the Lake.

              Just trying to kick around a timeline with you. You get out at 5:30, will get to a place at what 6? Then xxx time for dinner and then xxx time to get to the boat.

              Just because the fireworks don't start till 9 or 9:30 doesn't mean that the boat portion of your outing starts at 9 or 9:30.

              1. re: CorinneM1

                Tapas, right on, that's a bit closer to North Pier, thanks!! Yup, boat's all set, private boat leaving at 8:30, out til 10:30, so no worries there.