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Reasonable Chicago Birthday Dinner

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Hi Chowhounds -

I'm looking for a reasonably priced place to have a birthday dinner for my friend's 28th birthday. We will probably be a group of 6 - 8 ppl and want to keep the location south of Irving Park Rd, west of Western, and north of Roosevelt if possible. Mexican food and sushi are out. Her favorite restaurant in the city is Aigre Doux, but that's out of our price range. We'd like to keep it around $40 - $50/person or lower. BYOB is a plus, but not necessary. Thanks!

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  1. Assuming that you meant east of Western (west of Western is significantly more limiting), some good options are:

    - Osteria Via Stato - good Italian food, fun atmosphere, lots of big tables for groups. They have a $35/person option where they serve family style appetizers and pastas and then each person gets to choose an entree.
    - Mambo Grill - Latin food, great drinks, fun (but loud) atmosphere. Entree prices are mostly in the teens, with some in the twenties.
    - Greektown - there many restaurants in Greektown that would fit your budget and are group-friendly. My favorite is Parthenon.

    1. For west of Western, I'd think about Lula cafe. Too bad Mexican is out. Sol de Mexico, and Fonda del Mar would be spots I'd highly recommend for some seriously good upscale Mexican food. Think lamb, ostrich, and fish instead of cheese enchiladas, and guacamole.
      How about Thai food right on IPR and Western:
      Sticky Rice:
      4018 N. Western Avenue

      Wilson and Kedzie for a great Mid eastern Place?
      Semiramis
      4639 N Kedzie
      Chicago, IL 60625

      Old, old school Italian at Sabatinos:
      Sabatino's Restaurant and Lounge
      4441 W. Irving Park Rd.
      Chicago, Illinois
      Just some quick thoughts.

      1. Did you mean east of Western, including the downtown areas? Or west of Western (the west and northwest side)?

        To meet your budget, you're looking for a place with entrees in the teens, no higher. (Lula won't qualify; its entrees are in the mid-twenties.) Ethnic cuisine (and Italian, which you may or may not consider ethnic) will be more likely to meet your budget.

        If you meant east of Western, SuzMiCo's suggestion of Greek Town is a great one; see www.chowhound.com/topics/119233 for specific recommendations. You also might consider one of the less expensive Italian places like Coco Pazzo Cafe ( www.cocopazzocafe.com ). Another option is Sayat Nova for Armenian. www.sayatnovachicago.com Or, you could go to a small plates / tapas place like Quartino ( www.quartinochicago.com ) or Cafe Iberico ( www.cafeiberico.com ).

        1. Another west of Western place is Bon Soiree (I haven't been but you can find good reviews of it on lthforum.com). It's BYOB and I think someone who likes Aigre Doux might like this place too.

          2728 W Armitage
          http://bon-soiree.com/

          1. Check out Terragusto (particularly their 3-course special for $37):

            http://terragustocafe.com/

            1. My apologies - I meant East of Western. Still - all of these are great ideas! She's been wanting to try Bon Soiree and Terragusto's prix fixe option looks promising. Thanks to all! (And, keep the replies coming if you have more suggestions now that I've corrected myself.)

              1. Think Cafe, www.think-cafe.com, at 2235 N. Western is very good and BYOB. I also really like doing Spanish tapas for group dinners and Cafe Iberico on LaSalle (near Ontario) is great! If you were willing to go further North, I would highly recommend Caro Mio, www.caromiochicago.com at 1827 W. Wilson. They have amazing Italian food and are BYOB with no corkage fee. One of our favorite restaurants in the city!