Work dinner in downtown Chicago
I need recommendations for a nice restaurant near the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago - this is for week of April 14th. There will be between 15-20 people attending - so a place that takes reservations.We are coming from New York City. Price is no issue. Something nice, elegant with a decent variety of options and a nice bar that high-level executives can enjoy. Couple of examples of restaurants we went to recently - Smith & Wollensky's, Capital Grill, Rainbow Room, Cite, Rosa Mexicano, Pampano, Fulvios and Nicky Marina's in Florida.
I appreciate the help!
Brasserie Ruhlmann has a private dining room that accommodated a business dinner I attended quite nicely. There were maybe 24 people in our group, and we were set up with our own bartender. I believe I made a poor choice in ordering my entree, but most people seemed to enjoy what they ate.
While I haven't eaten at Naha, Blackbird, or Onesixtyblue with large parties, I would agree that these are great recommendations based on the quality of food and appropriate atmosphere for an elegant business dinner.
I would tend to agree that Japonais, while a fun option for drinks out with friends, is a scene, and if I were to plan a dinner for a group of high-level execs, I would choose something different.
Given the number of people, I strongly suggest that you make your arrangements at a place that (a) can give you a private dining room, and (b) is within walking distance. 15-20 people piling into cabs is a mess, and shouldn't be necessary in that area.
You might want to call the concierge desk at the Hyatt Regency (312 565 1234) and see what they recommend; not only are they familiar with the area, but they can often assist in getting reservations and putting you in touch with the appropriate staff at whatever restaurant you choose.
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I totally forgot my own neighborhood--agreed about Ruhlmann. I also really like Japonais on W Chicago (across the street from the brasserie). Japonais has a great bar on the lower level that opens to the Chicago river if it's nice outside. Ask to sit on the Green Room side for dinner, it's more fun. You can always combine both Ruhlmann and Japonais and then walk two blocks to the Green Door Tavern on Orleans and Erie for a true old-school chicago bar. Another neighborhood (River North) great for cocktails is Nacional 27 on Huron just across Orleans from Green Door. All of this is about a 10 minute cab (20-25 minute walk) from the Hyatt.
If they're considering Capital Grill, Rainbow Room, etc as appropriate, they want something relatively quiet and dignified. Japonais is a scene and, IMHO, not appropriate for a business dinner.
I would agree with Joe's and One Sixty Blue, but also Naha, Nomi and Blackbird. And if the familiar is useful, we do have a Capital Grill a short cab ride from the Hyatt, as well as a Smith & Wollinsky (not recommended).
There is not really much great dining within a 5 minute walk of Hyatt, but there is within a 15 minute walk or a 5 minute cab.
My favorites in the casual fine dining category (white table cloth but no jacket required): Naha (New American/Mediteranean), Topolobambo (Gourment Mexican), One Sixty Blue (this is definitely a cab, but worth it) & there's a great wine bar across the street, Joe's Steak and Seafood (Florida stone crab and Chicago steaks).