Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Aug 27, 2009 01:14 PM

Group Dinner Advice In Chicago Please :-)

Visiting Chicago in a few weeks and looking to take a group of 10-15 to dinner. We all love good food - and any type of food. I've been told about Frontera Grille, Charlie Trotter's but would enjoy hearing other recommendations. Will be close to the convention center but willing to venture to other parts of the city. Do not mind paying but would like to steer away from over-hyped/celebrity chef/needlessly expensive restaurants.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. By convention center do you mean McCormick Place? Please also provide more specific information. Any diet restrictions or preferences for such a large group? Do you prefer to be in a private room? Etc. Thanks.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ms. chow

      No diet restrictions- no need to be in a private room. Just looking for a great restaurant! YES...McCormick Place Convention Center.

      1. re: GoodFoodie

        Frontera would be a fun spot for a large group. Great casual Mexican. Expect a longer than usual long wait since the buzz with Mr Bayless just went up notches after Top Chef Masters. If you are staying at McCormick Place, there is really nothing good there food wise. You will need to take cabs or car since other modes of transportation are not easy either. Charlie Trotter's is one of our haute cuisine temples here. Per person, with wine, you're looking at easily $250 per person. Is that the kind of budget you're looking for? The Gage would be another good place for a crowd. It is an upscale gastropub, and there is something for everyone.

        So anyway, there's a TON more great restaurants here in Chicago.

        Charlie Trotter's
        816 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60614

        Frontera Grill
        445 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654

        The Gage
        24 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

    2. for gastronomy temples, i recommend TRU or L2O. for me Trotters qualifies as an over-hyped and overpriced celebrity restaurant, but i know many would disagree - matter of personal opinion and taste.

      for mid-range fine dining, i recommend blackbird or carnivale. they both have decent private dining spaces and great food.

      1. Thanks for all your suggestions!

        1. For restaurants near McCormick check out cuatro. Not at the level at Tru or L20, but certainly less expensive, and IMO and at a similar price and quality level with, say, Carnevale or Gage.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jbw

            I think we've determined that Carnivale, Cuatro, Spring are within the price range. Tru/L2O/Alinea/Charlie Trotter's might be more in line for 2-4 people but certainly not over 10. Thanks to all again for your suggests. I know it's not that easy to recommend a restaurant for alot of people and to please all palates. Looking forward to visiting your great city.

          2. Thanks to those of you who responded to this post. Just came back from our trip and we ended up going to Cuatro for the group dinner. Food was decent but I was not impressed with the service. They also ran out of two of the main entrees - this, knowing they had a group of 15 coming in. On our own, we tried AVEC and loved it. Food was to 'die for' - only two of us went; knew it was firs come, first serve so we arrived on the early side and got in right away. The communal seating is fun and the food was even better! We really enjoyed this city.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GoodFoodie

              Thank you for the follow up! It is always helpful to see what worked out and what didn't. Glad you enjoyd Avec. That is what I'm angling for my birthday dinner. Or Mado. Dang it!