Thursday night dinner for 8?
Coming to town from DC and looking for a dinner place where I can host 8 colleagues from work. I'd love something fit for a foodie, but not all will be up for that experience. Lively, but not too loud for us to talk. Oh, and I need something that won't bust my corporate budget. Thinking of something like The Gage, Bin 36 or Quartino. Suggestions?
I wouldn't recommend any of those three for your needs; they flunk the "not too loud for us to talk" constraint.
How about Cafe des Architectes? It's a beautiful restaurant in the front (curved glass facade) of the Sofitel. The food (contemporary American with a French accent, from Chef Martial Noguier) is definitely fit for foodies and non-foodie's alike. And it's quite reasonable; they have a 3-course prix fixe for $42 every day (in addition to a la carte offerings), and Sundays through Tuesdays they also offer their "neighborhood friends" menu, 3 courses for $29. www.cafedesarchitectes.com
Other suggestions... If Italian works for you, you might consider Cafe Spiaggia at the north end of Michigan Avenue ( www.cafespiaggia.com ), or Coco Pazzo near the Merchandise Mart or Coco Pazzo Cafe just east of Michigan Avenue. How about French bistro? There's Brasserie Jo in River North ( www.brasseriejo.com ) and Kiki's a little further northwest ( www.kikisbistro.com ).
All of the above are in the Michigan Avenue luxury hotel district. If you're coming from some other part of the city, let us know as there may be some other choices close to you.
Long overdue thanks for recommending Brasserie Jo. Hadn't been there in years, but it turned out to be an excellent choice for this dinner. All were pleased with food, wine, service and ambience. Good wine at a reasonable price and a nice selection of options for the more (and less) adventerous appetites among us. I went with the choucroute, and it was delicious. Thanks again for the recommendation.