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Mar 9, 2010 10:51 AM


I am basically in search of a restaurant that has the available space to accommodate 90 guests for dinner only. June 26 is the dinner date set with there itinerary. We are willing to spend a rough estimate of about $125 /person including the fixed course meal with variety of entrees, appetizers etc. as well as wine. I am based in Toronto so I'm quite in a fix.

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  1. First of all, you will need a restaurant where you can have a private room for your group. Restaurants with a private room sufficiently large will narrow down your possibilities quite a bit.

    Chicago has a restaurant group called Lettuce Entertain You. It includes several dozen restaurants in the area, at all price points from the finest dining to cheap eats. They do an exceptional job with private parties of all sizes. They even have a website outlining what they can do. I suggest checking out their private party website at and then give them a call. Their folks can review all the options for groups your size on the date you want. They will work through your event with you to make sure that everything is covered appropriately.

    1. Even with it being a Saturday night, you can probably find a smaller restaurant and buy it out for the evening. We've done this a couple of times in that price range for work events. The last place we bought out was Otom and they did a great job.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Megan529

        You have to be REALLY careful about buying out a restaurant for a meal for a large group. I tried doing that and had a very bad experience as a result. I was planning a dinner for a group of roughly the same size as yours. I contracted for our group with an independent local restaurant (which I won't mention, it wasn't in Chicagoland anyway). What we found out the hard way was that, by choosing a restaurant with no experience serving groups of 100 or so people, they weren't prepared to cook and serve that many people ***at exactly the same time***. Even though we had ordered all the food in advance, it took them well over an hour from the time they started serving the main course to the first table, until they had completely served everyone, and there were similar delays with the other courses. It was an absolute nightmare.

        Since then - this is for a convention that meets annually - we have stuck with restaurants that already have a substantial ongoing business in private parties. We have achieved some of our best results at restaurants that have established a positive reputation among locals and have plenty of local clientele, but that also do a large business in private parties. That way, they are serving excellent, creative food and they have the experience to pull that off for a large group in the same flawless manner (having all the food ready at the exact same time) that they do for individual diners in their dining room.

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Just posted to another thread. Try Red Light in the West Loop. They were great for a private dinner up to 100. Asian fusion, but a really great private room and terrific food.

          Red Light
          820 W Randolph Steet, Chicago, IL 60607

      2. Check out Quartino's. Of the italian restuarants that can accomodate large groups, I like it the best. They make some of their own pasta, make their own lemoncello, and have $20 bottle of wine specials (also sell by the liter).

          1. re: twodales

            Maggiano's is included among the restaurants for which the private party folks at Lettuce Entertain You make arrangements (see above), even though LEY sold off the Maggiano's chain in the mid-1990s.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              Well...I did not know that. Thought they were totally separated from LEYE.

              1. re: twodales

                They are indeed still separate, from an ownership standpoint. But they have various ways in which they still cooperate. Booking private parties is one of them. Maggiano's also participates in, and honors, the LEY frequent diner and gift card programs. I don't know whether the cooperation extends to all Maggiano's nationwide, or only the ones in the Chicago area.