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Gold Coast restaurant for a group?

k
KarenM Jul 26, 2011 10:42 AM

I am not sure what the price range is yet, but I am looking for a fun place for a group of 40 something ladies (some of us married, some of us cougars) who haven't seen one another in a long, long, long time (they are staying close to the Omni hotel - 676 Michigan).

These are my ideas so far:

Gibson's
Hugo's
Quartino
Rosebud on Rush
Table 52

What do you think? As I said - not sure about price ranges, but we do want to catch up, laugh and people watch! Thanks!

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Quartino
626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

Rosebud on Rush
720 N. Rush St., Chicago, IL 60611

Gold Coast Cafe
1112 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610

  1. m
    ms. mika Jul 26, 2011 12:45 PM

    Quartino is fun, but it's very casual and there's lots of big groups- and usually bachelorette parties- so that might be what you like if you want some people watching. I would much rather go to Hugo's for the food and there's always good people watching there too. It will be much more expensive though than Quartino- so once you figure out your budget, that might help.
    If you're willing to go into River North, you'll have some other choices too. If you like sushi/asian, I'd suggest Sunda or if you like seafood- GT Fish and Oyster. Both small plates, so fun for a group to try lots of things and share, and lively fun atmospheres.

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    Quartino
    626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

    1 Reply
    1. re: ms. mika
      nsxtasy Jul 26, 2011 12:50 PM

      Sable would be another great choice. A couple blocks from your hotel, delicious (and inexpensive) contemporary American / small plates cuisine, and amazing artisanal cocktails. And a lifely fun atmosphere where you could laugh, people-watch, etc. www.sablechicago.com

    2. nsxtasy Jul 26, 2011 11:07 AM

      How big a group? The kind of place for a group of four people is very different from for a group of forty.

      4 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy
        k
        KarenM Jul 26, 2011 11:28 AM

        Thanks - good point - I would say 8.

        1. re: KarenM
          nsxtasy Jul 26, 2011 11:55 AM

          Thanks. I guess it all depends on what you're looking for. For example, Gibson's is rather loud and bustling, and the atmosphere there is sort of like a boisterous men's club. OT1H it might be difficult to hear each other, but OTOH it's a good place for people watching, whether it's to see the movers and the shakers, or people on dates (one Chowhounder says she always sees older men with younger women there, LOL!). By contrast, Hugo's is not so much of a "see and be seen" place, but it would be somewhat easier to hear each other, at least. (Hugo's and Gibson's are co-owned, right next door to each other, and share the same kitchen.) Quartino is a very lively place, the kind of place where you can laugh and not stand out. I have not been to Table Fifty-Two, but my impression is that it has more of an upscale feel to it, not that it's quiet, but it's not so lively/noisy. (Anyone who's been there, please jump in and confirm, one way or the other.) For what you say you're looking for, I'm going to guess that Quartino might be a good choice.

          A few other places that come to mind are Carnivale and Nacional 27, both with Latin fusion cuisine, and Mercat a la Planxa, for tapas. The reason I mention these last three places is because they have a very festive, nightclub-ish atmosphere, with one large main dining room with high ceilings where you can see lots of people across the room, so they're good places for people watching, laughing, etc., rather than the connected series of smaller rooms the way Gibson's and Hugo's are laid out. Carnivale and Mercat are a bit over a mile from the hotel, so they're less convenient than the others; Nacional 27 is maybe a ten-minute walk.

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          Quartino
          626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

          Nacional 27
          325 W. Huron, Chicago, IL 60610

          Carnivale
          702 West Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60661

          1. re: nsxtasy
            a
            aburkavage Jul 26, 2011 12:06 PM

            Nsxtasy, I agree with you on this one! I think Quartino would be a nice choice if the OP wanted to stay in the heart of the Gold Coast. The food is generally pretty good and conducive to sharing for a larger group. In addition, you would have a very hard time standing out in Quartino as it tends to be crowded and boisterous.

            Mercat is also an excellent choice if traveling a little ways down Michigan Ave. is feasible. The dining room there is spectacular with large windows that overlook Grant Park in one direction and a large, exposed kitchen in the other.

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            Quartino
            626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

            1. re: nsxtasy
              l
              lbs Jul 26, 2011 12:08 PM

              Just a quick reply since Nsxtasy is spot on but Table 52 is more intimate and I wouldn't go there with a group of 8. I went with a group of 4 and we were the biggest group there. I like Quartino - went 2 years ago with a bachlorette party (non-rowdy but fun) of 8 people and it fit the bill perfectly. I would also recommend Vermillion since they have a large table that fits 8 and you can hear every one from it.

              -----
              Quartino
              626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

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