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Chill bar with good food for a group of 15 - Loop or River North

j
jaba Nov 2, 2011 10:28 AM

Hi all -
I'm trying to get a group of about 15 together this Sunday around 9 or 10 pm to have some drinks and food and to catch up. A decent tap selection and good food are pluses, but really the most important thing would be a place that could accommodate us, doesn't have a chain feel, and isn't too pricey (sandwiches, etc in the mid-teens).
Folks are staying at a bunch of different hotels in the Loop or River North so somewhere in those areas is ideal.
Thanks!
-jaba

  1. j
    jaba Nov 3, 2011 12:18 PM

    Excellent - thanks everyone. We decided on Quartino. The reviews on here looked mixed, but the location and price work well.
    Any recommendations on best things to get there?

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    Quartino
    626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

    2 Replies
    1. re: jaba
      f
      ferret Nov 3, 2011 12:45 PM

      Quartino is really good for bar snacking. All their dishes are small plates but they have a nice selection of cured meats, cheeses and olives in addition to the more traditional dishes.

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      Quartino
      626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

      1. re: ferret
        nsxtasy Nov 3, 2011 01:05 PM

        I agree. I didn't understand the comment about reviews on here looking mixed, as it's a very popular place that most people seem to like.

        As for what to get, when it's an actual meal, some people like to each get pizza (they're individual sized). Later at night, though, going mainly for drinks and chat like you're doing, I think you'll like the munching type stuff (the cured meats etc that ferret mentioned) - basically, the top half of their website menu (above the pizzas - see www.quartinochicago.com/lunch--amp--d... ).

    2. p
      Possumlad Nov 2, 2011 02:49 PM

      I'd highly recommend the Paramount Room. I actually hosted a similar size group there a few months back for a birthday celebration. They have a downstairs area that's great for groups. The food is also excellent for a bar (they got a Michelin Bib Gourmand nod), and the atmosphere is laid back:

      Paramount Room - 415 N Milwaukee Ave

      Location is probably best categorized as "River West," but very close to everything in the Loop and River North.

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      Paramount Room
      415 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

      2 Replies
      1. re: Possumlad
        d
        danimalarkey Nov 3, 2011 08:14 AM

        Though I walk by it all the time, I tend to forget about Paramount Room. It's a great suggestion, though, assuming they can accommodate your group with such (relatively) short notice.

        Err... just looked at their website: hours for Sundays are 11am - 10pm. It may not be the best idea, after all.

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        Paramount Room
        415 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654

        1. re: danimalarkey
          nsxtasy Nov 3, 2011 08:57 AM

          >> Err... just looked at their website: hours for Sundays are 11am - 10pm. It may not be the best idea, after all.

          Good catch. Maybe they used to be open till 11 on Sundays, because that's what it said on another website I checked. But their website does indeed say 10 (under "Amenities") which may rule it out.

          The "small plates" and pizza places I recommended above are all open till 11 or later on Sundays. (Pizano's is open later than Malnati's, and Malnati's Gold Coast is open later than Malnati's on Wells.)

      2. nsxtasy Nov 2, 2011 11:50 AM

        Quartino for Italian small plates.
        Cafe Iberico for tapas.
        Pizano's or Lou Malnati's for deep-dish pizza.

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        Pizano's Pizza & Pasta
        61 E Madison St, Chicago, IL 60603

        Pizano's Pizza & Pasta
        864 N State St, Chicago, IL 60610

        Cafe Iberico
        737 N Lasalle Drive, Chicago, IL 60654

        Quartino
        626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

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