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Dinner for 17 teachers in Chicago?

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I am looking for a restaurant for a Wednesday night dinner for 17 teachers. We have one vegan in the crowd, and all are enthusiastic diners! Cafe 28 says they could accomodate us. Good idea? Other suggestions?

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Cafe 28
1800 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60613

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  1. I would try to find a place which can give you a private room or area, and convenient to where you are located, which you don't state. If you can find a place within a few blocks of where you'll already be, that will save you the headache of having to transport all of you from one place to another.

    Cafe 28 is a Cuban restaurant in the Ravenswood neighborhood. I've been there for Sunday brunch and it was good. IIRC they have more than one dining room/area, or at least the room(s) can be easily sectioned off so you're away from other tables. Will you be located nearby?

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    Cafe 28
    1800 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60613

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      We are staying at the Seneca at 200 Chestnut.

      1. re: nrw

        Well, Cafe 28 is not at all convenient then. And if you don't have cars, catching or calling cabs (4?) around Cafe 28 for your return could be problematic, especially if the weather isn't nice. But there are many, many restaurants within a short walk of your hotel. Some of them have private dining rooms; others can accommodate you with an area of your own.

        Balsan, in the Elysian Hotel, is a couple blocks away, and has a private room that holds 36; cuisine is Mediterranean-influenced. Coco Pazzo Cafe is a few blocks away and has a raised alcove that holds up to 25; food is Italian. Le Colonial is a few blocks away in a converted townhouse and has the Terrace which holds up to 24; food is Vietnamese. Sable is slightly further so it would be a longish walk; it has a private dining room that's perfect for 17; food is contemporary American with half portions available. These are shown on the map to the right; if you zoom in on the area around the hotel, you can see how close they are.

        I've been to all of the above places but not their private dining rooms; I got their private room info from Opentable.com You'll want to check with them about the arrangements.

        Another possibility is to call the concierge at the Seneca to ask for recommendations. They will undoubtedly be familiar with what's close by and good and able to accommodate a group your size, and can assist in making your arrangements.

        The good news is, having this on a weeknight means that it should be easier to reserve a private dining room without an exorbitant minimum (even if the room is designed to hold groups larger than yours).

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        Le Colonial
        937 Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611

        Coco Pazzo Cafe
        636 N St Clair, Chicago, IL 60611

        Cafe 28
        1800 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60613

        Sable Kitchen & Bar
        505 North State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

        Balsan
        11 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60610

    2. Cafe 28 is very good and I would totally recommend it...... if you weren't staying at the Seneca. Granted it is very close to the Brown Line if you wanted to do that on the way there but it will be a bit like herding cats to get everyone on the el and trying to find cabs on the way back could be problematic. Also the weather is predicted to be showery with falling temps which means cabs will be extra tricky in that area. I do really, really like Cafe 28 and am in full support of going to a neighborhood spot but it will be up to your group to decide if it is worth the schelp.

      Nsxtasy threw out some great ideas. I also checked Opentable.com and Quartino's has room for 17 people. That is small plate Italian and I think the vegan could be accommodated. You may also want to check out Greektown as they are used to having larger groups. The vegan may be the wild card in that decision though. Greektown isn't walking distance from the Seneca but it is easy to grab cabs from the hotel to Greektown and back.

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      Quartino
      626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

      Cafe 28
      1800 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60613

      1 Reply
      1. re: lbs

        I think Quartino is another great recommendation...

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        Quartino
        626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

      2. Thanks everyone! This has been very, very helpful. I am going to try changing our plans to one of the places you have recommended close by.

        1. This was a terrific place and perfect for a large group. If I lived in Chicago, I think I would be a regular. The food was very good, the wine was good and reasonably priced. The environment is great - the restaurant has a very warm and casual feel. The service was excellent - the wait staff was attentive, helpful, and fast, and they helped us figure out our order. They gave our group of 18 a private space that was perfect, and the small plates menu made the whole experience celebratory and satisfying. Highly recommended. I thought the Veal Osso Bucco and the Quattro Stagioni pizza were particularly noteworthy, as was the Salumeria Tasting! All in all, a great place and very good restaurant. Thanks for the recommendation.

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          Quartino
          626 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

          1 Reply
          1. re: nrw

            Thank you for the follow up! Glad you liked the place and had a good time