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Restaurant to celebrate after getting married at City Hall

My fiance and I live in Chicago and are getting married at City Hall on a Monday in May. We're looking for a restaurant for having a celebratory dinner that evening with both sets of our parents, 6 people total. Our parents are sometimes hesitant about trying new kinds of food, and can perceive artfully prepared dishes as "small". Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Well, because we're not having a wedding reception for 100 people, we feel like we can splurge on a very nice meal for our small party. But, we would probably cap it at about $150/person, preferably including a few bottles of wine for the table (his parents don't drink).

    2. I went to a wedding celebration (after a city hall wedding) at Farallon, near Union Square. Seafood--not to exotic but fantastic.

      Also, you might try Fifth Floor (near Moscone Center). They might have a private room. Again, delicious food that they will recognize.

      Jardiniere (Grove Street) might be nice. Not to far--but definitely an atmosphere to celebrate. Very accessible food, excellently done.

      Congratulations! Good luck!

      1. I had a similar wedding situation (just 6 people after city hall, similar price range) last year and went to Absinthe. Book it ahead of time and mention in the reservation that it's for a wedding so you'd like to be in the back dining room (quieter) - they will treat you well!

        Absinthe has French-American food in good portions, great desserts and fantastic cocktails (as well as wine selection). I think we came out about $100/person. Then it might be cute to walk/drive by City Hall when dinner is over and see it lit up :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: bobabear

          I second Absinthe. When I read the OP's description, it sounds totally what they're looking for in terms of price, familiarity of food (it's a bistro), and the private dining room would be perfect. It's also very walkable from City Hall.

          As for the lower Nob Hill area, I think that's a bit harder just because there's a lot of busy Italian restaurants but none that would provide that intimacy and privacy that I can think of off the top of my head.

        2. There are too many places that qualify without more information about what you like. Do you mention City Hall because you want it close by?

          Within walking distance of city hall are Zuni and Absinthe both of which would work well for you as their presentation/style tend to be more "classic". Also within walking distance is Bar Jules (although the space is pretty small you can call for a reservation). All of these choices should fit comfortably in your price range .

          4 Replies
          1. re: boris_qd

            Yeah, I'm a bit confused by the City Hall reference and dinner. At the latest you would be married at 5pm, but I'm guessing it will be earilier in the day. Do you want the City Hall area? Are you staying in that area? Otherwise, you could open yourself up to more options.

            Farralon is not near city hall, but union sqare and from the description of your parents, I think they would be unhappy there.

            1. re: rworange

              I mention City Hall mostly as a way of setting the scene, I apologize if that was misleading. We are staying in Lower Nob Hill, so it might be easiest to eat in that area, but we're willing to take cabs! We'd really like to find a place that's special and befitting of a celebration, but one where our parents won't feel uncomfortable (and we won't have to hear them complain afterwards about needing a hamburger from McDonalds). :)

              1. re: rachelellen

                One place I've never been but after reading so much about it on the board seems like it might fit the bill ... Acquerello. Maybe other hounds might comment.
                http://www.acquerello.com/

                1. re: rworange

                  Acquerello's the kind of place where "can perceive artfully prepared dishes as 'small'" might be an issue.

          2. We went to Paul K when we did that. Cozy & sweet.