Birthday celebration dinner - west/near western suburbs
Looking for a festive and somewhat casual place for a birthday dinner for approximately 20... outdoor seating a plus. So far all I can think of is Emilio's in Westchester (which is a great place, but I need to present other options)!
Yesterday I had lunch at Meson Sabika in Naperville, and this would seem to fit your needs perfectly. Like Emilio's, it's a casual tapas restaurant, but unlike Emilio's, the setting and atmosphere are absolutely stunning. Meson Sabika's main dining rooms are in a lovely restored mansion that was originally built in 1847 (and no, that is not a misprint). They have a huge outdoor patio next to that building, where I was seated for a wonderful lunch yesterday. They also have a large, new building that they use for private parties (like weddings, not for a group of 20). Check out the photos on their website at www.mesonsabika.com Oh yeah, we had a variety of tapas, and everything was excellent.
Emilio's (which is in Hillside) will also work. I like Emilio's; the food there is consistently excellent. I don't think they have outdoor seating though.
Two more options are Greek Islands in Lombard and Tuscany in Oak Brook, but neither has any outdoor seating.
Funny you should mention Meson Sabika... that was actually my first thought, but I thought Emilio's would be a better location for those coming from the northern suburbs and the city. And you're right about Emilio's being in Hillside; I've been going there for nearly 25 years... too much sangria, I guess!
Maya Del Sol - Oak Park
Any preferred cuisine?
Reza's - Oak Brook
I like to host celebration dinners with friends at cheap, byob places. I did one at Yum Thai in Forest Park. I worked out the menu / courses with the kitchen, and had plenty of off menu stuff made. Had the menus pre-printed with pictures at Walgreens, made cheap gifts for everyone with chocolates/candies, the food was fantastic, the kitchen was prepared for the group, and the sky is the limit on the booze - just a thought. I love doing byob celebration dinners at cheap spots with great food. You can go above and beyond and still pay far, far, less than a full service joint. Gotta have a little time to set this kinda stuff up, but it's pretty easy.
I think you & I have talked about our mutual love of Yum Thai in the past:)! It just so happens to be our traditional 'birthday' dinner choice for years.... if one of our birthdays falls on a Monday, only then to we go to Plan B! If it were up to me, your suggestion would be perfect!
Unfortunately, the person who's birthday we are planning is a bit different. Does not feel comfortable doing byob.... I've never been able to figure that one out! And also not nearly as adventurous with food as we are.
Reza's could work, except that they don't have outdoor seating, although neither does Yum Thai.