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Dinner for a group?

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Hi! I'm looking for a place to take a group of about 10 people - aged 22-30 - for a reunion-type dinner on Saturday night. I want us to be able to talk and enjoy the food and atmosphere obviously, but I'm also concerned about price. None of us are really "foodies", and we are recent graduates with no money so a place that keeps the majority of entrees under $25 would be ideal. I'm not worried about the location as much - we are all coming from different areas so no one area is really more convenient than another, though if you would like to narrow it down the north side/wrigleyville is probably where most of the group is closest to. I would prefer Italian but at this point I'm open to any type of cuisine (though I would prefer to try and stay away from the small plates trend if possible because I don't know if we are all close enough to share food haha).

I have looked for hours trying to find some place with decent reviews, that isn't $30+/entree nor a Portillo's...
Thanks so much!! I will be forever grateful if I can get a reservation made tonight!

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  1. Here are two possibilities, both on the north side:

    Anteprima in Andersonville, for Italian - www.anteprimachicago.net

    Deleece in Lakeview, for contemporary American - www.deleece.com

    Both feature outstanding food AND affordable prices (entrees around $20). These are two of my favorites, places I return to again and again because they are so consistently great and they don't break the bank.

    1. In Andersonville, I really like Calo's. The pastas are well made and I love their thin crust pizza (I always order it 'well done'). I did grow up eating there so some bias but it is really solid.

      http://www.calorestaurant.com/index.html

      Cara Mio is BYOB which would help with costs. I haven't been in a year or so but they recently expanded. The home-made pastas are good.

      http://www.caromiochicago.com/

      Anna Maria Pasteria is where we go for family celebrations (10 of us in the immediate family with spouses/kids) since they have a back room with a long table. We never feel like we are disturbing other patrons that way. Their specials are usually spot on and delicious.

      http://www.annamariapasteria.com/