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Nov 20, 2013 06:28 PM

Birthday party at a restaurant

Anyone have any suggestions on a restaurant for my wife's 40th birthday party in Chicago? Total number of people would be 15 or so. Was looking for an upscale place with good food and cocktails that is lively. Was considering the Pump Room or Girl and the Goat or Boarding House. Have only been to Pump Room. Thought about Aviary but sounds like not much food there. Thanks

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  1. Maybe a little more information would be useful.
    When is the birthday? (GATG takes reservations months in advance)?

    What does "upscale" mean to you? Is it related to budget? If it is, what is the budget?

    Or is it atmosphere? The Pump Room is significantly different in atmosphere than GATG for example.

    Do you have a preference for excellent food or great cocktails or a particular kind of ambiance?

    And is there any special kind of food you are looking for: a classical fancy dinner for example or small plates that can be shared or a particular cuisine?

    2 Replies
    1. re: chicgail

      My wife and I do enjoy "fine dining" like Grace, but that's not the vibe I'm looking for for this party. Her birthday isn't til May. I guess I'm not looking for an awe inspiring culinary experience as much as good food, drinks and fun. She enjoys martinis. I think the dining room at Pump Room would be a little too loud. There are gonna be 7 or 8 couples so I'd like to be able to converse some but would like some music/background noise too. Thanks for responding

      1. re: BSipe

        I would second the Mercat recommendation. Been to two big parties there lately: a dinner and a brunch both of which were great food/drink and lots of fun.

        My only caveat was to be sure of what you are ordering. There are two tasting menus, different prices and our waiter suggested "the tasting menu" without noting that there were two and the two prices. We were kind of shocked at the final bill. Partly our fault for not asking; partly his for skipping over the difference. They did make good and partially adjusted the bill.

        There's also Sable that is a fabulous bar (the drink menu has chapters!) and has really good and often creative bar food (e.g. good sliders, truffled deviled eggs). I'm actually a bigger fan of the bar than the food, but it is fun place to be.

    2. We did a birthday party for a group that size at Mercat a la Planxa which turned out great. We had the Chef's tasting which was a huge amount of food, the drinks were great and it's a nice atmosphere. We eat there 2-3 times a year and always enjoy the meal.