Looking to hold a business meeting, dinner, or after-hours reception in one of Chicago’s many private dining rooms? We’ve rounded up some of the best, from spaces in a new Italian-Croatian restaurant run by a Top Chef winner to a Michelin-star brewery to a festive Mexican spot helmed by celebrity chef Rick Bayless.
Spiaggia alum and Top Chef winner Joe Flamm opened his debut restaurant, Rose Mary, in the West Loop’s hot Fulton Market. Named for Flamm’s grandmothers, Rose Mary blends rustic Italian cuisine with bold Croatian flavors (think handmade pasta and fresh-caught seafood). Time Out ranked Rose Mary second on its 2021 list of the 21 Best New Restaurants in the World. Rose Mary can accommodate 44 seated guests in its private dining room, accented with bright blonde wood and greenery. Audio/visual equipment is available upon request.
At the South Loop’s Moody Tongue, the partnership of brewmaster Jared Rouben and award-winning chef Jared Wentworth has resulted in the only Michelin-starred brewery in the world. Thoughtful, flavor-forward beers are paired with equally creative dishes at this brewery with a mid-century modern vibe that’s within walking distance of McCormick Place. Three venues are available for seated private events of up to 160 people. The upscale, 28-seat The Dining Room offers a seasonal tasting menu. The 2,500-square-foot Brewery Floor, located within Moody Tongue’s brewery facility, is flanked by racks of whiskey and wine barrels. And The Bar, a comfy tasting room with a fireplace and library of historic brewing books, offers sips of limited-release and perennial beers.
Husband-and-wife team Thai and Danielle Dang operate HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen in Pilsen, a vibrant neighborhood known for its colorful street art, hip galleries, and family-run restaurants. HaiSous celebrates different regions and cultural influences within Vietnamese cuisine, with authentic recipes based on Thai’s childhood memories of growing up in Vietnam. Buy out the Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant for a seated banquet accommodating 100 or a reception for 125 people. Or host an intimate private dinner for 30 seated guests at the Dang’s next-door cafe, Dang Good Wings.
River North is home to the newest outpost of Jaleo, owned by renowned Spanish chef and global activist José Andrés. The sprawling, 10,000-square-foot restaurant celebrates the regional cuisines of Spain, serving traditional tapas, tableside paella, Spanish wines and sherries, and sangria. Jaleo offers several private spaces, including the intimate La Esquinita for 10 seated guests, speakeasy-style basement bar Pigtail (accommodating 33 seated or 40 for a reception), and Anda Jaleo!, a partial buyout for 120 seated or 180 reception-style. Special menus can be customized for private parties.
La Vista is a festive private party room located above Frontera Grill, the award-winning Mexican restaurant owned by celebrity chef Rick Bayless. Perfect for anything from a business meeting to an after-hours reception, the second-floor La Vista seats 32 (or 50 reception-style) in an airy space strung with lights and surrounded by windows overlooking River North. Food carts serve Mexican street fare like tacos and churros. Plus, La Vista offers a well-stocked tequila and mezcal bar. Or opt for The Morales Room, filled with the art of Mexican master Rodolfo Morales, which can accommodate 40 seated diners or 60 for a cocktail reception.
Plan a meeting or elegant dinner at The Chicago Firehouse Restaurant, located in a landmark 1900s fire station in the South Loop. The old-school steakhouse offers four private spaces that ooze vintage Chicago glamour. The Palmer Parlor (64 seated/100 cocktail) features reclaimed hardwood floors and large windows overlooking Michigan Avenue. The Kimball Parlor (48 seated/75 cocktail) has a cozy fireplace and rich walnut walls. The Mayor’s Room (18 seated/25 cocktail) is a boardroom with exposed brick walls and a 46-inch TV for business presentations. The second-floor Veranda (40 seated/70 cocktail) is ideal for outdoor, warm-weather gatherings.
A Chicago staple, Kroll’s South Loop is a classic neighborhood bar and grill located within walking distance of McCormick Place. Plan a casual event with Kroll’s menu of American-style comfort foods that include charcoal-grilled burgers, pizzas, and sandwiches. The sports-themed restaurant also features more than 20 flat-screen TVs and four large projector screens. Kroll’s bar and dining room can accommodate private groups as small as 15 or as large as 270, with a variety of food and drink packages available.