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CHICAGO PRIVATE DINING FOR BIG & SMALL GROUPS

Chicago restaurants offer a variety of stunning spaces for group dinners of any size.

Chicago is a foodie lover’s dream, validated by none other than Bon Appétit when it named Chicago its 2017 Restaurant City of the Year. The Windy City is home to some of the finest cuisine and most cutting-edge chefs in the world. And fortunately, many of them offer private dining in equally impressive spaces. Take a look at some of the best private dining rooms in Chicago geared to both big and small groups.

BIG GROUPS

ZED451

ZED451

An upscale churrascaria, ZED451 is a modern Brazilian steakhouse known for its show of sizzling meats sliced tableside by chefs. Voted Best Private Dining Venue in Chicago by Illinois Meetings + Events magazine, ZED451 offers 18,000 square feet of private and semi-private dining space that can accommodate up to 800 guests. The restaurant also features an intimate semi-private lounge and rooftop bar offering dazzling city views. Groups can choose from plated, family-style or tableside service of the restaurant’s acclaimed fire-grilled fare that includes hand-carved rotisserie and seafood, along with seasonal salads and cheeses.

CARNIVALE

Carnivale Samba Room

This lively, global Latin-fusion restaurant was recently named one of OpenTable’s Top 100 Hot Spots in America. Bold splashes of color, dynamic artwork and festive Latin music are the perfect backdrop for the cuisine that culls the flavors of Central and South America, Cuba, Spain and the Caribbean. Standouts include Peruvian chicken and salmon in a Mexican achiote marinade with black pearl rice. Meals can be served plated, family-style or as a buffet. Carnivale has seven private dining rooms, with fun names like the Lambada Lounge and Samba Room, that can accommodate groups of various sizes, ranging from 40-500. Or do a buyout of the entire restaurant and entertain up to 1,000 guests.

NICO OSTERIA

Nico Osteria private dining

This acclaimed eatery in the Thompson Chicago boutique hotel brings fine Italian food to the Gold Coast neighborhood. Brick walls, rich leathers and plush velvets create a sumptuous setting overlooking the city. Specialty pastas include the stuffed pappardelle with milk-braised pork and black truffles. The second-floor event space is comprised of three private dining rooms with floating walls that can be combined to accommodate up to 100 guests for a seated dinner or 150 reception-style. The stunning gallery-style Reserve Bar overlooks Salone Nico and its living green wall, and can host up to 50 guests for a reception with parlor seating.

SMALL GROUPS

SUNDA CHICAGO

Sunda Chicago

This River North hot spot pairs New Asian fare with craft cocktails in chic environs accented with red travertine marble and black bamboo. Family-style dining takes advantage of Sunda’s dishes that are perfect for group sharing, such as dim sum (like oxtail pot stickers) and signature sushi, with three- or four-course options offered. A variety of both semi-private and private dining spaces are available, along with non-private communal tables in the main dining room for groups of 14-40. And don’t forget cocktails; Sunda features an extensive selection of sake, with flights available for tasting.

PRIME & PROVISIONS

Prime & Provisions Outdoor Terrace

This two-story steakhouse at the corner of La Salle Street and Wacker Drive in the Loop captures the essence of a 1920s supper club. Of course, steaks are the specialty here (notable is the dry-aged New York strip steak), but the Chicken Vesuvio Circa 1930 also gets rave reviews. Groups of 20-30 can get cozy in the semi-private Prime Nook, featuring bolstered leather banquette seating, chandeliers and full bar access. In warm-weather months, book the Outdoor Terrace overlooking the Chicago River for a sunset cocktail party or private dinner accommodating 50-75 guests. The second-floor Private Dining Room boasts skyline views, with flexible floor plans and seating for 75+.

FORMENTO’S

Formento's private dining

Inspired by classic red sauce joints of the 1950s, Formento’s is a nod to the owner’s Italian grandmother, Nonna Formento. Located on Restaurant Row in the hot West Loop district, Formento’s dishes up traditional family recipes (like Nonna’s meatballs), in addition to modern takes on classics, such as the ravioli stuffed with ricotta, summer squash and dried orange. The restaurant features two private dining rooms in its upstairs brick-walled loft space overlooking bustling Randolph Street below, accommodating groups as small as 20. Each room has its own private bar and sound system. Consider adding selections from Formento’s impressive 600-label wine list, named Best Medium-Size Wine List in the World by the internationally acclaimed British publication, The World of Fine Wine.

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