Top 10 group dining options
I am thinking of this less as a definitive list than a starting point for what I hope is an ongoing conversation. Post right here anyplace you think others should know about it. The list below badly needs some budget options.
"Group Dining" is now a Top Level category, and I've assigned all of the Zippy Larson posts to it, so they'll be easy to find. Keep reporting back about your group-dining experiences.
Thanks again to Zippy for telling us about how she does what she does. Like I said when I introduced her, not everything she does for her groups will make sense for you. It's essential to remember that she's running a business. I think her take-away step is insisting that the person who arranges her group's meal is both present and visible when she arrives.
Aldo's Ristorante Italiano -- Private dining options run small, medium, and large. The barrel vaulted wine cellar, shown in the photograph, is a favorite of Cal Ripken. The second story Library and Milanese Room, each hand-worked by chef Aldo Vitale, are for grander entertaining. And it all won't necessarily run as expensive as you think.
The Capital Grille --The downtown steakhouse has a handful of private dining options, and the restaurant will customize menus for dinner-planners. One of Zippy Larson's go-to options, the groups she takes to Capital Grille for lunch get a choice of three entrees. Keeping things simple is never a bad idea.
Dalesio's of Little Italy -- Another restaurant on Zippy's circuit. The groups she brings here dine from a menu she sets in advance. I haven't been here for a while, but they must do something right to keep this tough customer happy. So, if you go, tell them Zippy sent you.
Feast at Four East -- Kind of a cheat, because the inn and its resident restaurant don't precisely overlap. Sandy Lawlor is the chef either way, though, and a succession of lovely parlors and other private rooms make this Mt. Vernon inn a good choice for rehearsal dinners, farewell parties, and other random life events.
Ikaros -- The last of Zippy's regular destinations to make this (alphabetical) list. Her groups' meals at this Greektown mainstay always begin with a shared selection of appetizers that's placed on the table within seconds of rears hitting the chairs. Smart.