Are you or someone you know planning a wedding or baby shower, graduation party or simply looking for a unique and different venue to gather together family and friends? Here are a list of some of our favorite North Shore spots for smaller groups (with some big group options) to celebrate any occasion or to celebrate spring:
Farmhouse Evanston: The variety of spaces at this Evanston farm-to-table haute make it perfect for a small group in the Snug or Pickle Room (or a large group with semi-private or private space upstairs). Their newly revamped private event program includes plated and buffet brunch, lunch or dinner with fresh & unique options, along with their impressive craft beer and wine selection. TIP: Whatever you do, be sure to order a plate of their homemade Cinnamon Rolls for you and your guests!
Bottle & Bottega: Those looking for more than just eating and drinking can host a “Picture Perfect” Wine and Painting Party at this inspiring studio. Starting at just $40/person for the studio rental & supplies (minimum 8 guests) for 2-3 hours, you can bring in your own food and drinks and channel your inner Van Gough. TIP: For the baby and wedding showers, maybe consider painting a keepsake mural for the guest of honor!
Wildfire: Choose from a variety of room options from The Stardust (up to 25p) to the more intimate Boisset Family Estates Wine Room (up to 12pp). This LYE staple has a private event menu with options for family style serving or the a la carte lunch or dinner with a myriad of solid staples, denoting many dietary needs or restrictions (gluten-free, veg or vegan!). TIP: The Wildfire Chopped and Wildfire Ice Cream Sandwich are 2 of their staples and are not to miss!
Wilmette Wine Cellar: This swanky wine shop tucked away in downtown Wilmette is a perfect venue for hosting a small group. Work with manager, Tommy Boyle, on selecting wines from their shelf that can be organized for a formal tasting or just poured for guests to enjoy. Catering in from neighbor Twelfth Street Market is a great option! TIP: Consider doing a Rosé tasting (perfect for spring), choosing from their impressive selection of both still and sparkling Rosé wines!
Trifeca Grill: The “21 Club” at this hip Winnetka spot can seat up to 60 (120 standing) but also has communal tables for much smaller groups (10-20). The room has a self serve, wine preserving system that allows you to choose from 3 different pours (taste, half and full glasses) of 28 different wines. TIP: The Trifecta Trio menu is perfect for groups to same their yummy “bites” – especially the Tri Fries!
Di Pescara: Don’t let this restaurant in a mall fool you. The contemporary atmosphere, top-notch food and drinks and professional staff make this a perfect spot to host a baby or bridal shower. The Rita or Vanessa Rooms (24 & 30 seated respectively) you set off from the main restaurant and there is a package specifically for showers ($19.95/person – with drinks extra) that is 3 courses of YUM! TIP: Add the mini-martinis to your package for just $3.35/person…worth it!
Deer Path Inn: Enjoy afternoon tea with a group of friends or family at this newly remodeled Lake Forest inn. Reservations can be taken between 2pm-4:30pm any day to take in this authentic English tradition of tea accompanied by delicate sandwiches, scones and cakes. Makes a perfect venue for a small group shower or perhaps a book group studying English literature! TIP: Don’t overlook the selection of The Inn’s own blended teas, with notes about how to take it for the perfect cup!
Elawa Farm: Although this North Shore farm can host large wedding events, they can also do a very rustic, intimate party for your guests in The Potting Shed (18pp) or The Kitchen (24p). They do have in-house catering or you can bring in the caterer (who would then also provide the alcohol if necessary) TIP: Maybe consider hosting an interactive cooking party with the Chef Chiappetti and his staff with such themes as Tribute to Julia Child or A Napa Valley Night.
Wisma: This gourmet to-go and food market in the heart of the LB square has some seating areas for smaller groups and is perfect for the afternoon or evening gathering or celebration. Choose from any of their crafted cheese & charcuterie (cured meats), dips, snacks, salads, sandwiches and sweets – along with an eclectic selection of beers and wines. TIP: Hosting a shower or party at your house? Consider catering from Wisma – they make an incredible sandwich and salad spread for any sized event!
Enjoy the spring, enjoy your experiences…on this gorgeous North Shore!