Villa Palermo's catering experts have graced banquet halls and dinner tables with Italian-American classics and Delta eats for more than 40 years. Many of the dishes are easy to share, including pizzas that quell cravings with more than 22 toppings and crust styles ranging from crispy thin to cheese-stuffed. Chefs stew mouthwatering tomato, Marsala wine, and butter sauces to coat noodles and chicken before trips to the table and blanket themselves for chilly walks home. Barbecue and buckets of fried seafood reflect a different culinary tradition, but boast the same reputation as hearty crowd-pleasers. The staff of event planners attends to non-edible details for up to 300 guests.
Conn's Cafe & Catering Inc.'s professionally uniformed wait staff and executive chefs furnish festivities with a comprehensive menu of entrees, buffet packages, barbecue fare, and boxed lunches. The full-service company provides tables, chairs, linens, tableware, and invitations, offering customers reprieve from the stresses of party planning and additional time to perfect their chicken dance. A catering coordinator can counsel guests on décor, entertainment, and locations, and licensed and insured bartenders are available to distribute pours of champagne and spirits. In addition to the standard and seasonal menus, the caterers can also furnish Indian, Thai, Cajun, Middle Eastern and Mexican fare, as well as thematic decorations.
When Irma Dinkha moved to Chicago from Puerto Rico, she made sure to pack along her love and talent for creating specialty cakes. From within her Jefferson Park shop, Beautiful Cakes, she carries on a 20-year tradition of crafting stunning, multi-tiered wedding cakes. The custom cakes evolve from Irma’s design catalogue or customers’ original ideas, and are made all the more sweeter with complimentary tastings and consultations. Irma also creates 3D-style cakes of basketballs and other edible items, along with 11 types of cupcakes in flavors such as cookies’n cream and pina colada.
The aroma of curry mingles with that of traditional Nepali spices inside Mt. Everest Restaurant’s dining area, whose walls are shod with oil paintings of scenic mountains brushed by Nepali artists. Inside the kitchen, the head chef prepares Nepali entrees—including khasi ko masu (goat meat cooked on the bone) and aloo tama bodi (a popular dish of russet potatoes, bamboo shoots, and black-eye beans)—alongside Indian favorites such as chicken tikka masala garnished with ginger and cilantro and king-size prawns roasted in a clay oven. Each entree is prepared to order, whether diners prefer mild, spicy, or business-casual seasonings, and served with drinks ranging from imported and domestic beers and wines to mango lassis and Himalayan teas.
A sky-blue awning looms over the maritime mural that flanks the entrance to Svea Restaurant, where a homey dining room hosts meals of traditional Swedish cooking. Swedish limpa bread, fried potatoes, and pancakes sate breakfast cravings, and meatballs and salt pork fill the plates of brunchers, lunchers, and Scandinavian longshoremen.
Since 1988, Card and Party Warehouse's family-run, local operation has helped plan and produce weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthdays, and corporate parties. The extensive outlet stacks drinkware and catering supplies to the ceiling, and equips hosts with chairs and tables that double as fortifications during each event's requisite food fight. Invitations and wrapping paper are designed for specific events and seasonal celebrations, including Halloween, and a huge array of balloon arches, columns, and bouquets frame gatherings.