If you’re on the hunt for a new private dining spot in Chicago with equally fantastic atmosphere, cuisine and music, look no further than Truluck’s. The upscale, Texas-based chain opened its 12th location in the Gold Coast (at Chestnut and Rush) late last fall, and rumor has it that Rosemont will also be getting one later this year. After hearing nothing but great reviews of the Gold Coast location, I went in for dinner to scope it out last Friday.

We arrived around 7PM and scored the best table in the house—a high-top round in the lounge, next to the window and the piano. It was pure luck, too, as the restaurant was packed with the city’s finest locals, creating a buzzy, energetic atmosphere. That evening, we were treated to live music by the talented pianist and singer Nyla McDaniel, whose sweet renditions of classics with a modern twist had me so blissed out, I forgot to look at the menu. (Insider tip: She’s playing at the restaurant most Friday and Saturday nights in April.)

Truluck’s has a large selection of wines, both by the glass and by the bottle, available to groups as well. As the restaurant is known for its seafood, you’d be remiss to book a group dinner here without serving its famous chilled shellfish platter, loaded with oysters, shrimp, fresh stone crab and more. (We got to try the stone crab that evening, and I can attest it was some of the best I’ve ever eaten.)

For entrees, seafood again reigns supreme. I got to sample the miso-glazed sea bass, roasted to perfection and topped with a refreshing, crispy cucumber slaw served alongside crab-fried rice. South African-stuffed lobster tail or Alaskan king crab would also likely be crowd-pleasing favorites.

As filling as the entrees are, the desserts at Truluck’s are a must-try, so try to save room. Our server brought out a giant platter of desserts for us to feast upon first with our eyes. A giant slice of carrot cake slathered with cream cheese frosting is an incredible option, while the equally large piece of homemade key lime pie is one of the top sellers, our server told us. For events, you can order a variety platter served family-style with both of them, plus chocolate malt cake.

When it comes to venues, there are several private dining rooms at the Chicago location. The Gold Coast Room can seat 44 to 80 depending on configuration, or up to 125 for a cocktail reception; the Chestnut Room can set 24 to 40, or 60 for cocktails; and the Rush Room can seat 14 to 32, or up to 30 for a more intimate reception. Truluck’s can also accommodate buyouts, making it a convenient off-site dining option for groups staying at Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile, just across the street. It’s also available for lunch meetings and events.

While it may not feel like it, with freezing temperatures and snow still forecasted for this week, summer will be here before we know it. There’s no better time to take advantage of the gorgeous weather than by holding an event on one of the state’s best rooftops. Here, six ideas to consider as you plan for the coming months.

Five & Dime, Evanston


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