The atmosphere at relaxed Avondale neighborhood eatery Pisolino may remind you of a charming, laid-back European bistro—and for good reason.

Chef and co-owner James De Marte spent over a decade cooking his way through Italy to craft and hone the skills on full display at the cozy restaurant today. “The restaurant is truly his dream-turned-reality and a showcase of his love for Italian cuisine,” says co-owner Rachel De Marte.

“It’s a neighborhood spot, so it’s quaint and feels residential. Pisolino—which means nap in Italian—has the perfect vibe to come relax, have a cocktail or some amazing wine, eat, visit and stay a while,” she says. Serving refined, yet hearty and comforting Italian classics, from pizzas and pastas to Negronis and Americanos, “we always joke that you come to eat at Pisolino and then you take a pisolino.”

Accommodating up to 40 guests seated and 55 for a cocktail-style reception with a full buyout, Pisolino is a popular spot for intimate private events from rehearsal dinners to surprise parties.

As a dedicated event planner and stylist who enjoys a creative challenge, De Marte can work with planners to customize everything from specialty cocktails and menus to décor. “I come from custom and I really want to hear what clients are looking for. Some want to relax with a classic pizza party while others are looking for a 12-course event and we’re happy to arrange all of it,” she says. “Whether that includes passed hors d’oeuvres and family-style dishes off the menu or an exquisite lobster risotto, I’ll sit down with our clients and chef to truly cater the dining experience to their original vision. Every event here is unique." 

Already a Restaurant Row haven for vegans and vegetarians, Bad Hunter also happens to house the ultimate urban greenhouse venue to boot.

 

There’s no better way to build team spirit than with a can of spray paint and a blank canvas. Native 312 Events gives groups a chance to foster community and creativity while learning about one of Chicago’s most widely seen forms of art: graffiti.

Javier Dominguez and Adam Dittman founded Native 312 Events nearly two years ago after working together on events for more than eight years. They now provide Urban Art Workshops to a variety of clientele, including collegiate groups and corporate teams.

 

For professional speakers, engaging with an audience can begin months before stepping out onto the stage. 

Their first audience interaction might come through a teaser video in an event promotion email, says professional speaker and author David Fisher. Or they might also begin cross promoting the event on social media, according to Rich Gibbons, president of SpeakInc., a company that books event speakers and headline entertainers.