CHICAGO Earlier this month, Sepia opened a banquet space in a neighboring building that once housed the Maria Pinto boutique. Called Private Dining by Sepia, the venue can host seated dinners for 70 or cocktail receptions for 120. A street-side patio can host alfresco functions for 60.
Gary Lee Partners outfitted the space with sunburst-shaped light fixtures, a turn-of-the-century walnut and pewter bar, and an antiqued mirror in a gilded frame. The venue also has gray bamboo flooring and plush, jewel-hued lounge furniture.
Executive chef Andrew Zimmerman oversees the menu of seasonal American fare. Hors d'oeuvres include mini lobster rolls and sunny-side-up croque madame sandwiches made with quails' eggs. Items on the dinner menu include local tomato gazpacho with basil marshmallow and olive-oil jam; roasted Gunthrop Farms chicken with sage and chestnut bread pudding; and chocolate-caramel-pecan tarts with malted ice cream. Hosts can also opt for personalized tasting menus, wine pairings, and vegan and vegetarian options.
Depending on demand, owners may stock the space with a projector and a retractable screen for presentations in the coming months.