- 733 W. Madison
- Chicago, IL 60661
- (888 ) 444-0401
Everyone loves going to weddings. Especially me….I hope that didn’t come off too sarcastic. We got lucky this year only having one, but that one was in Chicago. The reception and hotel of choice was the Crowne Plaza Metro located in Greektown just outside of the Loop. I’m much happier when the reception is at the hotel. It makes taking advantage of the open bar much easier.
We got to Chicago a little after 3:00. We were coming from Oak Lawn and hit a little bit of unexpected traffic on the Stevenson, so we didn’t quite make it as early as we wanted to. The hotel is located right off the Kennedy, so we didn’t have to do much driving through town. I started driving around looking for a parking garage. There wasn’t one close. There were a few surface lots that had $9 overnight parking, but we had quite a bit of extra stuff in the car that we didn’t want to drag into the hotel. We ended up opting for the valet which is the only on-site parking the Crowne Plaza offers.
After checking in, we headed to our room to relax and get cleaned up. The ceremony was at nearby Holy Family Church, but we opted to skip that part and just go to the reception. The room was gorgeaous. Our room had one king bed. Around it was a built in desk to one side and a built in dresser with a 27″ flat panel TV. The interesting thing was the doors in the room. There were none. It wasn’t a huge room so to make the space bigger, they elimated doors. The closet had curtains and the bathroom had a sliding screen.
Speaking of the bathroom, the shower was one of the best hotel showers I’ve ever been in. Granted, I usually stay at Red Roof Inn’s, but through work, I’ve stayed in some pretty nice ones. The downfall to the bathroom was that there was no exhaust fan so it got steamy.
The room also had a balcony which had a beautiful view of downtown Chicago. The Sears Tower was the dominate feature from that angle. The hotel was right next to the Interstate, but we never really heard any of the noise.
After we both got dressed, we headed downstairs for cocktail hour. This was the weird part of the evening. Instead of putting the bar inside the ballroom, there were two bars in the lobby and we weren’t supposed to be in the ballroom for another hour. The lobby filled up quick and there was only one bartender at each of the bar. It took quite a while to get a drink. After about a half hour, the bride’s mom finally said screw this and opened up the ballroom and told people to go in. It got really hot in the lobby with all those people in a small space.
Next up was dinner. Dinner service was really slow. My biggest complaint at city weddings is that the bar closes during the dinner. Where I come from (a small town of about 750 people) the bar closing would cause a riot. I learned this the hard way year at another Chicago wedding, so I stocked up on Budweiser. Like I already said, dinner service was slow and my two Buds didn’t last. We were supposed to eat around 7:30 or 8:00, but at 8:30, I still didn’t have the first course (again, something we dont’ do at my family’s weddings). We finally got served the soup course which was roasted vegetable soup with couscous. Wasn’t really my thing, but everyone else at the table soaked it up.
After another 15 minutes or so, we finally got the main course. There were two choices. Either a fish course or a beef and chicken meal. Both my girlfriend and I got the beef chicken. Each place setting was given a paper menu. Here’s how the entree course read…..
Sliced Sirloin of Beef and Grilled Breast of Chicken, served with Roasted Red Potatoes, Buttered Green Beans, Bordelaise and Peppercorn sauces.
J’s not a big beef eater, so she passed over her sliced beef. When she did this, she noticed her plate didn’t have any green beans. I don’t really eat vegetables, so I gave her my green beans in exchange for her meat. This was easily the best meal I’ve ever had at a fancy wedding. The peppercorn sauce on the plate was delicious. The beef was cooked to a really juicy medium-rare. I figured I’d be walking down to the hot dog place down the street before the night was over. The meal was supposed to be served with wine, but again, it took a long time for them to get around to pouring the glasses and our table had been out of liquor for quite some time now.
Dessert was the wedding cake. By the time we got this far in the meal, the bar had finally reopened and there was a pretty long line to get drinks. I almost missed dessert, but by the time I got back, the cake was on the table. It was alright, but nothing special.
The best part of the night was the pub food that was brought out about 11:00. Again, I was suggesting at the table we find a 24 hour diner after the reception was over, but we didn’t have to. To our surprise, a buffet of hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken tenders, and pizza were brought out. Everything was good, but the burgers. Waaaaayyyyy undercooked. I like my burgers a little pink, but these were raw. Everything else hit the spot.
The reception ended about midnight and we headed back to the room and hit the sack. The bed was almost too comfortable for a hotel bed. We both slept so well and when the alarm went off at almost 11:00, we had a hard time getting up. We finally did and check out was done on the TV. Our bill was $230 for the night, but $35 of that was for the valet. A little pricey for me, but with our schedules the way they are, J and I don’t get weekends away very often, so this was nice. We stayed in a Crowne Plaza last year when we went to St. Louis and really liked it. The Crowne Plaza Metro was just as nice.