Family Meal is a popular tradition of the restaurant industry. It gives the staff a chance to take a break, and enjoy a meal. However, it's more than just a quick bite before service. It's about creating an environment that's like family, where people can unwind together; joking, laughing, and, most importantly, eating delicious food. The food at Family Meal tends to be hearty and comforting, sometimes more rustic than what is offered in the restaurant, but no less delicious. It's a communal meal to learn about the menu and enjoy each other's company. I firmly believe that we all want in on something like this. We all want connection, but most of us are just waiting to be invited.
We all want connection, but most of us are just waiting to be invited.
MARK WEST'S ART OF LIVING | FAMILY MEAL
is an exclusive dinner club which gives you a different experience of Chicago's food scene, and showcases our iconic neighborhoods through the people, places, and food.
DISCOVER NEW RESTAURANTS & REDISCOVER OLD FAVORITES
Once a month, I curate a progressive dining experience for me and 12 guests. The meal starts with appetizers and drinks then moves to an entree and dessert (with a little something to take home). These are not your typical restaurant visits. I select my restaurant partners for their quality & stories, showcasing the best of each neighborhood; from hidden gems to local favorites. Guests not only connect with the food, but the people behind the food. We spend time chatting with chefs, owners, and culinary experts, and enjoy unique food and alcohol pairings. You’ll see, smell, and taste what shapes each unique neighborhood, from the food, to the art, the people, and cultures. All dinners cater to vegetarian diets (and other needs upon advance request, see my FAQs) and are perfectly suitable for solo diners as well as romantic dates.
FOR LOCALS, BY LOCALS
Family Meal is a social dining experience where the goal is to deepen human connections through food, while learning something new about the city; turning strangers into friends and exploring your own backyard with curious eyes. Invitations with event details are sent monthly via email only to those on The List. Menus are prix frixe and average $150 per person.
Do you honor food allergies and dietary restrictions?
Yes! All my dinner parties honor these common food allergies: dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat and the following dietary preferences: vegetarian, vegan.
If you have a serious food allergy (potentially life-threatening) please contact us directly at the time of booking to make us aware. Though we may not be able to offer substitutions, we take your health and safety very seriously and will inform you of items you should skip or dinners that offer fuller experiences with minimal risk.
How much food is served?
My parties offer enough feed that most participants are more than satisfied at the end of the meal. Keep in mind, each dinner includes an item to take home for later, on top of any leftovers you can't finish! Tomorrow's work lunch.
Are children allowed?
I have a minimum age of 21 years old for all guests. Please keep this in mind when considering attending a party. This is a great night to get away from the children and just enjoy adult conversation with no distractions.
What if I don't drink?
The drink package for my parties is an add-on and is not included in the price of the evening. The evenings are perfectly curated to be enjoyed with or without a drink pairing and, in some instances, a virgin "mocktail" can be prepared.