What are your favorite spots to meet friends, in early evening weeknight hours, for drinks and food? Some friends and I meet up roughly quarterly for this catch-up session but we're always seeking the perfect spot. There are 5-6 of us and criteria are: comfy (couches preferred over high-tops); reasonable noise levels for conversation; good sharable food; nice wine & drink list. We tip well and appreciate hospitality.
Places that have worked well in years past: The Bedford; Pleasant House + Maria's; Shaw's bar; upstairs at the Tasting Room (RIP). A former Chicagoan, I visit from Austin now and am quite out of the Chicago restaurant loop. Thanks for sharing your tips.