ZED451 adds a new twist to the very competitive Chicago steakhouse scene. The Brazilian steakhouse features an all-you-can-eat menu with various cuts of beef, chicken, fish and other delicacies delivered to your table by the chefs themselves. And for groups, it offers an expansive amount of event space.
The creative atmosphere starts at the entrance with a relaxed lounge area situated by the restaurant’s fireplace. On one side of the fireplace, attendees can start their experience sitting beside a babbling water fountain, complete with plants and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Clark Street. On the other side, they can lounge in front of the massive wooden bar while sipping cocktails such as the Farmer’s Market Gimlet from the restaurant’s seasonal Liquid Market menu.
For a more personalized aperitif experience for smaller groups, attendees can visit the wine room, decorated with a wine glass chandelier made from more than 180 glasses. Surrounded by wine bottles on all sides, experienced winos can savor a glass of their favorite vintage, while eating cheeses paired by the ZED451 chefs.
The restaurant caters to a wide variety of group sizes, ranging from groups that want to have an intimate dinner in one of the restaurant’s many alcoves to private event spaces on the edges of the main dining room to a second-floor space that seats 130 attendees or can hold 200 reception-style. The restaurant also does complete buyouts of the 18,000-sf space for larger groups up to 800 and can accommodate almost any meeting planner request. For instance, the restaurant has twice now brought cars into the space for an event hosted in conjunction with the Chicago Auto Show, says Samantha Ojeda, event sales manager for the restaurant.
The second-floor space is connected to a patio that will soon be undergoing a renovation, expected for completion in May or June. The entire second floor is designed so that “dining can feel like you’re at a friend’s house,” says Ojeda, with a slat ceiling that allows for dim lighting reminiscent of a sunset at dusk.
While the ambiance is certainly ideal, the food is the main event here. For groups on the second floor, the restaurant can organize a similar version of the main floor’s Carvery and Harvest tables—complete with salads, artisan cheeses, market soups and delicious veggie sides such as shaved Brussels sprouts. These are served as a precursor to the, let’s say, meatier portion of the meal.
This portion includes different cuts of meat delivered tableside. A fire-grilled ribeye, a chargrilled buttermilk sirloin, Moroccan chicken, linguica pork sausage, ahi tuna and crispy pork belly are all options to choose from—and they are continuously delivered until attendees throw in their napkins. Like every great Chicago steakhouse, attendees will certainly not leave the event hungry.