The beautiful and elaborate Crystal Grand Banquet Hall in Lemont, Illinois is designed exclusively for large-scale engagements. Situated in southwestern Chicago’s quaint neighborhoods, the hall has been host to weddings, birthdays, and other formal events. The meals are grand in scope and scale to be sure, and the environment more than makes the night, but Crystal Grand’s variety of in-house foods provide a wide array of options for planners to hold a sizable meal. I have to say, the building is beautiful, the people are amazing and the experience is grand, but the food isn’t outstanding.
So there isn’t a menu for a patron to order from, per se, but the planners of the event have a menu from which they choose a number of dishes to serve. There’s a pretty wide-ranging list of items; meats and various vegetables, coffee, wine and an open bar for adult parties. Unfortunately, the foods have a wide range of qualities to them. The roasted chicken is outstanding; moist and packed with flavor. The roast beef, on the other hand, is bland and dry, served drowned in an overwhelming sauce. The Polish sausage is very bland, though the sauerkraut is good.
The vegetables fare no better; the salad is good, as are the mashed potatoes. The steamed vegetables are bland. It’s all very frustrating to try. On the other hand, the chicken noodle soup here is outstanding, it’s made with rice instead of noodles and the end product is just great. They don’t make their own deserts, though, so the assorted cookies and cheesecake squares are what you’d expect from a store.
Honestly, though, if you’re here to host a wedding, the most important thing is how nice the place is, and it’s beautiful. Elaborate chandeliers and delicate decorations adorn the many 10-person tables, custom decorated for each event for your choice. A large central dance floor provides entertainment around the head tables. The open bar is great of course, and the exceptionally polite service ensures everything right about the atmosphere. For a lot of purposes, this is really the most important thing.
On one hand, I’m not expecting perfection from a banquet hall that is responsible for serving 100 to 600 people for up to five-and-a-half hours per event. It’s just too much food for too many people. On the other hand, such a large-scale event is probably a major investment. The food is unfortunately inconsistent, so I have to imagine a smaller event would benefit from some other solution. But, if you’ve got a larger group, it might just be worth the investment to know some of the things will be good.
- Again, this is a place that hosts large-scale events, from 100 to 600 people. Not a restaurant.
- The atmosphere is beautiful, people are nice, and of course the open bar cannot be overstated.
- The food isn’t that memorable, but at the same time I imagine if you’re coming here you’re not going to forget the night for other reasons.