A few nights ago I had the pleasure of attending one of several private dinners offered to Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cardholders and hosted by Chase Sapphire and Visa Signature. The private dinner series features chef appearances, multi-course meals, and expert wine pairings for prices ranging from $150 (15,000 points) to $450 (45,000 points). While this may not be the best use of points, prices are quite reasonable and overall a great value. The Chase Private Dinner series helps makes fine dining more accessible to Chase Sapphire cardholders and offers a unique dining experience.
I attended the private dinner at Everest in Chicago, IL located on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange. Upon arriving, the host offered to check coats or bags before heading to the dining area. Once in the restaurant a Chase Sapphire representative handed my guest and I name tents to be placed at a seat of our choosing. We were then each handed a glass of sparkling rosé from Chef Joho’s hometown of Alsace France.
Each table sat 8 guests and approximately 50 people were in attendance. Dinner was scheduled to begin at 7:30pm, but guests were welcomed and gathered for hor’s d’oeuvres while sipping the sparkling rosé (which turned out to be bottomless) beginning at 7:00pm. At 7:30 we were directed to our seats and welcomed by Chef Joho and the evenings’ sommelier. A copy of the tasting menu and wine pairings with Chase Sapphire branding was at each seat to help guide you through the experience.
Dinner lasted roughly 2.5 hours with plenty of time to finish each course and generously poured glass of wine before moving onto the next. Group dining offered a wide varitey of conversation ranging from life stories to travel hacking. Several people in attendance were travel enthusiasts who use credit cards to enhance their experiences and probably did not tell their dates they got the reservation at a discount or with points… Halfway through the meal Chef Joho made a second appearance to walk us through the second half of the menu. We were lucky enough to get a quick picture with him before he returned to the kitchen.
We were very well taken care of throughout the meal. I loved the commentary from the Chef, Sommelier and Staff at various points during the meal. Lastly, at the end of the night we were given a brief survey from Chase about the event. Besides the survey and menu branding there was minimal infringement from Chase. I also greatly appreciated the autographed menu handed to each of us as we left the restaurant.
A more in depth review of Everest from Chicago Magazine can be found here.
To The Point
Chase’s Private Dinner Series is well worth the cost. The fixed menu and wine pairings from Everest were worth well over the $175/person price, especially when factoring in gratuity and parking. Some may not appreciate the group dining atmosphere, but I personally enjoyed it. I also love the opportunity to meet the chefs as on many occasions they are not even present when dining at one of their establishments. If you are a Chase Sapphire cardholder, be sure to check to see if their is any availability in your area (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or San Fransisco) as it is truly a unique opportunity.
Full disclosure, I did not have to pay for the event, but opinions expressed are my own.