Our favorite places for private dinners

Warmly lit rooms filled with laughter and good company, long tables dotted with candle light, overflowing with rich, flavorful food – this is gezellig. It’s a concept core to Dutch people and one that’s difficult to define. When asked, some say a state of coziness, togetherness, others say a shared sense of joy and warmth. Whatever it is, it is the antidote to cold, harsh winters and something we crave as the days get darker. An undeniable partner in creating such a thing is the dinner party: a space and time dedicated to sparking connection and indulging the senses.

Of course, you might host one at home but private dining rooms offer a uniquely special experience. The best of both worlds, they bring the food and service of a restaurant together with the privacy and atmosphere of a home. In case you are inspired to warm your own life with more community and a little extravagance, we asked our style advisors and partners around the world for their favorite spots to sit down with family and friends to celebrate the festive season.


Barberian's, Toronto

We begin our list in Toronto, widely considered a food lover’s dream thanks to the sheer diversity of their booming restaurant scene. Vince from our flagship store offered up his recommendations for the city, from long-held institutions to some of the newer spots creating buzz. First was, of course, the location of our own festive dinner this year: Barberian’s – a quintessential steakhouse with a high-end yet nostalgic atmosphere. The wine cellar decorated from floor to ceiling with bottles is peak private dining. Another long-standing favorite from downtown is Italian restaurant Via Allegro, loved for their generous portions and renowned for their wine and whiskey list that reads more like a book, the largest in North America. If you like a moodier vibe and experiential cocktails, Bar Chef by Frankie Stolarik of Netflix’s Drink Masters fame is another amazing space for a gentlemen’s dinner. It’s super dark with velvet couches and booths, and while you might not get a private room as such they have curtains that can be drawn. Another spot Vince often frequents is La Banane with their decadent French twist on classic steak and seafood, think seafood towers and scallops on the half shell with browned butter. Over in the entertainment district, he recommends the private champagne room of supper club Mademoiselle, owned by a client of ours Peter Gerges. A little more casual than the others, there are no suits required here. Instead expect overflowing charcuterie boards filled with steak and sushi, and a pumping playlist. Last on the list is The ONE at the Hazelton Hotel. Conveniently located right across the street from our store it has lavish dining and a spacious tree-lined patio. Perfect for intimate dinners and celebrity spotting, with people like LeBron and Drake visiting whenever they’re in town.



Model Milk, Calgary

Heading west to Calgary, we turned to style advisor Elbert for his must-eat restaurants during the festive season. He was quick to recommend Sorella Trattoria, a contemporary Italian spot with a warm interior designed by Paris-born Calgarian Nam Dang-Mitchell. Another high on the list was Bridgette Bar in the heart of the Beltline. With a distinctly industrial vibe, your private dinner would include modern casual cuisine, chef-driven plates, and unique cocktails. If you’d prefer to rub shoulders with the likes of Daisy Edgar Jones and Pedro Pascal, Model Milk may be the way to go. Once an old milk distribution factory, numerous celebrities shooting in Calgary have raved about the food. For something extra special and seasonal, Elbert suggests heading to River Cafe nestled in Prince’s Island Park. An excellent example of Canadian cuisine, it boasts a local farm to table menu curated by the design. Surrounded by trees on one side and a lagoon on the other, the rustic interior will make you feel like you traveled away from the city and into the mountains.


RIJKS, Amsterdam

Though it’s not known for its food scene, one thing this city does well is gezellig. If you know where to go, cozy atmospheres and feasts abound. Our creative director Joachim had a list of ambient restaurants ready to go, beginning with the host of last year’s festive dinner RIJKS. The fine dining spot with a Michelin star will be opening anew in time for the festive season with a refreshed interior and menu that promises to be just as tantalizing. In the meantime, if you’re tempted to try Michelin-star chef Joris Bijdendijk’s food, head to Wils. The open fire kitchen has some beautiful options for private dining for bigger groups. Another old haunt of ours which promises delicious food and grandeur is Restaurant Flore at Hotel De L’Europe. Their breathtaking private dining room on the waterside is the ideal place for an intimate group to kick off the festivities. Similarly, Spectrum at Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam offers elevated cuisine and surroundings. Book the rococo-style Maurer Room to enjoy a private dinner with twelve of your closest friends and feel like you’re back in the 18th century. On the opposite side of the spectrum is De Kas– easily our favorite restaurant in Amsterdam (and featured in previous city guides) this is perhaps the epitome of modern Dutch dining. Situated in an old greenhouse, their plant to plate dishes made from organic ingredients grown on-site are unforgettable.


Al Posto, Cincinnati

Next up, we chatted to Trevor Furbay for Ohio’s holiday season hot spots. His top tip was the appropriately named Al-Posto, meaning “at the spot” where guests meet their friends and family. Only a couple of miles from Trevor’s store, the restaurant and wine bar is owned by Austin Heidt and his wife Ashley, long time friends and clients. The southern Italian cuisine with handmade pasta and sommelier-selected wines is ideal for those intimate gatherings. Another place close to his heart is the eclectic cuisine of Abigail Street, encompassing southern European and Northern African inspirations. Chef, friend, and owner Daniel Wright offers incomparable local Cincinnati organic produce and meat as well as extraordinary diversity in serving them. Located in the famous Over-The-Rhine district, it’s a culinary must when visiting the Queen City. If you would prefer a liquid approach to your festive event, there is always Ghost Baby created by Trevor’s long-time friend and Atelier Munro client, Josh Heuser. Buried five stories under Vine Street, this cocktail lounge and music venue claims a 170-year-old space that once served as a lagering tunnel for a brewing company. Get your friends together for inventive cocktails, a stiff drink, or a hand-selected glass of champagne.


Ekspedisjonshallen, Oslo

Chris Nikolaisen from Ferner Jacobsen was kind enough to share his suggestions for the Norwegian capital. For him, there was no question – the atmosphere of Viennese-style cafe Theatercafen is unbeatable in December with everyone dressed up for Christmas lunch and dinners. Beloved in the city for more than 100 years, the white-tablecloth brasserie has classic food and a heritage interior that is a sight to behold. Another favorite for this time of year is Ekspedisjonshallen at Sommero Hotel. Built in the style of art deco with live jazz in the evening, this restaurant will transport you back to the heyday of the thirties. The food is delicious and delicate, the service exceptional. Chris’s favorite part? After dinner, you can take the elevator up to the rooftop bar and enjoy a whiskey sour and the view of Oslo.

San Juan

La Picara, San Juan

In Puerto Rico you will start seeing Christmas decorations go up on the 1st of November, with many festivals and events happening across the island until “Las Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián”. Taking place mid-late January, this makes Puerto Rico’s holiday season one of the longest in the world, so there is plenty of celebrating to do. We spoke to local Daniel Castiel from Euromoda for his favorite private dining there. For a very special and private occasion he proposes La Lanterna in Old San Juan. You could be having dinner next to the Governor or even a celebrity with Bad Bunny and Kendall Jenner having been spotted there recently. For those looking to gather on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Ola Restaurant at Condado Vanderbilt Hotel may be the best choice. They are known for their special 5-course dinner and holiday cocktails, like the island’s version of eggnog coquito. For particularly elevated gastronomy and drinks made by one of the island’s best bartenders, the place to see and to be seen is La Picara in Santurce. However, if brunch is more your thing, Daniel recommends COA Restaurant in Dorado Beach. Part of the Ritz Carlton Resort, they prepare a beautiful Sunday brunch filled with tantalizing signature dishes you won’t soon forget.

Illustrations by Helena de Koning