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East Village near Webster Hall: Inexpensive place to go before show with 16 teenagers on a Saturday night

small h....Thanks for the Vapiano recommendation. That is where we went, and it is exactly the type of venue I was looking for. It worked out perfectly for our particular group.
1) The pizza has very small slices, so everyone got to try a many kinds.
2) I got a reservation for 18 without a problem 5 days ahead of time. I got a phone call to confirm it.
3) The teens got to go back and forth and get their own free drink refills, so it was a good diversion for them.
4) It was so much easier with this crowd not to deal with table service, when we wanted more pizza, we just ordered a few more when we wanted.
5) We were pretty loud, but the top floor was pretty empty, and the big room dulls the noise anyway.
6) Yes, not NY style pizza, but really great Italian style pizza. The ingredients looked and tasted so fresh. What a fantastic thin crust. These are 12" pizzas.
7) All the people working there were so nice, even though I'm sure it put a little pressure on them dealing with a big group like this.
8) The price came out just as predicted, about $15 a head with the various tips I gave. We ordered about 14 pies, and had about 10 slices left. This was perfect, so it didn't blow the night's budget.
Just a few negatives just to be fair, this may not be great for every group,it depends on your budget and maybe the age of your group.
1) It was very hot upstairs. We were dressed for the warm weather, so no big deal for us. But maybe for elderly people.
2) The tip system was a little awkward for a big group. You just tip into plexiglass boxes where you pick up various items. I went to many stations, so I ran out of smaller bills, and the only place to get change is the hostess station, as that is the only place you pay. I did give my final tip at the front, they said all the workers share the tips. So, if the workers understand this, I guess it is not a big deal. But I didn't want any workers to think I was not tipping.
3) It is not formal, and we had to walk our pies up the stairs. Once again, not a big deal with us, the teens helped, and added some fun as we brought up the pizzas, and put them all out on the window ledge by our tables so the kids can pick what they wanted, and save room on the tables.
4) I guess they read somewhere, flies do not like basil. There was live basil on each table, and no flies!!

Thanks for all the other replies too. This was a great thread, and I'm sure all the suggestions will be helpful to groups going out in the area. I wish I could get down to NYC more.

Jun 17, 2013
miketttt in Manhattan

East Village near Webster Hall: Inexpensive place to go before show with 16 teenagers on a Saturday night

My nephew did mention Paty's and Artichoke. Patsy's may be a little higher end then I wanted, plus maybe hard to seat 18.
Artichoke may be a problem with the standing.
But I like the Vapiano idea. The highlight of the night is the show, not the dinner, so not a big deal if we don't get to sit at one big table.
The kids are all from the suburbs, so they weren't raised on great NYC pizza like I was. So I don't think it would be a big deal if this is not as good pizza as Patsy's or Artichoke. The reviews sound good enough. We can always play it by ear if it's a nice sunny day and go with a stand up place option.

Jun 10, 2013
miketttt in Manhattan

East Village near Webster Hall: Inexpensive place to go before show with 16 teenagers on a Saturday night

We are taking about 16 teenagers Saturday night to a show at Webster Hall in the East Village, taking the train into Grand Central Station, then a subway down to 14th street. We are looking for some inexpensive eats in the area before the show. Is there a place we where can get pizza or burgers that can acccomodate that many people without a reservation? We were looking for something like a Shake Shake that is counter service. We did that up on 8th ave near Times Square a few years ago for the same venue, but it was somewhat of a disaster because the seating was extremely insufficient at that Shake Shake, and we even brought a few less teenagers. We are spending so much on the show and transportation, we don't have another $30 a head to spend on dinner also. And there is a time element too, that's why an informal place is best, so we are not stressed out waiting for wait service and paying the bill which sometimes takes forever. I don't really know the area, so I don't know if there are places that have large informal dining areas.
This could be near Times Square too, but there are very few bargain places up there.
Thanks for any creative suggestions.

Jun 10, 2013
miketttt in Manhattan

Italian restaurant in Manhattan with TV star chefs

We did end up going to Piccolo Angolo due to the menu choices that suited us best.
We had a great time, and they treated us very special as we had 2 birthdays to celebrate.
The veal dishes were just out of this world. The veal osso bucco was just one of the best things we ever had. I didn't think there would be that much meat on it, so i got the veal chop which was awesome also. But the veal osso bucco was huge, which my wife got. And we had the nut sauce pumpkin ravioli which was so unique and rich. Great for dipping with the free garlic and regular italian bread, along with the Mussels Luciano we ordered as an appetizer.
(we ate so much bread with the appetizers we were getting full).
The desserts were great too. It was loud there as people had said, but we didn't care as it made it more fun for us. The only thing that wasn't really great were the salads that came with the entrees. Mixed greens with a light dressing. Go for the side pasta, (great meat sauce if you choose), or the vegatable, unless you like a mixed green salad. We are usually into romaine,tomatoes, with blue cheese dressing or something similar.
And we got to see the last production of "Anything Goes" with Joel Grey before dinner through the tix line at Times Square. What a great show!!
And we only had to go 2 stations down to 14th street to get to Greenwich Village. A little bit of a walk from there, so if you can't take the walk, you would have to grab a cab for a few blocks.
But all in all, a great day. Thanks for all the suggestions. We might try the others in some future trips to the city. Thanks!!

Jul 10, 2012
miketttt in Manhattan

Italian restaurant in Manhattan with TV star chefs

Can anyone comment on Piccolo Angolo? It doesn't have the celebrity chef aspect, but it seems to have the menu items we are looking for and the prices seem to be what we had in mind.

Jul 05, 2012
miketttt in Manhattan

Italian restaurant in Manhattan with TV star chefs

I should have worded the celebrity chef explanation better. Basically the chefs that have cooking shows. Not the chefs that are famous because they always open the trendy restaurants in the industry, but are not on any cooking shows.

Jul 05, 2012
miketttt in Manhattan

Italian restaurant in Manhattan with TV star chefs

We are looking for a good, but not a $100 a head restaurant for my wife's 50th birthday Sunday 7/8. (Because we are taking our teenagers also, and going to a broadway matinee too. I don't have an unlimited budget and I'm not sure what the Broadway tix are going to cost yet).
She wants italian food, but she is not big on seafood. She usually gets veal dishes.
She was looking for a place that was known for TV celebrity chefs, like the one's on Food Network or PBS channels. Not the famous chefs that are known in the industry.
This has made it hard to search when I search for celebrity chefs.
We are not big on wine, so we do not need some special wine list.
The quality of the food is the most important.
It doesn't have to be in the theater district as we will be able to bounce around if we do make a matinee and eat afterwards.
A prie fixe would be nice if the place is on the more expensive side.
I have seen Babbo come up in most of my searches, but that seems to be out because it is so hard to get into.
If a place is really, really, really good and a good value, like maybe $60 a head, she wouldn't mind skipping a celebrity chef restaurant.
She had looked into Becco, but thought they were too big on pasta dishes. She likes pasta, but wants something a little more special for her 50th.
Thanks for your input.

Jul 05, 2012
miketttt in Manhattan

Quick eats around 11th street and 3rd ave by Awesome 80's Prom Show

I was kind of looking at Blue 9 burger, but then my daughter was looking at Stand4. But the recent reviews are very mixed for Stand4.
Has anyone been to both, and can compare the two and suggest what a bunch of kids from the suburbs would like between the two places?

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Stand
24 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

May 18, 2011
miketttt in Manhattan

Quick eats around 11th street and 3rd ave by Awesome 80's Prom Show

I am taking my teenage daughter and her friends, around 12 to 14 people, to the Awesome 80's Prom Show on a Saturday night in the summer.
We are traveling from the northern suburbs, so I have to feed everyone too.
Being that the show is the main entertainment for the evening, I am looking for some quick eats in the area, but nothing too cheap or boring like McDonalds. Something that would be easy in and out, like a Shake Shack or a good pizza place, possibly Mexican. Alcohol isn't a factor because it's all teenagers.
But I don't want a sit down place that would take too long, as the night will be long enough with the travel both ways, and the Prom show.
Thanks for any suggestions.

May 16, 2011
miketttt in Manhattan

Huntington NY good value with children

Thanks. You guys came up with just the type of restaurants I was looking for.
Unfortunately, I sent out the post way too close to the time we were going, and didn't get to read everything. We went to a place that was nostalgic to my wife's family, so it was a good time, but exactly what I was trying to avoid for my wallet. Nothing reasonable for the kids, and even the adults meals and drinks were way overpriced for an older restaurant with just an OK atmosphere. That was a German place called Pumpernickels in Northport. Don't get me wrong, the food was good, not fantastic, but big portions, but it looked like everyone there had been going for years and didn't care what it costs. I spent almost 50% more then I had budgeted for.
I really like the Italian recommendations you guys sent, I even had been to a few Bertuccis before, I didn't realize there was one around there. We actually passed it on the way. That's a pretty good choice as far as chains go.
That Pomodorino sounds kinda like the Pasta Cucina place I mentioned.
But I'll save these recommendations for the next birthday celebration in the area.
Thanks.

Dec 18, 2009
miketttt in General Tristate Archive

Huntington NY good value with children

By value I mean that you are not paying for the location or the ambiance or that place being the current trendy place to go. Just good food and service at reasonable family prices.
There is a place in Rockland county called Pasta Cucina that has many good meals with generous portions for around $12. They have their $20 meals too, but this way you have a choice if you can't afford to spend $140 on a family of four.
A late afternoon "early bird" is a 3 course meal for $12.95.
But we are visiting relatives in Huntington, so that place is not an option. Usually places like Pasta Cucina are hard to find unless you live somewhere for a while and go out to eat a lot. But I figured someone with a family may know just the place.
When you start spending $60 alone just for 2 kids to eat half their adult meals, you start looking for places like this. (When I say kids, I mean "tweeners", not 7 year olds).

Dec 12, 2009
miketttt in General Tristate Archive

Huntington NY good value with children

Hello. Does anyone know of a nice restaurant, not a burger joint, that has pretty good values or possibly an early bird menu on a Saturday in or around Huntington,NY?
My children do not eat off the kids menus anymore, so we can not afford to take them to restaurants that have $20 plus entrees, which is typical in Huntington. But we are not looking for a pizza or burger joint either. Just a good family restaurant that has reasonably priced food or specials.
One idea we had was to do a pre-5PM late lunch at the Cheescake Factory, but we didn't really want to go to a chain because we are going out for a birthday.

Dec 11, 2009
miketttt in General Tristate Archive

La Bonne Soupe or Serafina Broadway

We have a group of 10 going to see the Big Apple Circus Saturday.
We don't want to spend an arm & a leg, especially with 3 young girls who may be a little fussy. I searched a lot of sites and came up with La Bonne Soupe & Serafina Broadway,
because they look varied, resonably priced(for Manhattan), and look like they have a little charm from the web sites.
They look to be within walking distance, as we may be headed back to midtown after dinner. Has anyone been to both, and have a preference between the two?
Or have a similar recommendation based on my comments above?
Thanks.

Dec 18, 2007
miketttt in Manhattan