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Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

Thanks, I'd love to hear how your dinner goes/went!

I also looked into The Spotted Pig but the private/group dining terms exceed my budget.

L'Artusi must be a popular choice. They were fully booked, but pointed me to L'Apicio...but I'm leaning away from that now, as the entire meal is family style and the other contenders have family style courses but individual mains, which I think I'd prefer for this group.

As of now, I think ABC Kitchen may win out.

Jul 27, 2015
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

I looked up MCF at the very outset, but the menu is not my husband's speed. (Tao was considered b/c it has "pan Asian" options. He doesn't really like Chinese food, and while I could probably navigate him through a Buddakan menu, MCF would be more difficult/for another time ;)

I figured Acme would be suggested, but we went once and hated our food and overall had a bad experience. Never again, but clearly we have the minority view of that place.

Recent CH reports on Gato stopped me from sending an inquiry there...

Right now L'Apicio and Scarpetta are probably top contenders, with ABC Kitchen still in the mix ;)

Jul 24, 2015
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

I wish BR Izakaya would respond to me!

If it were my bday, I would have Empellon on the list, but my husband isn't a fan of ceviches, tacos, etc. (Fonda had more options that would appeal to his palate).

Thanks for the tip!

Jul 24, 2015
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

I don't disagree. My out of town friends will comprise a big enough contingent of the group that I had considered it (Tao and, related, B&E). I don't disagree on your read, but also find when I'm in those kinds of environments with my best friends, we have a great time and take in the eye catching design elements and successfully tune out the penis straws and stuff ;) Thanks for your input!

Jul 23, 2015
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

I hear you on S+P. As I said, we didn't enjoy it...so I've been surprised to see it recommended here and there on CH.

I think I should go ahead and take B&E off the list. I've been intrigued about comments about the food there, so maybe I'll have to go with some girlfriends :)

I take it from your positive remarks that you didn't find the volume offensive at L'Apicio? That may be less "wow" factor in decor, but it still seems like it could be a solid choice.

Jul 23, 2015
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

I have never been to Buddakan and hadn't really considered it. Based on pictures alone, I was thinking that the interiors weren't that impressive. If they are as striking as Tao, maybe I should add it to the mix, as they have some lower price points and you say the food is better!

I agree ABC Kitchen can be very loud, but I've generally found it to be less of an issue in the back, where we'd be seated.

I just got the group menus from Fonda and while it may feel like less of a special occasion, the food sounds great...and I think upscale Mexican could work...

Going to have to think on this some more ;)

Jul 23, 2015
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

Thanks for that feedback! Deafening volume is certainly something I want to avoid. I appreciate your response!

Jul 23, 2015
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Which would you choose to host a group dinner?

Hi, food friends – I’m (once again) hosting a group dinner to celebrate my partner’s birthday. We’ll be around 16 people on a Saturday evening in Sep. After contacting a number of venues, I have some good/workable options. I’ve scoured the boards for recent reports (ie, not just general recommendations) and haven’t quite found enough that would solidify my choice. I’ve listed out the current options below and what my particular concern over each is, which mainly boils down to having never been or having not been in years. If anyone has recent reports and can endorse one very highly on both food and ambiance fronts, I would be grateful to hear that feedback!

In terms of food, I need to "American", Italian, or Asian. In terms of ambiance, the key factor is…more lively and upbeat, a little special occasion-y. The group will be a mix of very stylish NYers (so cool they shouldn’t be hanging out with me, but down to earth and relaxed enough to hang out with me ;) and out of towners. I was originally thinking Tao downtown b/c it would delight out of town friends and the one time I’ve been the food was very good. It is, however, quite a bit more expensive than the other options. Even though I want this to be special, I’m not sure I can get around the final difference in price. I welcome your feedback (and promise to report back)! And if you think the food at Tao would please a group far better than the below, please don’t be shy to say so. THANK YOU!

Saxon + Parole – To be honest, we’ve only been once and didn’t exactly enjoy the food. (I recall my husband not liking his burger and I don’t remember what I ate.) That said, maybe it was an off night; it seems to be regularly recommended around here. The group dining menu offers choices that are relatively safe options. (We have a number of non-adventurous eaters.) It’s also the most affordable of the options. I had a great experience for the same occasion a few years ago at Public.

Scarpetta – Have not been in a long time. Concerned the interior design may feel a bit sterile. The group menu mains don’t exactly excite me. The most interesting of the 3 options may be the veal, and I don’t eat red meat. I just can’t get very excited about roast chicken.

L’Apicio – Have never been. Also not the most exciting sounding secondi (fish, roast chicken, hanger steak), but the most recent thread I found on this place was exceedingly positive.

Beauty & Essex – Have never been. Is this too “girly” to celebrate my husband’s birthday? Seems like I’ve seen it recommended for quality of food over other comparable places.

ABC Kitchen – I think it’s been about a year since I was last there, and the food was not quite as good as I remember. (The drinks were great though.) Nevertheless, I’m willing to give it a go as my husband and I have had very good meals there. I am, again, slightly concerned that the ambience skews a little feminine. Or am I making that up?

Note I’ve also inquired with Blue Ribbon Izakaya, but haven’t heard back…

Jul 22, 2015
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Cosme (late) Review: Group Dinner for 6

Hi, I am considering Cosme for a bday dinner I'll be hosting in the not distance future. The group menu options are 4 or 5 courses. For those that have been, do you think you would feel satiated after 4 or 5 small plates? I don't want my guests to leave feeling like they could have used a couple of more bites, and this is my big concern for Cosme...

Thank you in advance!

Jul 22, 2015
_cjw_ in Manhattan

following up - our dinner at louro

Hi, folks - I solicited some advice in this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/981090
where I concluded that I'd go to Louro just with my partner. Well we did and we had a really great meal, with stupendous apps/small plates. The entrees were good, but not necessarily WOW worthy, but we thought the kimchi fried rice, anchovy paste toast, piri piri shrimp, and farro salad were excellent, all perfectly prepared and flavorful. Dessert was especially creative, a delicious pastry shell with gin/juniper infused blueberries.
The atmosphere was a little unusual in that it was soooo quiet. It was July 5, so maybe most folks have gone out of town, but for nearly half of the time we were there, we were literally the only customers.
I look forward to going back (but would probably stick with all small bites/plates).
Thanks!

Jul 11, 2014
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Please help me choose for a Thursday night dinner

thanks to each of you for your feedback. it's hard to pick a restaurant for folks you don't know and are trying to be strategic about menu and price! i'm thinking it can't hurt to stay a bit 'safer', so i've decided that my partner and i will just go to louro on our own this weekend :)
between the other two, i'm leaning towards marc forgione, but i'm second guessing the cost...the group has said we should reserve somewhere my partner and i want to go and requested that we allow them to pay...and two of them have never been to NYC, so i just don't want to pick somewhere were they might get a bit of sticker shock...though that might be a little bit inevitable...and that might be presumptuous of me to say.
i'll report back on our saturday louro dinner :)

Jul 02, 2014
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Please help me choose for a Thursday night dinner

Thanks. I actually have looked at the menus, and think each could be suitable. I've seen some mixed comments re: Louro on the boards, so I was hoping for some recent reports (not for their Sunday/special dinners).
And I got mixed up when I typed the original message...I actually have been to Marc Forgione and had a very good (but not necessarily stupendous) experience. So I guess that's my "safe" option, considering Louro may be more/too creative and I don't know if Perilla will feel quite special/nice enough.
In any case, I am sure we'll have a great time at any of the three. If you'd choose Louro, I'm glad to hear it because I'm quite interested in it, but I'm nervous about the mixed reviews...

Jul 01, 2014
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Please help me choose for a Thursday night dinner

Hi, folks - I am trying to decide between 3 restaurants for a small group dinner (6 people), none of which I've been to...I'm hoping some folks on here have been to these spots very recently and can weigh in on which seems to be offering up the best food right now. I am taking some out of town visitors who I want to impress, so I'd love some guidance! Parameters are:

- Great food with some creative and some familiar options for the less adventurous. My guests are coming from central Louisiana. 2 of them I've never met. I don't know that they are particularly adventurous eaters.
- Not too loud, but a sociable atmosphere. My partner and I are in our 30s, and our guests are a generation older.

Pretty simple. So would you choose: Louro, Marc Forgione, or Perilla?

If not for price or location, we'd probably go to Craft or North End Grill. (Those are admittedly not the most creative, but we always have really great meals there.) Tocqueville might be a little too quiet. The price factor comes in because while my partner and I want to host, I suspect our guests will insist on paying, and in that case I wouldn't want the bill to as high as Craft (for multiple courses and drinks).

Thanks in advance!

Jul 01, 2014
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Have you been to a wedding/large event at any of these venues? How was the food?!?

thanks for the input. feastivities was on our list to check out if we went with a venue that allowed outside catering...but we went with front and Palmer, which is exclusive for feast your eyes. thanks again for taking the time to post!

Dec 29, 2013
_cjw_ in Philadelphia

Have you been to a wedding/large event at any of these venues? How was the food?!?

we really liked the looks of the downtown club, but apparently a lot of folks do, too. iirc, they were fully booked for Saturdays in 2014.

Dec 29, 2013
_cjw_ in Philadelphia

Have you been to a wedding/large event at any of these venues? How was the food?!?

thanks, jersey tomato! we have booked with front and Palmer and are working with lini. I don't think the option of a paid tasting was mentioned until we asked about it, per your post. we're planning in doing it. thanks again!

Dec 29, 2013
_cjw_ in Philadelphia

Have you been to a wedding/large event at any of these venues? How was the food?!?

Thanks for the input. We took the Free Library off the list because the events coordinator has not been very responsive to email or phone messages. It's selfish, but I'm sorta relieved/glad to know they had other issues that would have been a concern, because I hate to think we missed out on a great spot for one person's lack of follow up...

Dec 18, 2013
_cjw_ in Philadelphia

Have you been to a wedding/large event at any of these venues? How was the food?!?

That's probably on point, though I do think they're looking to do more on-site weddings...too bad the draping there is so off-putting, because I would have loved to work with them from a food perspective.

Dec 18, 2013
_cjw_ in Philadelphia

Have you been to a wedding/large event at any of these venues? How was the food?!?

Thanks for this feedback, friends.

Re: ToT, they no longer allow you to bring in your own alcohol. I was optimistic that this place would be a good combination in terms of food, location, and environs we could decorate to our taste…but sadly after our initial visit, the junior person who met with us turned us over to the catering manager/director and it’s been more or less radio silence to our communications ever since. I am very disappointed.

Re: Feast Your Eyes, this is our first choice right now, even though we haven’t tasted a thing…I asked Lini over the weekend about if/how tasting is conducted, because it wasn’t mentioned at all…so fingers crossed it’s an option.

I also suspected the food might be the best at JG Domestic…but we briefly visited the space after I wrote the initial message on this thread and were not very impressed. Granted we were not permitted full entrance because a corporate holiday party was on-going…but overall it was a strange experience and we were not confident we would enjoy the setting as much as we had hoped based on a few pictures we found online.

If anyone else has experience – especially on the hotels – we’d still love to hear. Thanks!

Dec 16, 2013
_cjw_ in Philadelphia

Have you been to a wedding/large event at any of these venues? How was the food?!?

Hi, Chowhounders! My partner and I live in NY and are planning our wedding for next year in Philadelphia. We’ve researched a lot of venues and visited a fair number as well. While there are a lot of factors that go into venue selection, for us, the food experience is up near the top (along with price and convenience). Nearly all of the locations require a signed contract before doing a tasting, so I am turning to the locals in hopes that you can opine on venues/caterers with which you have experience.

If you’ve attended a wedding or other event at any of these, would you please advise? How was the food? Seriously…do you remember today what you ate back at the event? Were the different dishes/recipes delicious? Any adverse impact with respect to timing of service, temperature, etc? Thanks for taking the time to read and respond!

- Sofitel. When we visited, we had lunch at the lobby restaurant and it was fine-to-good, if served a tad too cold. The wedding sales person, though, gave a great presentation and emphasizes the chef’s desire and ability to provide great food to our liking.
- Hyatt at the Bellevue. This venue is more expensive than I’m comfortable spending, but we’re trying to see if we can customize a package that would work. I’m afraid the event will seem skimpy because, for example, some of the menu language has shifted from “pick # of hors d’oeuvres” to “pick # of hors d’oeuvres (based on 4 pieces per person)”, which makes me suspect they may allow us to run out (vs. making more if they see guests are gobbling up a particular item). Also, we had lunch at XIV when we visited and it was fine-to-good (better than the Sofitel).
- Front and Palmer/Feast Your Eyes Catering . While this is my favorite in terms of aesthetics, the all-in cost may also be north of what I’m comfortable with. If, however, the food is far and away the best of the bunch, I may try a bit harder to make this work.
- JG Domestic/Cira Centre.
- Top of the Tower. I have seen some other positive discussion on Chowhound for this venue, but those threads are a bit dated. Has anyone been recently? (Any chance the chef still comments here?!) They will actually do a pre-contract tasting, but we have not been able to schedule thus far, and may not be able to before we need to make a decision.
- Liberty View Ballroom or Free Library, with Brulee Caterering. We have not visited Liberty View Ballroom and were only permitted to peek our heads in for 10 seconds at the Free Library when they were setting up for a gala event, so any input on the non-food aspects would be welcome also.

Thank you, Philadelphia commenters!
CJ

Dec 10, 2013
_cjw_ in Philadelphia

Non-Pork large format or other set menu (Breslin fried chicken vs. Ma Pech lamb/chicken?)

Just an update…
The dinner was last night. I didn’t actually attend, so can’t report firsthand.
Importantly, the event coordinator was very kind and helpful. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with them again.
Re: the food, all indications are that the food was great. (Served the fried chicken feast with seafood sausage and kielbasa apps.) My boyfriend raved about the seafood sausage and the chicken, and all guests were very happy and enjoyed themselves.
Thumbs up, and thanks for your input!!!

Sep 20, 2013
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Non-Pork large format or other set menu (Breslin fried chicken vs. Ma Pech lamb/chicken?)

Thanks! I have a rez for the fried chicken dinner.

FWIW, apparently they are now seating for large format at other tables. Someone already had the chef's table in front of the pass booked the time/night I wanted, and immediately the events person said they could accommodate in either the main dining room or mezzanine, TBD the night of by management.

Sep 06, 2013
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Non-Pork large format or other set menu (Breslin fried chicken vs. Ma Pech lamb/chicken?)

Hi, kathryn - I read your Ma Peche post and, separately, your friend's blog post re: the fried chicken meal! The latter was enthusiastic enough that it makes me lean slightly towards the Breslin.

(On other sites, I've seen some less positive remarks re: Ma Peche lamb/chicken, but I find CH to be the most reliable!)

I am willing to go a little bit higher than the $70-80 mark, if I'm confident it'll be good for the group. With a different group, I'd totally go w/ the Breslin lobster boil, but I think these guys would like fried chicken better. Similar re: Ma Peche short rib...the ribs themselves would be a big hit, I'm sure, but many of the accompanying dishes would not go over well w/ this group.

I also looked at Resto, but just didn't see enough specific commentary re: the good to feel confident about it.

Right now, I think in order of preference, I'm thinking Breslin fried chicken (if anyone else here can vouch for it!)...then perhaps the 4 course menu at Colicchio and Sons (more for location/ambiance, as compared to Ma Peche) and then chicken/lamb at Ma Peche.

If I'm way off and Ma Peche should be at the top, give a shout!

Thanks!

Sep 05, 2013
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Non-Pork large format or other set menu (Breslin fried chicken vs. Ma Pech lamb/chicken?)

Hello! I’m hoping some of you who are informed will be kind of enough to offer your feedback 

I am looking to host a group of about 8 and need either a “large format” or other set menu option. I was hoping to keep the food costs about $70-80/pp. I was going to go with pig at the Breslin, but just learned at least one guest doesn’t eat pork.

If any of you have tried the chef’s table fried chicken at the Breslin or the lamb/chicken at Ma Peche, could you possibly weigh in? I did a quick search and didn’t see anything re: the former, and maybe one positive post about the latter. How was the food?!?

The group will be all men, in the 30s, celebrating a birthday. Atmostphere at Breslin might be preferable, but…how impressive will the food be?

Any other suggestions for somewhere where I can get a great pre set menu are welcome. (I did something similar at Public last year and that was great. I posted about it here on CH.) For example, I’m also thinking of tasting menus at Colicchio and Sons or Babbo (slightly higher price point than I’d like)…or even Hill Country.

Thank you in advance!!!

Sep 05, 2013
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Group dinner at Public - Excellent!

We didn't try the kangaroo or boar. (These were not options on the set group menu.) I had a scallop appetizer which was very good, though it didn't necessarily feel very different from what you might get elsewhere. The duck entree was excellent, and did feel distinctive. (It was served with a sesame soy dressing.)

Sep 24, 2012
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Group dinner at Public - Excellent!

Thanks again to Chowhounders for all you share. While I don’t frequently feel what I might add would be valueable, I read (and appreciate) your messages regularly. Perusing the Manhattan board helped me to choose Public for a special group dinner, even though I (and my guests) had never been.

The events manager Kimberly was very gracious and worked with me via email (my preference) to plan the event. I chose to offer the 3 course prix fixe and Kimberly readily agreed to tweak one option to best accommodate my party. When the number in our group shifted a few hours before the event, it wasn’t a problem.

We all thought the restaurant was gorgeous, especially the lighting. (Another CHer remarked on the atmoshperic temperature on his visit…and yesterday, a late summer/early fall day, it did feel just a little bit too warm around the bar, perhaps in part b/c of the lighting.) It felt stylish, kind of modern-urban romantic. Everyone who helped us, from the hostess, manager Mary and Andy, our wait person, was really terrific. They were kind, flexible, and professional. I couldn’t have received better service.

The food, I thought, was excellent. It was just the right balance of “different” w/o being too exotic that my guests - who included adventurous eaters and decidedly not adventurous eaters - were all comfortable. The group feedback ranged from delicious to very good, and everyone said they want to return soon.

I highly recommend Public, especially if you’re hosting a group!

Sep 21, 2012
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Thanks to hounds (especially for Tocqueville comments)

Just wanted to say thanks to folks who participate in the forums, and in particular those who’ve posted comments about Tocqueville.
I’d been looking for a place for my birthday, read a lot of different threads and decided on Tocqueville (despite, as some have pointed out, virtual silence about it on other sites). The reports I read here were pretty compelling. The photos were fabulous. The enthusiasm was encouraging.
Went last night and had a great time. The uni pasta appetizer was the best thing I’ve ever eaten. It would be my last meal request. Other items were very good, though not necessarily swoon-worthy over any of the city’s other great restaurants. I’ll be going back for the uni and together w/ all other elements – good drinks/wine, gracious services, lovely and intimate dining room – we had an excellent meal and thought it was a really good value.
I really appreciate these forums and all the helpful comments folks are constantly providing. Thanks!

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Tocqueville
1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

Feb 29, 2012
_cjw_ in Manhattan

recommendation for budget-friendly downtown indian (with meat options)...with A rating and no mice/roach violations?!?

funny - the last time i went for indian, it was my standby banjara. location may tip things in banjara's favor. will give a shout on how things turn out. thanks very much!

Sep 20, 2011
_cjw_ in Manhattan

recommendation for budget-friendly downtown indian (with meat options)...with A rating and no mice/roach violations?!?

i'm looking for a budget friendly restaurant to meet a friend from out of town and thinking, for a few reasons, indian would work well...but i need a downtown location and when i look up the health inspection ratings (i know this may be overkill...but for the guest list, it's wise for me to do so ;), many of the CH faves are eliminated.

can anyone recommend good indian food downtown (or curry hill area) that isn't expensive (let's say entrees top out around 15-18) and that gets an A rating with no violations for evidence of roaches/mice?

culling the boards the best i'm coming up with is taj tribeca...is taj on 6th just as good? (the location would be much better.)

thanks in advance...my heart broke a little when i saw some of the ratings for the other spots...

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Taj Restaurant
310 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

Taj Tribeca
18 Murray St, New York, NY 10007

Sep 19, 2011
_cjw_ in Manhattan

Anyone been to Flavor 180?

Newer place styled as more healthy/delicious (eg, turkey and fish made fresh vs. frozen/fried pork, burgers, etc) quick service option? It's in South Loop - 1511 S. State Street.

Full disclosure - I know a couple of the partners and went to a private tasting on my last trip to Chicago. I don't have any stake in the place and thought the food was great! Curious to know what others think, especially as I look ahead to where I'll go to eat on my next visit!

Apr 27, 2011
_cjw_ in Chicago Area