Cite' v. Smith & Wollenski
Both restuarants are willing to accomadate a party of 20 for a post marathon dinner.
Which one is the better choice for steak and martini's?
I had to pull some strings to get into both places, but was wondering which one would best handle a large party, with children?
I've never been to either with a group of 20, but here's my two cents:
The decision hinges not on your appetite, but on your thirst.
If you plan on really boozing, go to Cite' -- the food is very good, and the $60 wine dinner can be quite a good deal. The wines tend to be decent bottles you've never heard of, but plenty good for having a good time. The wine dinner is available after 8pm.
If you think your marathoners will be exhausted to the point of drinking two glasses and then face-planting into (hopefully rare and soft) steak, I'm fairly indifferent between the two. If you don't plan on drinking much, the price/value relationship between the two restaurants is pretty similar. If you plan to put back a few bottles at S&W's, your price will rise rapidly.
S&W's tends to be a bit louder, which may be good for a group of 20, but Cite is no library either.
Good luck with the marathon and with your dinner decision.
re: Mike Grant
S&W is definitely the better restaurant of the two (for traditional steak house fare). Cite is good for their wine-dinner, but if this is no interest to your party, definitely choose S&W (I have never been impressed by Cite's steak, which makes no sense since Post House, Cite and S&W are all owned by Stillman). They do make a mean martini at S&W too. I believe S&W has private room(s), which is where your group will probably be seated.
I agree that the availability of a private room is key. I once went with a group this large to Cite. We were at one long table in the main dining room -- couldn't hear anyone more than two seats away. If Smith & Wollensky gives you one of the upstairs rooms, I think that's your best choice. (And more freedom for kids to wander around.) As for kids tastes, you shouldn't have trouble getting a burger and fries at either place.