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Holy Grail for groups?

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Hi all,

My 20-something friends and I have been going to Otto and to Zarela's on a semi-regular basis in large groups (8-12 people). What we enjoy about those restaurants is that they have great food that is under $15 a person when ordered family style, wine/drinks that are reasonably priced for the quality (no one spends more than $20 a person on alcohol over a couple hours of drinking and eating), have fun atmospheres, and are tolerant when the group arrives over the course of an hour.

Any thoughts on other alternatives with great food at reasonable prices with flexibility and fun atmospheres?

Thanks!

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  1. La Mela in Little Italy. Inexpensive, fun, most satisfying. No doubt there will be naysayers--disregard them. Trust me.

    1 Reply
    1. If on the Upper East Side, Tony's di Napoli offers up decent fare.

      1. I like Kang Suh (Korean BBQ). They have private rooms for groups of that size and are very accomidating. The price is probably higher but it isn't insane. We go there for birthday parties and bring our own cake. They'll store it for you and bring out plates and candles. :-)

        1 Reply
        1. re: ICE_Student

          Definitely a good place for a banquet, but it will be more like $35-40/person.

          carbonara, would you consider a Chinese restaurant such as Sweet 'n Tart? They could make up a good menu for $20/person and possibly $15/person; just stop in and ask a manager.

        2. Do NOT do La Mela. I'm serious, especially if you enjoy Otto. Mela serves the type of Italian food that you cooked for yourself when you were right out of college. If you're with a fun, big crowd, it'll be fine no matter what, but if you want a place that makes you really like it...this ain't it.

          1. I just posted regarding Delicia, which may work for you. See: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...