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Ft Greene, private party for 40, wintertime?

c
chowbeth Aug 1, 2006 10:43 AM

Dear hounders, I have carefully read other posts on the topic of private rooms/parties in Bklyn. But the posts on Ft. Greene have been unclear. Can anyone tell me if they know of a restaurant that has a private room for, or will shut down for, a party of 40? (It's in December, so no patios.) I have my eye on iCi, Liquors, Olea, Scopello, or Veliis, but am very open to other ideas. Thanks!

  1. c
    chowbeth Sep 5, 2006 03:25 AM

    THE VERDICT: After a week of intensive eating, I am going to reply to my own post in case it is useful to anyone else in future. Thanks to all for their suggestions.

    Restaurant GIA: I did check out the space, which was cool but starting to look a little down at the heels. They were unable to provide a tasting on short notice, though, so we regretfully had to cross them off the list.

    Veliis: Fantastic space, great vibe, nice location: my friends and I were very excited about this place until we ate the food, which was not very fresh-tasting. A pity. Also, the manager/partner woman seemed very uninterested in our query about renting the space when we sat down. I had to grab her when she gave us the check and remind her that we were interested. She was vague and not very helpful.

    Scopello: The space is great, warm and fun and the manager (Fabrizio) was super helpful when we stopped by to inquire about renting it out. Plus when we ate there later, the waiter, not even knowing we were thinking of booking the place, gave us free coffee for no reason. Too bad the food was kind of gross.

    Restaurant Sorrel: Cute space, nice street, and one of the dishes (smoked mackerel & salmon tartare app.) was outstanding. However, two of the three main dishes we tried were really pretty boring, though the steak was good. Also, the chef/owner was very cagey about whether he wanted to rent out and was quite inflexible about trying to fit more people into the space. I was disappointed in his unhelpful attitude, but it was my second choice.

    iCi: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Owner Laurent was laid-back and not trying to sell us on his place, but super helpful and confidence-inspiring. All six dishes we tried were consistently very good, and the space will be nice and cosy in winter with the fireplace.

    As a bonus item, we also checked out Five Front under the Bklyn Bridge in DUMBO. The location would be fun for out-of-towners, the menu was interesting, and the food was good, but not quite as good as it could have been. (Several of us, trying our friend's pork chop with tamarind glaze, said, "Wow, that could have been AMAZING if the pork weren't so dry!") The garden is great, but the room for private parties was cramped and not so nice (or private). But I'd go there again for a regular dinner in the garden.

    1. r
      rawcuzima Aug 3, 2006 01:23 AM

      I had my 40th birthday at iCi last winter. We offered a limited menu of 3 appetizers, 4 main courses, unlimited red and white wine, and an opera cake. It was perfect. The space is warm and intimate but there was more than enough room for my 35+ guests. Owner Laurent Saillard was an elegant and accomodating host, chef Julie Farias cooked with heart, and the waitstaff wasa unobtrusive but ever-ready. My guests felt comfortable and well-cared for. And everyone raved about the food. Fresh, inventive, lively. The evening was well-priced, I'm SURE I would've paid at least twice as much for food and service of that quality in Manhattan. Since you're abroad, you can contact Laurent through iCi's website:

      www.icirestaurant.com.

      In our experience, we got a faster reply when we called, but since that's an international call for you, you might want to try the website but give him a day or 2 to respond.

      Good luck! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

      1. p
        purrl Aug 2, 2006 11:31 PM

        thomas beisl accross from BAM

        1. e
          EAP Aug 2, 2006 01:31 PM

          Love Ici and its a great space for that size party.

          1. w
            wtronik Aug 2, 2006 10:44 AM

            i would try shebeen. it's s south african restaurant on dekalb. they may have enough room and they have great rum punch!

            1 Reply
            1. re: wtronik
              jen kalb Aug 2, 2006 02:38 PM

              shebeen is fun but its pretty funky for a rehearsal dinner unless your crowd is really informal - think about whether they would like to drink out of pint canning jars (they use something like that) also the food is very uneven.

            2. c
              chowbeth Aug 2, 2006 08:38 AM

              Thanks a lot for the suggestions/info. I am currently living overseas, so am trying to do some research (for a wedding rehearsal dinner) ahead of time. I appreciate your help!

              1. i
                Infinite Jest Aug 2, 2006 02:41 AM

                Just an FYI, Liquors is closed.

                1. jen kalb Aug 1, 2006 01:26 PM

                  Well, we were planning to go to Ici on Sat night but found they were closed for a wedding. Why not just call around/eat around and then see which one you like best.

                  1. c
                    Claire Aug 1, 2006 12:27 PM

                    Restaurant Gia is now a catering service and party space. I was there when they were serving to the public and the food was very good and the space is beautiful. I'd give them a call.

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