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non-traditional wedding reception, central nj

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hey all. I am in the (very) early stages of planning out a wedding reception. it will be non-traditional, so packages involving champagne toasts, passed appetizers, dancing and dj space etc are not a concern. in fact, im trying to avoid facilities geared towards receptions simply because they are so often a ripoff, featuring mediocre cuisine at a vastly inflated price, and i am working with a strict budget. im basically trying to locate quality restaurants with banquet facilities capable of handling approximately 70 to 85 people, where the per person cost will not top 30 dollars (excluding alcohol). If anyone has recently attended a similar low key reception or private party in central nj and had a fantastic meal, please pass along the info. ideal location would be monmouth county, no further south than brielle and no further north than long branch. thanks!

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  1. Perhaps LouCas, 9 Lincoln Highway in Edison, NJ. We have been there to eat several times and the food is great. Although it does not look like a BYO, it is, which would mean you could bring your own liquor, thereby keeping down the price. Here is their website and you can click on Banquets to see if it might fit your bill. There appear to be some in the $30+/pp range. I suggest going there with your fiance for dinner to check out the food.
    http://loucasrestaurant.com/

    1. Piccola Italia is in the Long Branch area. I haven't been there since last year, but recent posts on this board indicate that the food remains solid. They do private functions. Since there are no prices on their website, you would have to contact them to see if they can arrange something that would fit your budget.

      http://www.piccolaitalianj.com

      1. A friend of mine had a small reception at The Salt Creek Grille in Rumson. I know she got it for a good price and they had their ceremony right near the water.

        1. I also had my rehearsal dinner at Piccola Italia in Ocean Twp. The food and service are always top notch.