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Sep 6, 2006 05:23 PM

Restaurant recommendations for a lot of people (15-20) that isn't Maggianos?

My husband is turning 40 and while we already have a weekend planned in NYC, we wanted to go out with family in Philly.

Philly or burbs is fine.

Reasonable price range is a must ... family style would be good.


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  1. How about Bucca Di Beppo in Exton? I don't care for Maggiano's myself, we went to the Philly location and everything tasted like it was burnt or smoked, even the sauce! At Bucca, you just order small or large platters of salads, appetizers, entrees and desserts that are shared.

    PS, will children be in attendance?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Hammie

      Bucca and Maggiano's are pretty much the same place, aren't they?

      1. re: DanielleM

        they're close! If you select the family menu at Maggiano's, for a flat rate per diner, you can only select up to two from each of the following: Appetizers, Salads, Pastas, Main Course,Desserts. For a large party, this gets kind of boring. Bucca scores on two of shelbyroo's desires: family style and 'burbs (Exton is not the only outpost, BTW). You order as many or as few items off the menu, but you will only have to pay for each plate, not per person. For a large party with a few picky eaters, both pint sized and full sized, for me Bucca gets the nod.

    2. So Exton isn't quite Philly and isn't Bucca di Beppo relatively similar to Maggianos?

      Positano Coast at 2nd and Walnut has a lovely catering menu and can section off part of the place for your party - I read rave reviews from many about their private parties there. I am confident that the mgr would work with you on the menu to make it more family-style-ish since their typical menu is more small plates. And honestly, their enormous back-lit images of the italian coast are really magnificent. Superb backdrop for a fun event!

      If this doesn't fit your bill, Pietro's has family style menus for big parties - go to the one near 18th and Walnut or the one near 2nd and South - pretty good stuff! I'd go there over Bucca or Maggiano's any day.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rumdrinks

        I'm happy to put a good word in for Pietro's, too. We were there (the South St. location) on Labor Day with a party of 10 and it was great. A couple of their delicious family size salads, two pizzas (a few people ordered their own pasta dishes) and everyone thought it was delicious. Very relaxed. Decent beer list. Good, attentive service (it was more crowded than you might think for a holiday). We wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

        1. re: afhochman

          I agree with the Pietro's choice (2 locations to choose from)
          I've been there a few times with large parties. The family style salads offered are wonderful! We always do fine with a variety of salads & pizza- I've actually never been with people who opt for a dish!

      2. Many restaurants in Chinatown will put together a very reasonable banquet meal (like $18 a person), some even with a private room. We've done this at Cherry Street Vegetarian several times, getting the upstairs private room. Thank you.

        1. I had my wedding rehearsal dinner at Sabrina's in the Italian Market (9th and Christian Sts.), we had 30 or so people and everything was fantastic, and reasonably priced for a large group. They don't do it family style, instead they work with you on a menu of 3 or 4 options each for an appetizer, entree, and dessert. You can bring your own wine and beer.

          Tre Scalini has an upstairs room for private parties, their food isn't as good as Sabrina's, though. Positano is a good option, especially now that the weather is more temperate: it's very pleasant being in their upstairs when they have the window/walls opened up.

          1. Lee How Fook in Chinatown has a back room that can handle larger groups. We went there on New Year's Eve and had a blast. The larger table have a big lazy susan in the middle - order a bunch of things and everybody can share. You can BYO and prices are more than reasonable