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Italian Bday Dinner For 8 girls?

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I am planning a surpirse birthday dinner for a friend and about 8 girls will be there. We prefer no tasting menu and would like Italian. Somewhere downtown, not crazy expensive, and good...Any suggestions would be awesome! Thanks!

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  1. Otto would probably be great, if they can fit you in. Very good, reasonably priced wine list and lots of pizza and pastas to share.

    1. Gnocco on 10th and B. It is cash only, but I usually get out for around $50 tops which is amazing with a big group when one person isn't paying. Yummy yummy food too--and they will actually seat you around the time of your reservation (friend just went to Otto and waited an hour and a half for her reserved table).

      1 Reply
      1. re: mle18

        I've eaten in Gnocco several times, most recently a month or so ago. They have one great dessert - the sformato di castagne - but I find the food in general to be merely good and I'm in no rush to go back. I'm somewhat mystified by the amount of love it gets on this board, when there are a bunch of similarly-priced Italian or Italian-influenced restaurants within a few square blocks that are better, including as Col Legno and Lavagna.

      2. I had a great dinner at The Orchard with three of my girlfriends. It's a spacious and a very sexily lighted room with a nice buzz of energy. I would describe the menu as Italian with international influences. We shared two flatbread dishes, two first courses, two entrees, and four desserts, which all came out to about $50pp (we were stuffed). But most importantly, The Orchard is BYO (we went last weekend)! I love BYOW/B!

        The food was great, service was very friendly, and did I mention BYOW/B? I absolutely recommend The Orchard!

        1. I would definitely recommend Paprika (on St. Marks bet. 1st and A). It's such a lovely, cozy space with friendly staff. Although the space is relatively small, they are excellent at accommodating groups of your size. I've had my birthday dinner there for two years and have yet to be disappointed. Last year 8 of us went for dinner, we shared a few appetizers, each got an entree, shared two desserts and had 6 (!) bottles of wine for less than $50/pp.

          p.s. IMO, don't go to Otto. It is a consistent, expensive disappointment.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ruckus2330

            I second Paprika. All entrees under $20.