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Restaurant for a group of 12 in Berkeley/Oakland?

Hi,
This is my first post - my husband's birthday is on Thanksgiving weekend and I wanted to get a group together for dinner on Sat. nov. 25 - we would be about 12 people. I'm looking for a reasonably priced restaurant (no more than $15-$17 for an entree), with excellent food being the main objective. The restaurant must also be in Berkeley/Oakland.

Any suggestions?
Thanks!

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  1. At that price range and with that size group, my first recommendations would be Dona Tomas, Pizzaiolo, A Cote and T-Rex. The Dona Tomas entrees can be a little higher than that, but I tend to share a lot when I go there, and they have space for big parties. Pizzaiolo pizzas are slightly below to right within that range (though their entrees are all around $22), and it's easy to share a bunch of pizzas there and appetizers, and they have a big room in the back for a large party. A Cote is all about the sharing, so if your group is into that, it's lots of fun, and they have a big table in the back room. T-Rex prices are in that range to higher, but their portions are pretty large, and I find it hard to go there without sharing. All of these restaurants have websites with sample menus with prices, if you want to check them out.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JasmineG

      Pizzaiolo would be my first pick for a big group in that price range, though depending on how you order it might not be in that price range.

    2. Le Cheval is a Vietnamese restaurant in Oakland that is great for groups (as long as reservations are made ahead of time). I've always enjoyed the food there--it's accessible to most palates, flavorful, and well-priced. In addition, the interior of the restaurant is quite pretty and sophisticated (dim lighting, feels like candlelight).

      See:
      http://www.lecheval.com

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sophia C.

        Le Cheval's about the worst Vietnamese food in the East Bay. Nearby Binh Minh Quan has some of the best, with nicer atmosphere.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I've been to Binh Minh Quan and I appreciate the authenticity and tastiness of the food there as well. But I'd personally never throw a birthday party there unless my friends were as open to trying 'new' foods as most chowhounders are.

      2. I agree with all of Jasmine's suggestions (Dona Tomas, Pizzaiolo, A Cote and T-Rex), but would add that -- at that price range, "excellent food being the main objective" might be a bit difficult to pull off.

        One other idea would be Fonda -- like A Cote, it's all about sharing little plates: think tapas from Central and South America, with a very nice wine list and a great bar.

        4 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          The last time I was at Fonda, the final bill was MUCH higher than I thought it would be. Their small plates are very tasty, but they are pretty small for the price point. I'd say it took us at least two dishes (maybe three) more than at A Cote to get satisfied.

          1. re: JasmineG

            Agreed--I like Fonda, but it's always more than I anticipate. By a lot.

            1. re: Hunicsz

              For me, the same goes for T-Rex and Sea Salt--same owners.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I'd agree with that at Sea Salt, but the portions at T-Rex are pretty big, and I find it easy to get an order of meat and some sides and share.

        2. Unicorn can probably accomodate you easily (I have planned events for larger parties). The food is fairly good but I would not call it "excellent".

          1. I concur about Pizzaolo. Good place for groups.

            Another suggestion: Six Degrees on Solano. I was there a few months ago with a big group and we shared various small plates and a few entrees. The total bill was about $20pp, not including drinks. Very reasonable prices, food was good, and nice atmosphere too.