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Cafe Livorno, Rye or other for 16 on a Saturday

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I am planning a dinner in the Rye area for 16 on a Saturday night in January. Livorno seemed amenable and will offer a prix fix menu (haven't gotten it yet). Has anyone been to Cafe Livorno? Any reviews?

Other Rye restaurants didn't like the idea of a large group on a Saturday night unless it was really early. I am looking at around 6-6:30 and don't want to rush my group out. I tried Watermoon, Ruby's and Aurora, none of which I have eaten at myself, but at least the first two have gotten good reviews here. They were all wary of a group at that time.

If anyone has any other recommendations, that would be great. I have considered the Doral Arrowwood buffet, but I don't know how good that is. I might drop by there to check it out tomorrow. Has anyone eaten at the Whitby castle?

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  1. Don't do Whitby. It's food is by caterer Restaurant Associates and it's not good. Aurora is very good - was there last week. I also did a private dinner there. Ruby's is way too loud. There's also a steakhouse - Frankie & Johnny's a block away - that may be good. I've never eaten at Livorno, but plan to.

    1. You might want to consider the Brazilian place in Port Chester, Pantanal. It's fun, they keep bringing food on long skewers and there is a salad bar. Although I haven't been there recently, it is fun with a crowd of people. As I recall the food was good, not terribly expensive and it should be fairly empty 6ish, I think it is a later crowd there.

      1. Livorno is alright. I was there a few months ago. For some reason, I found the staff a little aloof/distant. I am a n00b, and no expert foodie, but the pasta dish I had was typical frozen, not very fresh tasting. I can't remember exactly what I got though.

        I have not tried many restaurants in Rye, but from what I have read here on the board, Livorno would be closer to the bottom of the list in terms of food. That said, you do have other considerations. I am not saying the food is terrible, it is just ok. You'd leave there w/ a pleasant dining experience where everyone would have more or less found something they wanted to try but no one would be raving about the food. I guess with a large group, you can't really ask for anything more?

        1. Whitby Castle has either cancelled Restaurant Associates or is very soon. A new group is coming in there. Which gives one a sense of how they did there. For a group of 16 I would look into the "nook" at Plates where we once did an event. The good thing about it is it's in a section by itself, but still in the main part of the restaurant. They did a pre-set menu for us and it was great. It's in Larchmont, which is not far. It's a great place.

          1. I have never been to Cafe Livorno, but I LOVE Ruby's.

            1. Like Debmom, I was going to recommend Panatal. Ask for Rich (the manager?), he's great and will hook you up. Don't forget to have the caiperinas, the national drink of Brazil.

              I am in the minority from what I have read, but I do not recommend Frankie & Johnnies, especially for a crowd. I remember being totally cramped in there, sitting on the aisle and praying not to be hit by a passing waiter's tray.

              A nice space is on Regent St. in Port Chester (Rye Brook?), Hosta May-- do I have that name right? Used to be Tony May's Hosteria. Italian with a brick oven.

              1. Both of these reactions go back a few years, so don't depend entirely on me, but. . . Livorno - eh, not terrible but haven't been back either. . . Over the years we've had several meals at Hostaria Mazzei and always enjoyed them

                Also, Ruby's, which we've been to far more recently because every so often it's just the place that works - another eh - for the hype and the price, the food should range from very good to superb, instead it ranges from fine to once in a while very good.