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$50pp need restaurant for 80th bday party late Feb.

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There will be 11 people...3/4 of them around 60-80 the rest in their 40's. Everyone is a sophisticated restaurant goer and we want a classy but not stuffy restaurant - thinking upscale greek or mediterranean - in Manhattan. (And not BLARING with music or no one will hear anyone else!!!) The host (her 87 year old boyfriend!) is hoping to spend about $50 per person..but not sure if that's possible. We're very much open to suggestions. I live in Brooklyn and have ideas there but he says that there are logistical problems to that for several of the folks coming.

So, any suggestions?

many thanks in advance and happy holidays!

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  1. I think upscale/classy will be difficult if the host wants that $50pp to be the out-the-door cost, i.e., food, drinks (wine, liquor), tax & gratuity. Particularly so for dinner. Lunch, on the other hand, is probably more doable, especially if you go the prix-fixe route (limited choices). Suggestions:

    Fleur de Sel serves a 3-course lunch prix-fixe for $25. Depending on what your party drinks, $50pp should cover it. (There is also a 4-course prix-fixe for $42.) The dining room is small with contemporary decor, has a classy, but casual feel, and a quiet noise level that is conversation-friendly.

    http://www.fleurdeselnyc.com

    Cafe Boulud is another place I think would be absolutely perfect for the age groups attending. Superb cuisine and polished, yet cordial service. The clientele tends, for the most part, to be older and sophisticated. (Though jackets are not required, most gentlemen do wear them.) Some people think it's stuffy, but I have never gotten that feeling. The lunch prix-fixe is $38 which, depending on drinks, would probably bring the cost closer to $65.

    http://www.danielnyc.com/cafeboulud

    1. As a thought, you should give Pylos in the east village a call and ask if they can accomodate you at your price point. Greek food there spreads around a large group easily and it may be possible.

      1. thanks. keep the suggestions coming. it has to be dinner because her daughter is flying in from germany to surprise her and her flight gets in mid-afternoon. we were wondering if any of the restaurants might let us create a 'small-choice' menu - you know...2 or 3 apps and 3 entrees to choose from to make it all easier.

        1 Reply
        1. re: redgirl

          A restaurant might allow you to create such a menu from their standard offerings, particularly since there are 11 people involved. The question is, at what cost? It can't hurt to give the restaurants a call to find out.

          It just occurred to me that Compass offers a dinner prix-fixe for $35. We've always had excellent meals there. The last time we had dinner, which was some time ago, we thought Chef John Fraser's New American cuisine was delicious, and everything I've heard lately indicates that that's still the case. It's a large space with attractive contemporary decor. Also, they have two round tables, one of which I'm pretty sure can accommodate 11 people. So much nicer and easier for conversaton than having to be seated at tables that are strung together.

          http://www.compassrestaurant.com

          Giorgio's, suggested below, is a lovely place. However, while the food's very good, I don't think it is on the same sophisticated level as these other restaurants.

        2. I think Giorgio's of Gramercy would be a nice place. The service is excellent, they would cater very well to older clients, and the food is excellent also. It is a nice little cozy place.

          1. Suggest Cibo on 2nd Ave and 41st St. For a local spot it provide nice, cozy, consistent good quality food and service. And I think the price will be right.

            1. Is Snack Taverna nice enough? I found the menu online but couldn't find any pictures - usually there's a restaurant website which really helps seeing the look of the place.

              I know I said older clients but, except for the high-level noise issue (which, at 49, I also don't like for big get-togethers) they are all world-travelers and love exotic food.

              1. I like Fig & Olive very much for Mediterranean food. I have gone to the Midtown location a number of times, and they just open a new one downtown. It is not an upscale place, but the food is very good, service professional and the decor very nice. The midtown location is somewhat small, but perhaps the new downtown restaurant will work for you.
                Check their webpage: www.figandolive.com