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BYOB for 40th B-Day about 12-15 people!

Happy New Year!

I'm looking for a place to accomodate a party of 12-15 people. Any good suggestions? I'm looking for something every esthecially pleasing to the eye, besides good food.

Somewhere in Philly. No further than a short cab ride from Center City.

Any suggestions?


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  1. What's your price range? BYO?

    1. I would say no more than 50 dollars per person with apps, entree and desert!

      1. Branzino. Request the back room. Caffe Casta diva is lovely but noisy on weekends.

        1. La Viola Ouest (not to be confused with the original La Viola across the street) is a nice new space which can accommodate that big a party. Plus they take reservations. On 16th between Spruce and Locust

          1. OK, so I called the following to make reservations for 1/19.

            Ava - Closed from the 15th-23rd for vacation, though this might change.
            Branzino - Wants me to choose one of their Pre-fix menus, which I don't want commit to since I don't know the entire party.
            Radicchio - said they would call back.
            La Viola - had availability, though was a little nervous. Is this a nice place?

            Any other suggestions?

            1. Radicchio, which we love, doesn't have much ambience and gets very noisy. They usually don't take reservations.

              Would there be a choice with the prix-fixe menus at Branzino? Would people get a choice of appetizer and/or entree? It is very attractive and the food is excellent. If there would be some choices, I would go for that.

              We haven't seen the new La Viola. The regular one, which has very good food, is very small and very noisy.

              Overtures is really lovely. Will this be during the week or on a weekend? They have a prix-fixe menu during the week - maybe you could get it for a large party, especially if it's not for a weekend. It's on Passyunk, just below 5th and South.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sylviag

                La Viola Ovest (across the street from the old one) has the same good food as the original, but is less "cozy" meaning you're not sitting on top of people you don't know and listening to their intimate conversations.
                I recently was at a birthday party at the new place, which was built with the idea of being able to handle larger parties than the original, and everything was great. Food was good, noise was moderate (near silent if compared with the old one). They could use a little more art on the walls to add to the ambiance, but if you're in the back room it overlooks a little garden area.

                1. re: sylviag

                  Great suggestion Sylvia. I had forgotten about Overtures. Sounds perfect.

                2. haha, spelling on Prix-fixe...sorry about that...

                  This is for Friday night at 8pm.

                  Branzino has their menu online www.branzinophilly.com which had the 3 different limited menu dinner options.

                  I've never heard of Overtures, but will check it out!

                  1. did you check out http://www.gophila.com/byobmap/
                    this is a list of BYO restaurants in the region.

                    I used this to make a last minute reservation at La Locanda Del Ghittone for New Years Eve. Its a tiny restaurant that seats about 36(?) or so, a little noisy tiny tables so close to the kitchen that you could see and smell what's cooking. They had a $50 price fixe menu, but I would like to return and order off the regular menu. I'd like to try Copper Bistro in the Northern Liberties, the reviews sound positive.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Hammie

                      I went to Copper last weekend with about 8 other people and I was not impressed by the restaurant. They have the room for 12-15 people but I thought that the food was just okay. The entree prices were also quite high for the quality of food we received. We ordered a number of appies to share and they were quite small. I would recommend you try Copper but not with a large party.

                      1. re: Hammie

                        I have to agree with phillyjules, you're not missing anything at Copper. I was there a couple weeks after they opened and it was forgettable. If phillyjules was just there last weekend, it sounds like it hasn't improved much. What positive reviews have you read?

                      2. I recommend Bistro 7. Food is excellent, cozy, upscale atmosphere, and there'd be no problem staying under $50/person.

                        1. Alright, after a "long" debate, we have decided on reservations at La Viola!

                          Our table is set for 8pm, though since this will be a surprise, I was thinking to have everyone meet at another establishment where we could have a drink, surprise the B-Day girl and then walk over for our reservations.

                          Any good spots that are close? I was thinking no further than the Brasserie Perrier, which could be a good option. Any thoughts for a nice meeting place to surprise her? I was of Estia, too? My bearings seem off right now, to understand what's close.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Hellolaura

                            Monk's Cafe is right across the street, but you would have a hard time getting 12 people in there for a drink. The bar at Tequila's is nice, much bigger, and it's right around the corner on Locust.

                            By the way, make sure someone in your party orders the gnocchi at La Viola. They make the best gnocchi I've had in the city. This is at the original, not the Ouest location, which I had no idea existed before reading this thread..

                          2. Please tell us about your "long" debate. It just seems curious since you have long in quotes...I would love to hear the thought process that went into the decision making.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: goodoxen

                              The debate was two girls who could not decide on one particular spot to take our friend and then other's adding their two cents...that's all...so if you can imagine what that debate was like, have a laugh! A bit frustrating, but we have it settled!

                            2. LA VIOLA OUEST WAS ATROCIOUS!!!
                              Pretty good food, but I set up a whole thing for a bachelorette party and the entire experience was ruined! They messed up our reservation, had us at the wrong table, had no concept or ability to help with our wine, which came with explicit directions and was labeled, etc. etc. The hostess was INCREDIBLY rude and unaccommodating. When I said I thought we had the back room to ourselves she said, "Oh honey, no, that costs a lot of money," in a very condescending way. Every thing I asked her about that was wrong, she gave me an attitude or a snide answer or comment in return.

                              I asked for the manager when we arrived and then three other times and no one ever showed to talk to us. What a disappointment. Don't ever count on them for a special occasion. I poured our table's champagne toast myself b/c even after we were all seated, at the second table, still no one came by to do it. I confirmed on the phone at least three times that I would really like it to be poured before we arrived. (5 pm, not many other tables even there)

                              I called and spoke with the hostess and managers at least 5 times setting up and reconfirming everything, and look what happened! We even confirmed that someone would be there at 12 pm so we could drop off our flowers and wine, and not only did they not answer the door at 12 or 12:30, no one even answered the phone at until after 2pm. I called all morning b/c we had to carry flowers and TWO CASES of wine around the city ON FOOT all day until our reservation. Needless to say the whites weren't cold, so we couldn't drink them. I felt horrible for the bride and was so embarrassed that I set it up.