Lunch in New Haven
I am looking for a great place to have lunch with about 10 people on a Wednesday.
Despite being quite expensive at dinner, the Union League Cafe is a remarkably good deal for lunch, and usually isn't too crowded during that time of day - they can seat large parties, and it's a fine place to sit around and chat during a long meal.
Bentara, an upscale Malaysian place on Orange Street, is also quite nice and shouldn't have too much trouble seating a large party at lunch time. As always, it wouldn't hurt to call ahead, though I can't imagine you'd have any trouble at lunch.
A little further afield, on Chapel Street in Fair Haven, there's Guadalupe la Poblanita, a fantastic Mexican place serving authentic Poblano fare. Their space is huge - way bigger than they can ever come close to filling up - and the food's great. Of course, it's not downtown, and there's nothing around it, so if you're hoping for an after lunch stroll, it's probably not your place. Also, they don't take credit cards. But the food's great, the woman who runs the place is a sweetheart, and you won't have any trouble seating 12 people.
Then again, most places downtown are hardly ever packed at lunch time, so you can almost take your pick.
If you like asian food, you might try Kiri (old Gunung Tahan) at 1451 Whalley Ave. Good food, nice decor, reasonable prices, lots of room.
I haven't been to the new Barcelona Wine Bar at 155 Temple St. yet, but if they have anything as good as the tapas at their West Hartford branch, yummy. The barcelona web site doesn't list the new branch yet, but their other locations are open for lunch. You'll have to check with the proprietor about room for 10.
Ditto Bentara, the soups make a hearty inexpensive lunch. I love the Me Curry Soup.
Sandra's had a lunch buffet Mon.- Wed. that was really great. I'd think that they'd have no problem seating a large party.