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West Village/Meatpacking for Six or Seven?

Not too noisy, not too hip. Really good food in a pleasant, laid back atmosphere. Any kind of food okay (although some of the group are from Latin America and would probably prefer food they don't find readily at home), but not too spicy. Preferably not too expensive; perhaps about $60/$70/pp including wine. Also need to be able to get a fairly last-minute res for tomorrow night since the number in the group could easily increase to eight or nine. I don't know the neighborhood well and am scouting for friends who are here on business and will be taking clients who are staying downtown out for the evening. They'll want to talk business. They care about their food. Any suggestions appreciated.

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      1. re: Lucia

        seconded--just went here on saturday. food was great, decor was beautiful. everyone in my group really enjoyed it.

      2. if you are 6, reserve the big round booth at Blue Ribbon. (If Soho is OK with you.)

        1. Barbuto. The main dining room may be too loud/busy for your needs, but they have a private room if you're going to be a bigger group and you need quiet. Food is great.

          1. Florent, the original meatpacking restaraunt.

            1. you want something really interesting (if your people can handle it - get the tatami room in Naka naka on 17th and 10th. It is tiny, the room can be rented for like $40 and seats 8. it is a traditional tatami mat room. the food is terrific and the service is very attentive.

              1. I concur with the Crispo recommendation if you can secure a table (check opentable.com). Another option is En Japanese Brassiere on Hudson corner Leroy and Alfama (Portuguese) on Hudson cor Perry. If, you can venture further North than the Meatpacking district theres Cookshop and Red Cat which sounds like a good fit too. For both food and ambience. I would stay clear of Barbuto.

                1. Thanks, everyone. This is a great help. I'll pass along the info and see what they decide.

                  1. Reporting back.

                    My friends decided on Crispo, and despite it being a mostly business dinner I was invited to join them so reporting is first hand.

                    We had a large, round table for eight just behind the bar with a speaker directly above us so it was a bit noisier than I’d hoped it would be but not enough to impede conversation. Nice comfortable room and good location for people who were staying in various parts of the city.

                    Everyone seemed pleased with the food, and the wine (although I didn’t see the list), and deemed Crispo an excellent choice. So thank you all.

                    They had bone marrow Bone Marrow, "Arrosto Oreganata," as an affetati (rather expensive at $15 and a 15-minute wait but I couldn’t resist), which I took to be an appetizer. It’s two huge beef bones, cut lengthwise and roasted with lots of oregano and garlic bread crumbs served with an onion and raisin confit, and toasted bread. The marrow was delicious, but the serving size was almost obscene. It’s so rich, one smaller bone would have been more than plenty. For a main, which I could barely eat after eating less than half the affetati, I had the Roasted Branzino, listed as a special of the day. It was boned, although still with the head and tail, and perfectly prepared. Sides were a lightly braised bok choy and more of the onions that I’m sure were used in the confit (I could have used a change in flavors, there; essentially similar sides on both appetizer and main were not a good idea.)

                    I didn’t try others’ dishes, but the two who had the lamb chops (three thick rib chops) said they were wonderful and although I wasn’t hearing raves, there certainly weren’t any complaints from those who chose pasta mains. Didn’t get much feedback on the desserts, but plates were cleaned.

                    So thanks again for the Crispo recommendation. Location, room, food, and service (very competent, by the way, despite some reports I’d read to the contrary) were all just what my friends were looking for.