My parents are taking my 3 best friends, my boyfriend and I out for my bday next Sunday night (the 11th). I don't live in the area anymore so I could use some Chowhounder's suggestions. I'm up for most kinds of food and am looking for something fun. While it doesn't have to be cheap, I'm not going for one of those through the roof-prices type places. I love BYOBs, so any suggestions you have would be welcome!
Chines New Year starts on the 18th. A banquest would be fun for your b'day would be fun. Either in Chinatown or one of the really good chinese places in the 'burbs. you did not give a location except that you are not in the area. Thus, no specific suggestions Lots of possiblitites.
A bunch of my out-of-town clients found El Vez (after I had compiled a long list of Chinatown suggestions), and they LOVED it. I find it a little loud, but no one can deny that it's fun! I'd recommend ordering all appetizers (you HAVE to get tableside-made guacamole) if you do go. Fun atmosphere, fun servers, good food - other than the noise level, what's not to like?
You mentioned BYOBs, but you need to check to see if these are open on Sunday:
Caffe Casta Diva
Los Catrines and Tequilas
There are some newer small-plates/tapas spots that are always a great time for sharing among a group, especially if they are adventurous eaters. My favorite at the moment is Cafe Ferdinand in NoLib. Not BYOB, but the drink prices are pretty reasonable, including their sangria pitchers. Shouk serves up Israeli small plates that are excellent too-- it is a smaller place though, so definitely make a rez.
Ansill and Tria are other options to consider if the small plate thing appeals to you.
I personally find that Bar Ferdinand really ads up. The small plates are the smallest small plates I've ever seen. It's a struggle to get full. The food is good though.
Tria is fantastic but not for large parties.
Amada would be a great choice
A beautiful new restaurant is XIX at the Bellevue Hotel, great food and service
Thank you all so much for your suggestions- really helpful, if not for my birthday, then for another time. I've heard that Fig is really good and a nice BYO. What do you guys think about that? Thanks!