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Private Party - VERY limited budget

Obviously this probably limits me to lunch or brunch, but does anyone have a suggestion for a not to expensive place for about 12-15 people. It is for my wife's 30th birthday.

The specifics: Lunch or brunch anywhere in Manhattan looking to spend no more than $40-$50 per person to include meal, tax, tip and alcohol. Private room a plus but not necessary if restaurant is not too loud.


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  1. You could do dinner at China1 in the east village and get away with $40-$50 a head...I was there with a party of 14 for a 27th bday...they had the perfect table (everyone could talk evethough it was square-ish), great music, accomadating service, and we got a ton of alcohol and food for $51 per person

    1. You may want to try Jane (on Houston Street) for a brunch. It is an upbeat and nice atmosphere, and the servers are great. They have a big (and delicious!) brunch menu for about $15 a dish, which includes a bloody mary/mimosa/screwdriver. A great choice for a birthday brunch! Below is the menu:


      1. Fleur de Sel serves superb French cuisine in a space with lovely ambiance. They have a 3-course lunch prix-fixe for $25 that is available every day (incl. Sat. & Sun.). To keep within your stated budget, you will probably have to be very careful with your wine options. But certainly worth checking out.


        Devi, the upscale Indian restaurant, has some of the best Indian cuisine around. Lunch Mon.-Sat. is a 3-course prix-fixe for $24.07. There are many choices, and the dishes are taken directly from the regular dinner menu. It's a big space on two levels with unique, elegant decor.


        Cibo, on the corner of 2nd Av. & 41st St., serves very good Tuscan/New American cuisine.
        Their prix-fixe menus, including the one for dinner, can fit your budget. Very nice atmospherics. There are two dining rooms + a separate bar room. They do private functions, but I don't know what kind of seating arrangements they would make with 12-15 people.


        Turkish Kitchen has a 4-course lunch prix-fixe for $13.95 weekdays, and a Sunday brunch buffet for $21.95. The food is excellent, and the decor is very attractive. The space is on two levels, and I'm guessing they would put a large group such as your upstairs.


        1. I just was at a brunch for 12 at The Essex at 120 Essex this past weekend. They put us upstairs in the back. Really nice bright space, some offbeat choices for brunch food, and 3 bloody marys or mimosas, all for $15 - $20.

          1. Try Etetera Etertera or VisaVerce, both are very reaasonably priced and have nice private space.

            1 Reply
            1. Give both Otto and Lupa a call. We've done both, and they're really good affordable optiona for these sort of events. Lupa even provided the option for bringing our own wine if we met their spending minimum (I don't remember the specifics, but it wasn't that high).

              1 Reply
              1. re: danoots

                Otto's group dining prix-fixe will be more or less in your price range for a ton of food and unlimited wine!

                They have no private room, but it's a very large space. Noise level should be fine during the day.

              2. I agree with ronoc..try Essex. Though you won't get a "private" room, their set up allows for a semi-secluded arrangement on either of their upper dining areas. The menu says "3" drinks are included, but if you are friendly with your server and don't down all 3 before you order, your glass will never be empty. Great dishes at affordable prices. The environment is very brite and inviting as well. Great scene and food, you almost can't go wrong by going there!

                1. Pesce Pasta on the UWS can do a great lunch menu with wines, etc. 89th and Columbus. Charming, and terrific food. ForkNewYork.com

                  1. Many of the Korean BBQ places on 32nd street have private rooms and you could probably get away with $40-50 if you don't drink too much. :-)

                    I think Essex is a nice looking space but the food there is only okay. People seem to have a fun time there because of the 3 strong drinks included in the price.

                    1. What about one of the numerous Israeli/ Middle Eastern places to do plates of falafel, hummus,and all the goodies that go with? Plus, plates of schnitzel, or shwarma, great grilled veggies or kebobs. You can do more beer and wine, or at least nicer since the food won't cost a fortune. Additionally, the sharing and passing of plates can be fun, bring about conversation and is casual and relaxed.

                      1. Otto is great. Tons of "free" table food along with what you order.

                        1. Your price point would be a cinch if you did your banquet at any of a number of Chinese restaurants in Chinatown.