Help London-30-somethings Plan Classy Bachelorette: Very Specific Requests for CH Help!
I'm going to hope my sharing of the Chowhound Love on the London board will pay off in these few requests for a good friend's "Hen Night" in NY in May. She's not the type to do those whipped cream shots or wear the veil or that terrible t-shirt--she's more a Kir Royale/Hotel bar kind of gal. She does drink and dance though...don't get me wrong. But just leave out all the cheesy stuff.
Request #1. Dinner (relatively) close to our hotel in Times Square on a Friday night around 8 p.m. for 15+ who we can't guarantee will all arrive at the same time due to flights in from many international locations. Budget: $35 a person with drinks, tops. I'm thinking tapas or sushi will work well here. Ideally, someplace where we can eat and then hang out and drink so people can drop in and out all night. That is, would prefer an all-in-one-place...,no change of venue. A private room would be nice, but not 100% necessary.
Request #2: Saturday dinner anywhere easily accessible by subway or taxi for 10+ gals. Mexican would be great. (London doesn't do Mexican all that well.) Budget: $50 a person with drinks. Dancing somewhere nearby with a crowd around our age, champagne, and no other bachelorette parties in attendance is an extra bonus.
Brunch on Sunday. Budget $25 a person with drinks. (Champagne, of course.) This will probably be a late brunch, given the previous night's festivities. So someplace that will take a 2 p.m. booking where we probably stay until 5. This should be a good hangover place, just speaking frankly.
All in all, I'm thinking we're looking for smaller, more local places than big huge venues. Your help and guidance would be most appreciated,
I'm going to answer for Requests 2 & 3 for the moment, and maybe I'll be inspired to move on to 1 & 4 as I type.
#2 Mexican food, near dancing. I am going to recommend Mi Cocina on Jane St and Hudson/8th Ave. It's a lovely little restaurant with home-y Mexican food. No gloppy cheese messes, and without some of the twists and turns of "haute" Mexican. I've always loved the Pechuga con Rajas a la Crema (chicken breast in a cream sauce with poblanos) served with crispy potatoes.
#3 dancing near Mexican food. I would recommend going to MisShapes at Don Hill's on Spring St and Greenwich (it would be a quick cab hop from the restaurant). They may not have champagne (but they actually might), you'll hear great music, rub shoulders with NYC famous hipsters of all ages. This party is constantly being written up as one of New York's best parties, but it's still fairly underground.
If you're hungry, tired or thirsty after dancing at Don Hill's with the MisShapes then head over to Cafe Noir on Thompson and Grand Streets. This is one of New York's best late night eating and drinking establishments, with a Moroccan tapas menu and fantastic wines available by the glass. Or alternately Ear Inn on Spring just up the street from the club, OLD fashioned French bistro with lots of calvados guzzling and mussel sucking.
#2 For Mexican, I'd recommend La Palapa (there is one on St.Marks Street in the East Village and one in the West Village on 6th Avenue near West 4th Street) - www.lapalapa.com or Mexicana Mama (bad name but terrific food - it is a small restaurant though and cash only) or downstairs at La Esquina at Kenmare and Lafayette. All are very easily accessible by subway.
Well, I'm going to jump in with a few suggestions to start you off...
For Friday night, you are right Tapas would probably be fun, I would recommend Tintol, it's near your hotel, not too pricey.
For Saturday, I think that I'd suggest Mercadito Grove, which is really good Mexican, or maybe Rosa Mexicano or Dos Caminos. The last two are a bit more of a scene.
Dancing wise, NYC is hard. I like Tenjune and Cain personally. Cielo can also be really fun, as can Marquee.
For Sunday brunch I would say do Country's champagne brunch. It may be a little over $25, but well worth it.
As far as I know, Country is closed on Sunday. I think you mean the Cafe at Country? Though not as upscale as Country, it is not an inexpensive place. So, unless you stick to just a main course, the cost will be a good deal above $25, particularly when you factor in the champagne.
If you're looking for a more trendy/bar scene sushi option for #1, you can always go for one of the SushiSamba restaurants. Although these don't have (in my opinion) the *best* sushi you can get in NYC, it's always fresh, inventive and lots of fun bachelorette-friendly drinks! There's also a roof down on the 7th Ave location w/c I think can do private parties - but it may be a little cold for that. Enjoy!
For request #1: a lot of the Thai places along Ninth Ave are pretty casual and can easily accommodate large groups. I particularly like Yum Yum Bangkok on West 45th and Ninth, and they do serve wine and some cocktails. I have not been to Tintol, but am intrigued by it.
Request #2: Suenos is a lovely place and with enough advance notice, they could probably accommodate your group. That's around 18th and Seventh. I'm a little stuck with where to go for dancing, though. I know that Bar 13 on 13th and Fifth Avenue (quick cab hop or you could walk it) does have a DJ on weekends with $10 cover and obviously they will serve drinks.
Request #3: Balthazar might be a nice place to do brunch. Sushi Samba on Park does a great brunch deal that they refer to as family-style that is $15/person with one cocktail included - so save your extra $$ for the champagne. Basically, your group chooses a certain number of dishes from the first course list and the second course list. I went there for a late brunch, and the place was not packed so lingering was definitely allowed.
Bar 13 doesn't have a cabaret license and therefore there isn't supposed to be any dancing. Plus the place is teeny tiny with lots of furniture, if the OP brought a party of 15 there they would definitely dominate the room.
The Hen Party may want to head over to the Lower East Side and check out the Annex on Orchard and Rivington. Lots of great food options not far from there as well, although not Mexican AND it's a bit of a zoo around there on Saturdays.
For your brunch, Pastis will be perfect. You'll all sit at the big table, and there are lots of yummy Brit things to eat, including baked beans and roast tomatoes. And champagne, of course.
For clubs, get Time Out NY. SInce you are already probably very familiar with Time Out, their club section is well worth scouring for latest raves.
Mi Cocina is a great suggestion for Mexican, but may be a little quiet. What do other Hounds think of Radio Mexico on Lafayette? Clubs abound in that 'hood too. And the atmosphere is very festive.
For your mexican dinner, I recommend Rio Grande (38th and Lex). My bachelorette party dinner was there and it was so much fun! The margaritas are strong and delicious. The food isn't ground-breaking, but is decent (esp. if you don't have good mexican in London). The price will be right as well.