Help! Ideas for a birthday dinner?
My boyfriend's birthday is on a Friday in May and I am planning a surprise party with his family from out of town. There will probalby be about eight of us. He wants pasta for dinner. He's a cook at Pizzera Delfina, he's not picky but likes good food. I've called around to some of the Italian restaurants we've been meaning to try like A16 and Ristorante Contadina but none of these places can accommodate a party of 7 or more. So I'm wondering where to go. I think he's had pasta on his birthday almost every year since he was a kiddo--I don't want to break the tradition but am having a hard time finding a place to go that won't break the bank.
Here's what I'm thinking. It would be nice to stay in the Mission area to avoid having to drive or bus. He's also a margarita fan. Was thinking that we could start off with drinks at La Rondalla and then walk down to the Last Supper Club for dinner. I've never been to the Last Supper Club, the menu looks tasty and accessible. And, they can accommodate a large family. His family is from Southern Italy and Ireland (also not picky eaters but they do like good food) so it's nice that the retaurant is Southern Italian--they aren't big on the cream sauces.
Any thoughts? What do you think of The Last Supper Club? Any better ideas? Even some place like Emmy's would be fine--not the best food in the city, but a fun place to eat. I want it to be memorable and fun and not too stuffy with portions that will fill up his big eating italian family. If we have to go out of the mission that's okay.
La Ciccia could certainly accommodate a group of 8. I happen to really like Valentina on Cortland in Bernal Heights. It's a small place, but they could accommodate you. The food is much better than Emmy's. The staff is professional but friendly. I've had really good desserts there several times as well. There's a bar on Cortland called Stray Bar that probably makes margaritas--don't know if it's any good. I'm a Wild Side West kind of gal myself. If it's a nice night, you could do a lot worse than hanging out in their fabulous garden for a drink. I was thinking maybe it's too divey for his family, but heck, if you were willing to take them to La Rondalla . . .
Here's the menupages entry for Valentina:
Anyone been to Lupa Trattoria? I've heard it's tasty and good for bdays... assuming this would be close for you as it's in Noe Vly on 24th/Castro.
Other than the location, Oliveto's in Oakland seems perfect for your requirements. They have a separate dining room for parties and the food is consistently amazing.
re: Robert Lauriston
I'll check out Aperto--As for A16 they can only take large groups Sun-Thursday. His Bday is on a Friday. But it turns out that his aunt and cousin can't make it so, that brings the party down to six, which is the biggest A16 can do on a Friday or Saturday.
Between A16 and Aperto which do you like better--food-wise, ambiance, location, bang for your buck?
And now that the party isn't so large do you have any other places you love and would suggest?