Birthday Enigma, Wrapped in a Riddle
Age Range: 30s
1st Restriction: Downtown Manhattan
2nd Restriction: One or two vegetarians in the group (can't be Peter Lugers)
3rd Restriction: One or two snobs in the group (can't be a dump)
4th Restriction: One or two cheap bastards in the group (must have 'cheap' menu options)
5th Restiction: One or two alcoholics in the group (must have booze)
6th Restiction: No meatpacking (lame) type places
7th Restriction: Will take a res for 12
Was thinking Rialto or Freeman's but, meh...
suggestions oh wise ones...
Cornelia Street Cafe in the west village fits... perhaps request the back room. I have always found their food very consistent, with good vegetarian options. Their burger is great ($12?) and snobs should be happy with their steak or a fish special. Good wine, beer and full bar.
Deborah, also in the west village (Carmine St) would also work. Also has a cute back room that might fit 12 perfectly. I consider her food to be a notch up from Cornelia St (who I just suggested above), although I'm sure it's a little more expensive (entrees $17 - 23). Great cocktails, and always a couple vegetarian options. cheap bastards can share the huge bowl of mac & cheese.
Rialto would work though the snobs would be the one's who don't enjoy it as much. The food is good (burger, carbonara, etc.) but both the menu and skill level of the kitchen are limited. Otherwise, its a fairly safe bet. I'd sit in the main room. As nice as it is to have the back space, I find it to be more of an eyesore than a benefit. They need to spiff the back up a bit.
Freemans would be a better choice if you base it strictly on food...but it's going to be a lot more difficult getting a table for 12 there than at Rialto.
Deborah, as mentioned by erin07, is another very good option. In fact, I'd try there first, to see if you can lay claim to the back room. The space is fairly tight and since I can't imagine they will be serving out on the back porch for a few weeks, you won't have traffic moving by you throughout the meal.
Actually, I take that back. See if you can get the downstairs private room at Blue Ribbon Bakery first. Then Deborah. Then whatever you think...You will need a credit card to hold the room.