HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Wedding Reception NYC

My fiance and I are planning a wedding in NYC for June 2008. We come from the UK but love the idea of having a small group of friends accompany us to New York to celebrate our big day. The wedding will take place in Central Park at about 4pm and then we want to go to a nice restaurant that serves hearty, tasty food in an intimate romantic restaurant, preferably somewhere with a private dining space. We both love our food but have very little knowledge of the restaurants with private dining facilities in NYC. There will be around 20-25 in the wedding party. At the moment I am interested in Savoy, Stanton Social and Amalia so any feedback on these venues would be really appreciated. We do have a budget of around $150 a head so although we loved the River Cafe, unfortunately it is out of our budget. We will be grateful for any recommendations.

Many Thanks

Laura and Tom

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Upstairs at Teodora on W. 57th St. For 20 or 25 people they could do one square shaped table with everyone facing each other. Very good, authentic Italian food, old world atmosphere, not fancy, but cosy and could be made romantic with candles, flowers etc. Good service too.

    1. Oops, I meant E. 57th St. near Lexington, I think.

      1. city hall restaurant in tribeca has a private room that will fit your group. www.cityhallrestaurant.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: BecBunny

          Thanks a lot for your responses so far! Anyone else got any ideas?


          Laura + Tom

        2. What about The Boathouse at Central Park? You cannot beat the atmosphere or location. The food isn't the BEST New York has to offer, but everything else about it is!

          3 Replies
          1. re: LFeinberg

            Yes, the setting is lovely, but the food is mediocre at best.

            1. re: valerie

              We had lunch at the Boathouse for the first time last summer. We went primarily for the setting -- outdoor covered space with gorgeous view of the lake -- and were surprised to find that the food was not mediocre at all, but nicely prepared and very tasty. Of course, it is entirely possible the food at private functions there could be worse.

              1. re: RGR

                I have never been to a private function there. We had dinner there, but now that I think about it more, it was in the summer of 2003. Very mediocre at the time, but maybe there have been significant improvements since then.

          2. Raoul's on Prince Street has a private dining room available. My old boss years ago was a foodie with an expense account, and time after time after time he'd hand me receipts from many dinners at Raoul's. It's been there forever, it's in a great neighborhood, and the food is wonderful, something to please everyone even the less adventurous folks. A family run restaurant with one foot in tradition and the other firmly in this century. It's also in your price range.


            1. Eleven Madison Park has a private room upstaris that has windows into the larger dinning room. I don't know if they are still offering private party service but it never hurts to ask.

              1 Reply
              1. re: adido

                EMP still does private parties upstairs. However, Laura and Tom say they are looking for hearty food and an intimate space -- not close to describing the cuisine and ambiance at EMP.

              2. Ottimo on 24th street has very, very good, hearty italian (neopolitan) food and a nice atmosphere. They have a private room upstairs that might work for your size party, and it should fall within your price range.

                1. I would have said the River Cafe as well but since that's out, why not try the Water Club in the 30's on the river. I have been to several private events and love Friday night cocktail at their informal, up top, outdoor bar when the weather is good. You could do cocktails on the deck and have dinner in one of their rooms. The food is quite good and the setting couldnt be prettier.

                  1. I had my wedding at Water's Edge which is on the other side of the river in queens. They have an incredible view overlooking the water, and did a great job with the food for the reception. They offer ferry service across the river, and the boat ride would probably be a lot of fun with a big group like that. I am not sure if they have any private rooms however, and it is definitely not an intimate restaurant.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JRSD

                      I LOVE the Water's Edge!! Good choice! :)

                      1. re: JRSD

                        I was at wedding reception at the Water's Edge just over a year ago and the food was outright bad. Soggy pastas and gristly prime rib. Beautiful views but awful food.

                      2. Opia on 59th and lex..it is a very pretty and small place that has private rooms and the food is quite good.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: taraxstar

                          I went to a reception at Valbella in the meatpacking that was a very nice affair.

                          1. re: Popsicle81

                            Thanks everybody for all the feedback. At the moment I am torn between a private function room at SOHO House, Savoy and newly opened Amalia, but I am purely going on their websites and reviews from NYMag. If anybody has any personal experiences on these venues please let me know. Thanks again.

                            1. re: lou_98_

                              Soho House food is very good, surprisingly enough. I have been to several dinners there. However, be sure to ask about the private dining room. The ones I have been are merely glassed off from the main dining room and you have to walk through the scene-y bar to get there. They may, however, have others on another floor. If the weather is good, try to arrange for cocktails on the roof bar at sunset time. Great view.
                              Savoy is tiny and very charming. Food is good too. I think of it as more of a winter place though, but thats just me.
                              In any event, congratulations and enjoy!

                              1. re: lou_98_

                                We had dinner at Amalia a few weeks ago. We thought the food was delicious, and the staff couldn't have been nicer and more efficient. As far as the space is concerned, it used to be a carriage house, so it is huge. There's a bar area in the front and two separate dining areas in the rear, with the very back one up a step or two. While that back area isn't entirely private, it would work nicely for a private party. The decor is has a variety of wondeful elements, and the overall feel is very stylish and hip.

                                One of the managers showed us the downstairs space which was still under construction. It's going to have a club atmosphere. There's a bar area, and the tables in an adjacent room are the kind that are low for when you're having drinks only but can be raised to normal dining height if you elect to be served food there. Access to the lower level is via a staircase with gorgeous mosaics on the steps. I imagine the owners will also be using this whole space for private functions.

                                Hope this helps....

                                1. re: RGR

                                  Oh they all sound great which has now caused me the further dilemma of choosing between them! Thanks.

                          2. Laura,

                            WHat was your final decision? Amalia looks beautiful. I am also thinking of the same concept for my wedding....