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festive dinner for 16

  • k
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I'm looking for a place for a group of out-of-towners with kids, ranging from 8-14. Around $40/person tops, any kind of food, but with a definite 'NY' atmosphere, although not necessarily touristy, so they'll be glad they traveled. It's a birthday celebration. I've considered chinese, brazilian, korean, even bbq -- any place that can seat us all and of course, good food. If anyone has a recommendation, I'd really appreciate it.

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  1. Try Carmines' Upper Westside location. Great for groups and kids, very reasonable, gives you the NY feeling, familiy style Italian with good food.

    1. Consider Katz's. Wonderful pastrami and also great turkey, for those who don't want pastrami. I've also tried their brisket and corned beef, which are both good though not great.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pan

        I wouldn't recommend Katz's - for many reasons - but it's not a place I'd enjoy sitting and celebrating. If the kids will eat southwestern food, Agave in the West village does well with groups and is fun - has great margaritas, chips, shrimp tacos, etc. Pastis has a large communal table so you might check that out - though it's loud. You could also call The Knickerbocker and I bet they'd help you out - great steaks, burgers, big menu and everything is good. It's downtown also on University & W. 10th or so.

        1. re: tsiblis

          Don't you think out-of-towners will enjoy all the photos on the walls? I mean, not that that's the only consideration, but still. And for definite New York atmosphere, what could be more New York than Katz's?

          I have enjoyed sitting and celebrating there, but I'm no longer a kid, much as I forget that sometimes. [laugh]

      2. thank you for your recommendations! will look into them.

        1. Hi kakes, usually with it comes to dining with kids, I tend to suggest places that will be easier for children's paletes, such as American, BBQ, or Italian:

          Not sure if you come from a southern state with great BBQ, but if not, you can try Blue Smoke (116 E 27th St | Btwn Lexington & Park Ave). They have good variety of BBQ items and appetizers, and also great desserts. There are shakes and alcoholic drinks, so it would be great for your group with kids. I found it to be more "NY" than other BBQ places in Manhattan, as the others always try to be more southern, while Blue Smoke gives you the southern taste with a more urban ambiance.

          For Italian, you can try Lupa or Otto by Mario Batali. It is less expensive than other Batali's establishments like Babbo or Del Posto in New York, but the food is still excellent. I would pick Lupa if you like pasta and Otto if you like pizza and amazing gelato (must have at Otto: Olive Oil Gelato). Definitely an unique New York experience. The only caveat is it may be more difficult to get a reservation, so you should call ahead.

          Chinese food will be the cheapest option, but unfortunately Chinese food in NYC is really not great, so IMO is can be omitted from the selection.

          Not for dinner celebration per se, but with the kids I suggest you visit Shake Shack at the Madison Square Park. Probably the best burger in New York, and it is not expensive at all. Also have great shakes and drinks, so I think your whole group, adults and kids alike, will enjoy the experience. You can also burn some calories by walking around the park if the weather is nice!

          I hope you have an amazing dinner celebration and Happy Birthday to the birthday person!