30 People in New London, CT
My brother is graduating from the Coast Guard Officer Candidate School in New London, CT on Wednesday the 13th of June. I'm looking to put together an early evening event (starting at 6 or 7 PM) for 20 to 30 people. I live in New York City and have never been to New London, so I have no idea where to start.
I'm looking for a great (but unpretentious) dining experience followed by an evening characterized by abundant booze. (He's had nothing but the mess hall and no alcohol for a couple of months. We need to celebrate in style.) We are a group of foodies, but have the potential to become a loud and boisterous group, so we ought not end up anywhere overly formal. However, a let's-get-black-out-drunk-and-do-something-stupid Frat Boy environment would be just as bad, if not worse.
Combination recommendations (i.e. go to this restaurant for diner, go to this bar afterward) are welcome.
To be honest, any help at all would be greatly appreciated. I really want to pull out all the stops for my brother, but am a bit out of my element outside of the City.
Tony D's in New London at the corner of Huntington and Broad Street has a bar and a private room that would easily seat thirty. Good old style Italian food. After dinner you could walk over to State Street (about a two minute walk) and hit Hanifin's - a great Irish pub. And further down the street is The Dutch - which is great but not a place for a large group to eat dinner.
Or you could go to Stash's over on Pequot Avenue near Pfizer. They have a good menu of burgers, sandwiches, pasta .... and they probably have a band playing for when you want to get s*&^faced.
hey, I grew up in southeastern CT and now live in the city, and I can understand your plight...if you want to stay in New London proper, your best bet is the downtown area...there's a restaurant called Bulkeley House that has a great outdoor area overlooking the Hygenic Art Gallery's garden. caveat: I've only been there for drinks. also a good time is the Dutch Tavern, aka "the Dutch." your brother will probably know it.
if you can venture out of New London (recommended), you'll have the most fun in Mystic. for a good dinner, try the Capt. Daniel Packer Inne--they have an upstairs where you could probably have a group your size. then you can move on to Margarita's for cheesy yet eponymous cocktails, or the Harp 'n Hound (Irish pub), or Azu, a new bar/restaurant that's the cool place in town now. just beware--the sidewalks get rolled up early anyway, and Wednesday night will probably be pretty quiet. good thing you're bringing the noise...