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where to go for my birthday

maxine Jul 9, 2007 11:05 AM

My birthday is next week and I am looking for a casual place downtown (EV, WV, Union Square) where a group of my poor, thirty-something friends can meet and have some drinks and food. Outdoor seating is a plus.

  1. k
    kobetobiko Jul 11, 2007 07:48 AM

    If you like tapas, I recommend Alta or Bar Carrera in EV. They are both quite cheap and have excellent sangria. Food is tasty and tapa is always great for sharing with friends!

    Hope you have a wonderful meal and Happy Birthday!

    1. m
      maxine Jul 11, 2007 06:58 AM

      I have no idea how many people, anywhere from 3 to 10, so I want it very casual with good drinks. Esperanto looks good - I love Mojitos, I was also thinking perhaps mexican, Mecadito? Agave? El Rey De Sol?

      2 Replies
      1. re: maxine
        LeahBaila Jul 11, 2007 07:51 AM

        Haven't been to El Rey del Sol in years, but I remember the food being very good and reminiscent of Mexican food in Texas.
        Agave has a great atmosphere and fantastic margaritas, but the food isn't the best.

        1. re: LeahBaila
          janethepain Jul 11, 2007 07:57 AM

          I haven't had the food at El Rey de Sol, but they do have a backyard garden. And REALLY spicy salsa with chips.

      2. p
        Pan Jul 11, 2007 12:54 AM

        How many people?

        1. LeahBaila Jul 10, 2007 08:11 PM

          Check out: Markt (21st and 6th...I know this isn't very downtown, but the place is great), Crispo, August, cafecito, Esperanto, Max, Pylos...

          1. thievery Jul 9, 2007 05:08 PM

            royale in alphabet city is a neighborhood bar with a back yard. limited menu with excellent burgers in the corner bistro vein (meat and veggie), chicken sandwich, blt (all in the $6 range) and fries / rings... and drinks in the $5 range. has a jukebox you can commandeer to set the mood. gets crowded on weekends so depending on your night, may want to call ahead.

            la bottega at the maritime hotel in meatpacking dist is a good option for a large more trendy outdoor space. expensive drinks can blow your budget if you do most of the drinking there... but pizza, pasta (tagliatelle bolognese is very tasty) and excellent dinner rolls can be shared/split amongst group to keep food costs down.

            palacinka in soho has reasonably priced crepes (savory & sweet), salads and panini's and great decor / decent music. not outdoors, but wall of open windows in small, usually not crowded space is next best thing.

            1. williej33 Jul 9, 2007 03:35 PM

              If you're just looking for a low-key spot to eat and hang out, Anyway Cafe on 2nd and 2nd is a fun place for a party. The food is nothing special, but you can get carafes of infused vodkas for the table (the lychee and horseradish are my favorites) and lots of munchies. They have outdoor seating on the front patio, though only enough for a very small party (maybe 4-5 people), but I've had parties of 7-10 people inside and we've fit well. Call ahead if you decide to do it though-- it's a small place and fills up quickly.

              1. m
                maxine Jul 9, 2007 03:09 PM

                Thank you for all of the suggestions so far. I coppi might be a bit expensive, same with Sushi Samba (though it would be fun). I've never been to Metro Cafe and that looks nice. What is Lorelei, as a Gilmore Girl's fan I am intreaged. Keep ideas coming ...

                1 Reply
                1. re: maxine
                  lchang Jul 10, 2007 06:23 PM

                  Loreley (sorry i mispelled before) is a german restaurant in the LES with a great outdoor patio/beer garden in the back. It's super casual, but a lot of fun if your group is into good beers and pretty decent german food - homemade pretzels, sausages, wienerschnitzel, salads, etc.. it's not fancy, but it's fun, and people can order food or just drinks at the tables. http://www.loreleynyc.com/

                2. r
                  RGR Jul 9, 2007 02:51 PM

                  We were just at I Coppi, in the EV, again after not having been there for quite some time. Excellent food, good service, and very nice back garden. Most of the patrons appeared to be young 30-somethings, and there were two large groups celebrating someone's birthday. You can check the menu on their website to see if prices would work for your friends.


                  Happy Birthday!

                  1. l
                    lchang Jul 9, 2007 12:41 PM

                    malatesta, cafe asean, crispo, da andrea. also, lorelei is fun with a group in the outdoor garden (LES)

                    1. m
                      mrnyc Jul 9, 2007 11:38 AM

                      i hadnt been in a long time, but we sat on the roof at SUSHI SAMBA in the village recently during a rainstorm. it was very pleasant. SS is certainly a thirty-something favorite and its a fun place to celebrate. reserve one of the group tables upstairs.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mrnyc
                        kayonyc Jul 9, 2007 12:19 PM

                        SS is not exactly the place for poor-thirtysomethings to meet. The bill there gets high quickly (and not always worth it, IMO)

                        How about Cafe Mogador in the EV, or Intoeca in the LES? Metro Cafe and Wine bar in Un. Sq. doesn't have an outdoor space but is relatively inexpensive and okay. Pastis is an option - those that don't want to spend money can stick to burgers and a beer. The outdoor space is nice.

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