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Help! Birthday dinner getting out of hand

So. I had originally envisioned a quiet, smallish dinner for four to six people. But somehow--people who couldn't be left off the list; everyone RSVPing yes--this morphed into a group of 10 to 12. I'm afraid the group is going to be too big for all of us to carry on a conversation, and I hate the idea of our being one of those obnoxious loud groups that make you want to ask to move tables if you're seated nearby. We will be a group of mostly women, mostly late 30something/early 40something, most with pretty refined palates although not picky eaters. I'd like to keep cost in the reasonable range (probably no more than $60 per person), as these big group things tend to spiral out of control in cost per person, especially with wine figured in--and also because I'm the birthday celebrant and I don't want people to have to shell out too much on my behalf. My favorites are probably Italian/Spanish/Mediterranean, but I am not wedded to this. I'm in the East Village and most of my friends are in Brooklyn (Slope/Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill), so those are the locations I'm leaning toward. I'm thinking possibly Supper (do they take reservations for groups?) in Manhattan, Lunetta or Frankie's Spuntino in Brooklyn, or maybe the new Po on Smith St.--anyone know if that would accommodate a group this size? I'm also wildly curious about the new Gemma in the Bowery Hotel, whose menu looks reasonable (and the space gorgeous), but maybe that's too trendy. Thanks for any suggestions you may have!

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  1. To keep the geographic police happy, I think you should repeat this request on the Outer Boroughs board for Brooklyn. I think during the middle of the week in the summer 10-12 people could give you a lot of choices in the $60 pp range. I'd say Po, iCi (Fort Greene), Five Front (Dumbo) would do you fine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bobjbkln

      I did post on outer boroughs. Thanks for suggestions. Forgot to say--this dinner will be on a Sunday night. Have you tried Po yet?

    2. How about trying: EU (nice size, great atmosphere, food is good but it won't blow you away), Hearth, Rayuela, 'inoteca

      3 Replies
      1. re: LeahBaila

        Hearth and EU are out of price range, I think, even though I like both. I was thinking of 'inoteca--do they maybe have a small room for big groups, downstairs somewhere?

        1. re: equilibrist

          They do. I did a "private room" search for you on Zagat.com and 'inoteca was one of the restaurants that was returned in the results. I think you could easily do EU, as well (price wise).

          1. re: LeahBaila

            Thenks for the tip on 'inoteca's room. Re EU, I like it--but both times I've been there, it's been $75 to $90 per person for a full meal, and when I say I want to do around $60 a person for this dinner, I mean $60 tops--I should have said $50 to $60. $50 would be better.

      2. Crispo has a little private room for bigger parties and would fit your budget. Not in the E Vill, though.

        2 Replies
          1. re: LeahBaila

            Another Crispo vote.
            I just came from a 25th Anniversary party and they really did things up proud.
            You will be very pleased.
            There is a menu for you to peruse if you google it.