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Taking a broken-heart out for her birthday!

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Trying to organize a FUN 24th birthday dinner for next Tuesday for a friend who just broke up with her boyfriend. She is a foodie (as am I) yet not everyone in our party of about 6-10 is, so I need something not too expensive (maybe 25- 30 without alcohol, tax and tip), possibly BYOB, downtown with a fun atmosphere. We went to Mole to celebrate another friend's bday about a month ago, and it was perfect. Need something similar but different. Thanks!!

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  1. Cafe Noir is fun for birthday groups. The prices are very reasonable and if you order a bunch of shared plates and sangria pitchers, it makes splitting the bill easy. I found all the food very tasty, though I can't remember what I had.

    And the cheap east village sushi party spots can be fun... one friend had a birthday at Sushi Lounge, which works well cause it's not expensive, they have good drinks, and there's plenty of cooked items on the menu.
    Avenue A sushi is a lot of fun for parties too... we shared a bunch of special rolls, drank several saketinis and got out for like $40 pp total, and that even covered the guest of honor. There's a dj there, other parties going on, and lots of sake bombs.

    1 Reply
    1. re: erin07nyc

      If the consolee is a foodie, Avenue A Sushi will just make her feel worse. The fish is often past its prime, and the service ranges from barely competent to almost hostile.

    2. Peep, Highline, The Stanton Social, Cuba

        1. re: elizabeththinks

          Kuma Inn is BYOB and should please everyone in the group. Stanton Social and Cafe Noir are great options for a fun time, but you'd be hard-pressed to stay in the given price range if you want to be satisfied after dinner.

          1. re: anita_cocktail

            love Stanton Social but always end up spending a lot more than this group would be willing i think

          2. Simple solution for a female broken heart: Getting Hit On. So go to a male dominated place (that has good food and isn't too expensive): Blue Smoke, BLT Burger, Rare, Houston's, Dos Caminos, Rosa Mexicano.

            6 Replies
            1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

              Forget Blue Smoke for bbq. Hill Country is far superior. It's great for groups, there's live music, and Ms. Broken-Hearted could meet someone new while standing in line waiting to get her food. lol

              1. re: RGR

                I've been noticing reviews on the boards saying Hill Country is better than Blue Smoke. I had actually heard good things about Blue Smoke and was going to take my parents there next time they come (dad loves bbq) but they are VERY hard to please. But is the atmosphere at Hill Country too informal (I think I heard it's a buffet?)

                1. re: lucyj

                  I like the sides better at Blue Smoke and the meat better at Hill Country. IMO, these are not the type of places that I'd want my friends to take me to after a breakup for a fun birthday dinner with the girls. No way.

                  1. re: lucyj

                    Some say Hill Country tastes better. I disagree...AND for parental dinners I prefer a real restaurant with waiters and plates and no hassle (once you are seated finally).

                    For down scale BBQ (with informality) RUB is better. You still get a waiter and you don't wait on line AFTER having waited for your table (like you do at Hill).

                    1. re: lucyj

                      Hey, lucyj,

                      The atmosphere at Hill Country is very informal. When I think of a buffet, I think of dishes set out so that you serve yourself. That's now how things are run at Hill Country. It's more in the style of Katz's. That is, each person receives a ticket, you line up, and when it's your turn, you get your food at several stations. Meats are served on butcher paper and sides in containers. Thus, no plates. But there are regular utensils on the tables, as well as rolls of paper towels and wet wipes.

                      When it's very busy, hostesses assign tables. But when it's slow, you choose your own. There are servers who come around and take drink orders. You can also pay through them or at the registers on the way out. In either case, credit cards are accepted. And, btw, Hill Country has one of the nicest staffs I've come across. Every last person, from receptionists down to the guys who bus the tables, is extremely pleasant and helpful .

                      As you can see, if you are looking for regular table service or, more importantly, that's what your parents expect, then Hill Country will not do. I'm not crazy about Blue Smoke's bbq. But it's not terrible and, as has been noted, there is "formal" table service.

                  2. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                    Hear, hear. Rosa Mexicano has a good bar scene and good margaritas, food is fine I suppose. I'd say for every guy that buys a broken-hearted girl a drink, her heart mends by 10-25%.

                  3. Let us know where you're going - I can make sure there are about 5 great 28 year old guys there to lift her spirits! Cube 63 could also be an option - omakase is $35 and alot of fun.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wingman

                      hahah, thanks for the offer, I'll keep you posted. Have heard about cube 63 and like the idea of BYOB

                    2. i'd recommend:

                      -- Cacio e Vino...Sicilian specialities (for the foodies) plus wood-oven pizzas (with many options both chowish and plebian), yummy wine, great staff, charming and festive...2nd Ave/Fourth St...it's a fairly small place but i'm sure they could take a big party on a Tuesday because, while busy during primetimes, this place seems to still be slightly under-the-radar for a place w/ so many superb qualities...

                      -- Malatesta...fits the price point...also super charming w/ Italian comfort food and there are handsome young authentically Italian waiters who will make her forget her ex in about two seconds...

                      -- Cafe Mogador might work too if you want to go Moroccan and a bit casual (would easily fit the food portion of your budget even with lots of appetizers and dessert)...but it's sort of an East Village standard so it might not be festive enough nor varied enough for a big party w/ some non-foodies...

                      1. What's better than sharing good food with friends when you have a broken heart? I think having tapas to share is great and fun, and Alta should fit with your 25-30 budget without alcohol. It is not BYOB, but they have sangria and other drinks and they are not too expensive.

                        I think Stanton Social is indeed fun (and more fun than Alta), but I don't think you can get much under $30 per person.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: kobetobiko

                          Crispo.
                          Google their menu and prices.

                          1. re: idia

                            thanks for all the great suggestions, I'm going to look into them all. I know she'd smile if she saw all the reccomendations for how to cure a broken heart.!