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Help! hors d'œuvres and drinks in a garden

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I need help with with my friend's 43 BDAY, I've searched and searched for a place, preferably a garden or a nice place where 10 people could have drinks and some hors d'œuvres on a SATURDAY -- I know, manhattan is crazy on saturdays, that's why i need some hound help.

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  1. That's a difficult one. Someone here said Gnocco's garden was nice but I do not remember it, and on a Saturday night, ufff...but if you go around 7 or 8 maybe is not that bad...i'll keep thinking...

    1. I'd check out The Bowery Hotel bar...double check on if they do hors d'oeuvres. They have a beautiful outdoor patio.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LeahBaila

        i went to the bowery hotel today and they told me the garden has no opened yet, just for private parties, and you have to arrange and pay for the party and they didn't let me see it, you have to make an appointment in order to do so....I just a nice bar with, tapas or appetizers where 10-12 friends ranging form 29y/o to 60y/o (most of them in their 30s or 40's) can get together and have nice time, around 8pm. i went to 7 or 8 places today, but can't find a nice normal garden where you can drink and have appetizers (they want everyone to eat dinner in order to make a reservation and i dont want to force everyone to have dinner). I was thinking that even though it will be a Sturday it will be Labor day weekend Saturday and if I remeber correctly, the bars in the city are not too packed those days, so anyone knows a nice (or just normal) bar, it does not have to be outdoors anymore...

      2. I haven't been to Alcala (342 E 46th, between 2nd Ave & UN Plaza) since the place was Marichu, so it's been quite some time. However, it gets fairly good reviews and has a lovely back garden.

        1. How about a biergarten? I think Loreley may work for you if you like German beer and food, and don't absolutely need a schmancy place. There will be soccer on TV most likely and, depending on the game, potentially lots of enthusiastic Germans hoisting up their bier mugs at a play or yelling at the referee. The food, here, is authentic and tasty.

          If you want something fancier, but still pretty laid back, look into B-Bar. Decent food, nice garden, and the staff there will push together tables if you call ahead.

          Both of these are in the lower east side.

          Moving up the scale of "nice," there is a truly civilized little place called La Lanterna on Macdougal in the W. Village. Seating is tight in the evenings, but I think they ought to be able and happy to handle 10 in the afternoon. There's a pretty nice garden out back, an EXCELLENT and extensive selection of wines and liquors, good food.

          p.s. Manhattan isn't actually that crazy on Saturdays -- esp. not in the afternoon -- unless you insist on a super trendy place.

          8 Replies
          1. re: cimui

            hi thanks, yes i know the 3 places, because i live on ave c (and work near la lanterna), but it hadn't occurred tome, thanks. i also thought about 1492,'s patio...i haven't been there in about 2 years. how is it lately? i think i might switch to a tapas place...i'm confused,sorry,jj. it is true that is not necessarily crazy on saturdays but the get together is not really in the afternoon, it would begin at 8. i even thought about going to stanton social -just because we haven't been- but again the people coming are different people with very different incomes and SS could be a tough imposition. 1492....maybe...

            1. re: LRS

              I wrote a post and it appeared under someone else's name instead of mine...! did the system got confused? Does this happened before? This was MY post:
              hi thanks, yes i know the 3 places, because i live on ave c (and work near la lanterna), but it hadn't occurred to me, thanks. i also thought about 1492,'s patio...i haven't been there in about 2 years. how is it lately? i think i might switch to a tapas place...i'm confused,sorry,jj. it is true that is not necessarily crazy on saturdays but the get together is not really in the afternoon, it would begin at 8. i even thought about going to stanton social -just because we haven't been- but again the people coming are different people with very different incomes and SS could be a tough imposition. 1492....maybe...

              1. re: gurmanda

                1492 is as collegy as ever, but the drinks are cheap!

                if you're doing the patio route, i believe tio pepe is still open. i don't like the food there all that much, but for apps only, it's harmless. you can drink sweet, gringa margaritas in the covered back garden.

                1. re: cimui

                  truth is i never liked 1492, beginning with the political charge of the name ... i'm taking your Loreley suggestion into account, i'm heading there today to check it out because i went once and i forgot how it was.

                  1. re: gurmanda

                    good gracious. i must be very dense: i never even thought about the political implications of the name before you mentioned it. it references columbus's arrival in the americas? i'd just thought it was one of those places uncreatively named after its street address or something like that!

                    hopefully loreley works out for you. please report back, esp. if it doesn't so we can keep brainstorming.

                    1. re: cimui

                      i passed near loreley today and it was packed!

                      1. re: cimui

                        yes, sorry for the density/p.correctness factor, i'm from one of Spain's 1492 colonies,jj. well, i went to loreley and my report is the following: i liked the space, I liked their beer selection and i liked their appetizers, what i did not like was the crowd. it was packed, and packed with tons of white blond people, not from germany but young jersey guys and some really loud frat boys (sorry for my polit. incorrectness now). so even though i would go with some friends to try have beer & food i think it is not the kind of place my friend (and the 12 people we're inviting) want. also, everyone was soo young (43 seemed really old). i was thinking...tell me if this is Too lame, but i went to couple of places today and the only place that was consistently half empty (i went around 8 and again around 11) was Casimir's lounge (on avenue B). I don't love this place because the food is not great and the beer selection is poor but i though that maybe in this big group context, going to the lounge and sticking to drinks wasn't a bad idea...What do you think? i'm giving up the garden idea...today was really hot/humid and if next saturday is the same we won't enjoy a garden.

                        1. re: gurmanda

                          Yikes... That does sound pretty awful. I don't remember it being all that packed, but perhaps it's been 'discovered' since I last went (in March or so) and/or there was a particularly great game on... Sorry for that experience!

                          I wonder if somewhere like Sushi Samba Seven would work for you. THey have a roof top seating area that's fairly civilized, though drinks and apps are pretty overpriced. I have dropped in for a late brunch before, so I am pretty sure they are open for service during the afternoon. It's oudoor seating, true, so if the humidity is getting to you, this isn't what you're looking for...

                          There are other options outside of the village if you're willing to leave the area. If you decide you really want something outdoors, the Boat Basin Cafe at 79th st. is a really pleasant place to sit--and you get the breeze coming in off the water. The downside is that the food isn't all that great and the beer selection is small (mostly domestic with the standard imports). They've let me bring in a birthday cake for a friend, before, though, so perhaps that'll mitigate...

                          Similarly, for a potentially nice space, but generally bad food, there's The CLoisters on 9th st. in the e. village. You probably know about that one already, though.

                          Not in Manhattan, but what about the Brooklyn Brewery? You can bring your own food, the inside is cavernous and cool. It's beer only, of course, but the beers are tasty IMO.

                          I haven't been to Casimir's, so I couldn't tell you.

                          Do you have a particular kind of atmosphere in mind? How casual / fancy / trendy do you want it to be?

                          There's a good bar thread that might be helpful from not too long ago, that I'll try to dig up for ya... You are a really great friend for doing all this legwork in advance!

            2. Check out MoBar at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Columbus Circle. There's also: Flute Champagne Bar in Gramercy, The Tribeca Grand Hotel bar (which is fantastic!).