HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Do you create unique foods? Tell us about it

Great SoHo restaurant for 14 people for Saturday night 40th birthday bash

Maplewoodrenee Jan 11, 2008 10:27 AM

Hello. I am turning 40 (gulp) this month and am planning to gather some friends together to celebrate the event on a Saturday night in a few weeks time. I estimate that we will be 14 people. We plan on going to dinner somewhere in SoHo and then to Naked Lunch to listen and dance to some 80s music.

I need help on figuring out where we can go to dinner. I want good food and atmosphere at normal prices. It's tough with 14 people. I started call around. I called Lupa and they can take a group of up to 14 people at $60/pp, which is reasonable but they are currently booked. Aquagrill is already booked. Blue Ribbon sushi only takes reservations for groups of 5-8 people. The Savoy said that they could handle up to 12 people (which until everyone confirms their attendance, I don't know whether I have 12 or 13 or 14 people, or even a few more). Their menu is $1200 for 12 people. This could be ok, although I don't know if all of my friends will be thrilled by the price.

Any suggestions on places that would be good for this size group? Thanks for your help!!

  1. MMRuth Jan 11, 2008 10:29 AM

    Have you considered Balthazar? They might be able to do a group along the banquette at the back of the room.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth
      Maplewoodrenee Jan 11, 2008 11:35 AM

      I just checked with them and they said they are booked. And, they said the largest table they can take is for 10. Oh well.

    2. Chow Baby Jan 11, 2008 11:10 AM

      Aurora SoHo.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chow Baby
        Maplewoodrenee Jan 11, 2008 11:35 AM

        Great suggestion. This looks like a possibility. They are sending me a menu.

      2. i
        intrepid Jan 11, 2008 11:39 AM

        maybe the private rooms on mezzanine level 60 thompson st hotel..bar area has private rooms, drink, eat, music

        3 Replies
        1. re: intrepid
          Maplewoodrenee Jan 12, 2008 11:36 AM

          I checked with Kittichai and they can only do 5:30pm for this size group that night. If I got my 40 year old friends out to dinner that early, everyone would be home in bed by 9pm, so I think I'll keep looking. Good idea though as this is the kind of place I am looking for and it's near Naked Lunch. They said they would call me back if they could work something out a bit later.

          1. re: Maplewoodrenee
            intrepid Jan 12, 2008 12:07 PM

            kittichai is mediocre

            1. re: intrepid
              Maplewoodrenee Jan 12, 2008 01:44 PM

              Open to suggestions. Given the size of my crowd, I'll likely have to compromise.

        2. h
          harrison Jan 11, 2008 12:39 PM

          how about woo lae oak? korean bbq and good for group. I wouldn't call the food earth shattering, but may be able to accomodate you.


          1. b
            bussy26 Jan 11, 2008 12:56 PM

            Could check Provence, also Lure is quite good.

            15 Replies
            1. re: bussy26
              LeahBaila Jan 11, 2008 05:17 PM

              Lure is fun. You could also try The Mercer Kitchen or Kittichai

              1. re: LeahBaila
                MMRuth Jan 12, 2008 05:49 AM

                There was a recent trip report by a visitor that reported a pretty lously meal at Mercer Kitchen - the OP might want to check that out too.

                1. re: MMRuth
                  Maplewoodrenee Jan 12, 2008 11:39 AM

                  Mercer Kitchen does have availability at 7pm. So, I'll need to check out the bad report as this is a real option for dinner that night. Anyone else have any comments on the Mercer Kitchen?

                  1. re: Maplewoodrenee
                    MMRuth Jan 12, 2008 11:42 AM


                    That's the one I was thinking of. On Kittichai - great cocktails, but thought the food was so so, but I've not been for quite a while. Beautiful room etc.

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      Maplewoodrenee Jan 12, 2008 11:58 AM

                      I just read that review of Mercer kitchen...sounds aweful... unless I come up with some other options, it's currently between that and Aurora. Sounds like perhaps Aurora might be the better bet. Any comments on Aurora? Any other ideas?

                      1. re: Maplewoodrenee
                        MMRuth Jan 12, 2008 12:21 PM

                        Unfortunately I've not been to Aurora or read much about it, but I do think some posters have been.

                  2. re: MMRuth
                    thegreekone Jan 12, 2008 12:18 PM

                    My excursions to MK have been the same. Every trip has been either great service and a bad meal or bad service and a good meal. Not much of a recommendation, especially since it has been a while. I think the last time I went I had just reached my limit for that sort of pretense.

                    Now that I think about it, that last experience was instrumental in forcing myself to not take the service at "scene" oriented restaurants personally. Oi, I hope this make sense to people. I know that for myself, I had to reach a sort of threshold...so as not to feel that my only options were flamethrower first, questions second. :)

                2. re: bussy26
                  Maplewoodrenee Jan 12, 2008 11:38 AM

                  Provence has an opening at 11:30pm...my 40 year friends wouldn't like that late of a dinner. Lure said to call back during the week, so we'll see (cool place).

                  1. re: Maplewoodrenee
                    il Trifulau Jan 12, 2008 01:23 PM

                    Maplewoodrenee, do you use MOL by any chance?

                    1. re: il Trifulau
                      Maplewoodrenee Jan 12, 2008 01:45 PM

                      Some, but not much. Why are you online there? I didn't think it would be a good place to look for a SoHo restaurant, but I suppose it could be as many of us commute into the city.

                      1. re: Maplewoodrenee
                        il Trifulau Jan 12, 2008 02:02 PM

                        I post in the home fix-it section but I live in SoHo, NYC. My brother lives in Maplewood.
                        Let me know if Aurora doesn't work out. Obviously, there are lots of other places. Right now, I see that as the go-to restaurant.

                        1. re: il Trifulau
                          Maplewoodrenee Jan 12, 2008 03:15 PM

                          Agreed. I am going to attempt to book at Aurora now and will let folks know if that doesn't work.

                          Thanks for your help!

                      2. re: il Trifulau
                        LeahBaila Jan 12, 2008 02:12 PM

                        What is MOL?

                        1. re: LeahBaila
                          il Trifulau Jan 12, 2008 02:15 PM

                          It's a Maplewood-based online community forum.
                          Sorry for the thread drift.

                          1. re: il Trifulau
                            LeahBaila Jan 12, 2008 02:32 PM

                            No worries; thanks for that info!

                  Show Hidden Posts