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

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!!

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  1. 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

      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. Aurora SoHo.
      http://newyork.citysearch.com/profile...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chow Baby

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

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

        3 Replies
        1. re: intrepid

          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

            kittichai is mediocre

            1. re: intrepid

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

        2. 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.

          http://www.woolaeoaksoho.com/index2.htm

          1. Could check Provence, also Lure is quite good.

            15 Replies
            1. re: bussy26

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

              1. re: LeahBaila

                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

                  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

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/47695...

                    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

                      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

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

                  2. re: MMRuth

                    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

                  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

                    Maplewoodrenee, do you use MOL by any chance?

                    1. re: il Trifulau

                      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

                        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

                          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

                        What is MOL?

                        1. re: LeahBaila

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

                          1. re: il Trifulau

                            No worries; thanks for that info!