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Fun, good, inexpensive birthday dinner for 8 ppl?

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So I'm calling the Hounds again for great ideas. A small group of us (about 8) are celebrating my birthday on Saturday night and we're looking for something with good food but also a fun, lively atmosphere, for up to around $25/person. Almost any cuisine (excepting Thai) and anywhere in Manhattan will work for this gang. I've looked all over and am stumped for someplace other than our usual standbys. Any recs?

Thanks,
:) Ween

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    1. re: kobetobiko

      Off the top of my head, Wan Jo, Dip, Maloney and Porcelli, Artisanal, Salaam Bombay, Gascogne, Le Jardin Bistro, Uncle Nick's.... Thanks for replying!

      :) Ween

      1. re: NYCWeenie

        inoteca, but it will cost $34 pp for the tasting menu

        1. re: rkirschb

          how about lil frankies? first and first.

          1. re: eeee

            At your price range I'd recommend La Fortuna.