New Haven area rec for a nosh and chat
I'm pulling together a get-together for between 5 and 8 women, mid-30s. Musts: not laden with college kids, nice wine/drink selection, good selection of small plates/apps, and able to hear each other without yelling. Decent seating where we can have a couple of tables to chat without feeling rushed, but not be crammed against a bar in a line of seats. Reasonably priced food/drinks (e.g. no need for $100 caviar).
Open: cuisine and location somewhere in New Haven county would be fine. Convenient parking would be nice but not a dealbreaker.
I thought of BAR, but that seems like it would be too yale-rific, plus the parking blows. Is there a tapas bar or anything like that which would be good for socializing in a small-large group? Maybe something on State St?
This is for mid-week so crowds shouldn't be an issue.
thanks in advance, guys!
Bar is great, but if you go on a thursday-saturday night it'll be rife with the DYP (dreaded young people). (Of which I'm a member, so I can make fun.) If parking is a concern, anywhere in downtown New Haven blows unless you want to drive around or pony up for a lot. My vote is for Bistro Basque in Milford. Yes, it does get a bit noisy on a crowded night, but it all depends on when you go. Ibiza has great tapas too, and while their wine is a bit on the expensive side, they give you a good healthy pour. Skappo (in Ninth Square) is another cute little that has Italian specialties from Umbria- no chicken parm here. Good wine list, and lots of charm. Noise levels unknown- I went there on a restaurant tour, so we were all quiet while the spiel was going on. You'd also probably do well at Zinc, and I don't think the noise level there ever gets too high.
I'd try Bentara, if you are 5 or 6 ask for a booth. Great food, lots of stuff to pick on, great drinks and wine list.
Ever been to the Blue Pearl on Court Street in New Haven (on that little street that runs behind the Giamo federal building)? It offers fondues and other simple dishes like moules frites and meatloaf that are good for sharing. It also has a nice bar where you can order all drinks in two sizes (good for a lightweight like me). The bar area has this kind of modular furniture so you can set up the place as you like. It's pretty quiet and not ever really busy that I've seen. It's popular with an after-office crowd and dates, but not lots of college students. It's also a little easier to find parking there.
Check out "116" located at 116 Crown (between Church and Orange). They almost seem too trendy/cool but aren't. Great innovative food, warm and attentive service. I've seen tables of women having a great time for hours. You can even ask to be seated in one of the little cave rooms in the back - here's the trendy part: the room has a little dock for your personal iPod to play through the speakers. You can park at the open lot on George St btwn Orange and State, the indoor garage on George btwn Church and Orange or, midweek, maybe right on the street .