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Apr 5, 2008 07:16 PM

Yet another wonderful party at Nicholas

Had my father in law's 80th bday party on Friday night. 40 people in the room on the right.

From start to finish was well worth the $150 pp and would do it again in a second.

There is just no comparison for food, atmosphere and level of service in our area.

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  1. seal, if you don't mind sharing what your party was served for the price, I would enjoy knowing as well as the standout dishes. Was the "atmosphere" a big part of the reason you selected Nicholas to celebrate? Did your party receive private service? What a generous evening for all!

    5 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      First there was the open bar with passed lobster and fillet skewers, tempura shrimp (easily the best I have ever had), truffled asparagus crostini, sate chicken, and vegetarian egg roll for an hour.

      For dinner we had a choice of gnocchi, scallops, or beets for appies, fillet, lobster, snapper, and chicken for mains and we all had a four item dessert sampler.

      We had the room to ourselves all evening and had a lot of staff at our disposal ( I don't remember exactly how many, but more than enough). The room is classy and cozy at the same time and private enough that we did not feel like we needed to tone down our toasts and roasts of our guest of honor at all.

      1. re: seal

        Oh my seal, the menu sounds amazing. If you don't mind one last query, did the restaurant require a minimum # of guests for a private room/service?

        1. re: HillJ

          I'm sorry HillJ, since we had intended from the start of the party to have 40 guests I don't know what the minimum number of guests is for the room. But they were very nice in our discussions and I'm sure if you contact them you can get the particulars.

          I will say that the other room was full whenever I looked in and since we stayed more than three hours, I'm sure that some minimum is needed to make it worth their while.

          1. re: seal

            Seal, thank you for sharing your experience. I appreciated the add'l detail.

        2. re: seal

          I love Nicholas.
          It sounds as though you had a wonderful time! :-}

      2. $6000 for an 80th bday party! That's impressive!

        15 Replies
        1. re: DJMarilyn

          ...impressive is one word for it... :-)

          1. re: hotfoodhot

            DJ and hotfood
            It may sound very pricey, but when you think about all the dreadful food served at those $200 a plate weddings, it's really not out of line.
            The food and service at Restaurant Nicholas are always spectacular.

            1. re: Tay

              Will someone take me to Nicholas so I can enjoy this spectacular food and service? :)

              1. re: DJMarilyn

                I'd start dropping hints, like casually mentioning it to family :-}
                They have beautifully printed gift certificates.

              2. re: Tay

                Tay, I have to challenge that statement. Personally, I'm not aware of any $200 a plate weddings that serve "dreadful" food. I would concede that the food at Nicholas is better. That $200 gets you a large, private room. This is not a small detail at any private function. This party was in the dining room, semi-private at best.

                1. re: hotfoodhot

                  In seal's initial response to HillJ, he said that his party had the room to the right *all to themselves*. It is totally separate from the main dining room on the left. Ergo, that makes it a *private* room, not "semi-private at best."

                  1. re: RGR

                    A private room generally has its own entrance, its own bar and its own facilities. Many restaurants have a "side room" which they reserve for small parties. Big difference, thats all.

                    1. re: hotfoodhot

                      Are you trying to tell us that for a private room to be private, it has to have its own entrance from *outside* the restaurant? If so, that's totally ridiculous. By that definition, the private rooms in *all* the top restaurants restaurant in NYC, e.g., Per Se, Daniel, Eleven Madison, etc., would not be considered private. In fact, no restaurant in NYC would qualify.

                      With regard to the size of the space, while I can assure you from personal experience that the private spaces in these top restaurants are definitely *not* just some "side room" reserved for "small parties," in restaurants where that description does pertain, imo, they are still private.

                      1. re: RGR

                        RGR, I didn't take care to properly qualify my remarks. The analogy was drawn to a $200 a plate wedding. My point is that a significant part of that $200 is going to the facility. It is not necessarily fair, therefore, to measure the food at Nicholas at $150 a head when there need not be any consideration to a separate facility and, therefore, staff.
                        Having said that, I would like to add that I have never been to Nicholas. I'll get there soon. Mostly, its a money thing. Perhaps I'll do the bar, but I don't know if that will give me the whole "Nicholas" experience. Not having been there, but being a regular (read-compulsive) reader of this board I'm alternately confused and amused that when discussing most restaurants the cost of a night out is a negative - but thousands of dollars spent at Nicholas is worn as a badge of honor.
                        Perhaps I'll be converted yet.

                        1. re: hotfoodhot

                          "I'm alternately confused and amused that when discussing most restaurants the cost of a night out is a negative - but thousands of dollars spent at Nicholas is worn as a badge of honor."
                          I think if you read the above out loud, you'll be disappointed with your wording. :-}
                          Please have dinner at Nicholas and then see if you still think the cost is out of line..

                          1. re: Tay

                            Hot - I agree with Tay on that one. I think you are throwing a wide net out there with that remark. I've eaten at Nicholas pretty regularly since it opened in 2000 and hardly profess such fact as "badge of honor." Instead, I'm happy to recount such experiences on this board and I am thankful for the opportunity to each such exemplary service and cuisine.
                            BTW - Has anyone had a chance to peruse Nicholas' new website. I particularly like the fact that they provide the bios for the front as well as the back of the house. It’s a nice touch to recognize that each worker is an integral part of the restaurant a la Per Se (where everyone is referred to as Chef).

                            1. re: bgut1

                              ye, b.,

                              Thanks for the tip about Nicholas's new website. I'm not crazy about sites that have to load first, but at least this one does so very quickly. Also, I've had to disable my pop-up blocker, but no biggie there. Overall, more sophisticated than the original site and a finer reflection of the restaurant. I agree with you about the staff bios. (Note: EMP has staff bios on their website.)

                      2. re: hotfoodhot

                        Challenge away...:-}
                        Having been to any number of $200+ a plate, weddings, all I can say is, Lucky you. On more than one occasion I have been the recipient of lobster tails that could pass for doorstops & filet mignon that resembled 'faux' food. I'm glad you are wiling to concede that the food at Nicholas is better. I'd say that's a grasp of the obvious. :-} Oddly, you seem to be equating the qulaity/preparation of the food with your definition of the space and what, by your definition, constitutes a 'Private Room'.
                        I think RGR defined the space very well. If there are no other parties being seated in the room and it's beeen designated as soley for the use of one group. I'd call that 'Private'...
                        Truly it's merely a matter of semantics.
                        That having been said, I don't see how the labeling of the space relates to the quality/preparation of the food.

                        1. re: Tay


                          I don't think it's "merely a matter of sematics." The definition you provided is exactly what people think of when they hear "private space." It has absolutely nothing to do with how one accesses the room, how big it is, or whether it has its own bar or rest rooms. When there is a bar, it's usually set up right in the space itself. As for the rest rooms, at all the private parties I've attended, party guests use the same facilities as the public diners unless there is a buy-out of the entire restaurant, in which case, it's to the public during the event.

                          I did kind of miss hotfoodhot's relating the quality of the food to the space size. Good point!

                          1. re: RGR

                            When I wrote:
                            "merely a matter of sematics" it was my attempt at being somewhat more (shudder) 'Agreeable'. ..Not my idea, but I thought I'd try it. :-}
                            I just wanted to point out to hot that I thought he was splitting hairs, RE:His definition of semi private Vs private rooms.

            2. how many servers worked the party??

              1. When seal first posted "yet another wonderful party at Nicholas" I was interested to know what you get for $6K+. Since it was his party, his experience he had the reply to offer. Nicholas has many defenders on this Board (wink) and many who have yet to experience the menu (I fall in that category; but I have been inside the restaurant) but once again, why not let the CH who actually experienced the party lead with the facts and yummy details. HillJ

                --flame retardant suit on-fire away!

                5 Replies
                1. re: HillJ

                  Relax, my flame thrower is being serviced, so you're ok (At least as far as I am concerned):-}
                  You posted:
                  "let's let the CH's who actually experienced the party lead with the facts and yummy details"
                  I can only defend/clarify my postings. While I was not a guest of seal's, I have been fortunate to have attended several private events at Nicholas. I felt comfortable posting.RE: hot's remarks:
                  ""...impressive is one word for it... :-)"
                  I gathered he/she was implying that "Taken" was the word he/she would have used.:
                  I then explained::
                  "It may sound very pricey, but when you think about all the dreadful food served at those $200 a plate weddings, it's really not out of line.
                  The food and service at Restaurant Nicholas are always spectacular"

                  I cannot imagine that seal's food/service at his/ser party was any more or less outstanding than what I experienced. Anyone who has ever enjoyed private or public dining at Nicholas feels no need to 'defend' the cost.
                  See?...No burns :-}

                  1. re: Tay

                    Tay, you're delightful! Always enjoy your insights and perspective.
                    Chow on!

                    Hot, curious were you responding to "any" meal that would cost 6K or this party at this establishment? My interpretation was "any" meal.

                    Again, I understand CH's who critique Nicholas have always defended the quality, price and service. I also imagine planning a part at a cost of $6K isn't the kind of tab that one would spend unwillingly or without preference.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      ooooo k.

                      As far as anyone was concerned that night, our room was as private as it needed to be. We had plenty of space, plenty of servers, and plenty of freedom to be as loud as we wanted to be. The food was in the same league as Le Cirque, where we dined the following night.

                      For the record, I am a schoolteacher and I don't have 6k to throw around on a whim. We thought long and hard and checked our options carefully before deciding on the party.

                      1. re: seal

                        seal, very kind of you to further explain your party plans. I have no doubt (as I wrote) that anyone planning a party of that caliber wouldn't have checked options. You had me thinking about your delicious menu for a few days.

                        When my father turned 80 we celebrated at the American Harvest Restaurant in NYC. Outstanding meal for a 80 year old vegetarian and still a great memory for my family & I. Even in 1991 that meal broke the bank. Worth every cent.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          I'd have to agree with HillJ (see Tay? that hardly hurt at all :-} )
                          Wonderful moments that turn into shared memories are beyond any price.
                          The opportunity to share an outstanding meal with family and friends at a quality restaurant like Nicholas, is priceless. I hope nothing was written that made you feel you had to defend the expenditure.

                2. I have nothing left to say on the topic, except I want, nay, I need the Nicholas "experience" now. *dips into the piggy bank*

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: DJMarilyn

                    Go during the week rather than on a weekend, and I'm betting you'll walk out babbling with joy. My own experience has been that if they fall down at all, it's more likely to be on a Friday or on a Saturday. That said, a 'fallen' Nicholas still stands taller than most. Enjoy! :-)))))

                    1. re: mmgpsych

                      the day you 'babble' is the day I eat at an IHOP :-}

                    2. re: DJMarilyn

                      If the piggy-back is lean, you can try eating at the bar at Nicholas. Get a glass of wine and a couple of small plates. It won't break the bank.
                      Bar menu:

                        1. re: val ann c

                          thanks for the head's up val. my birthday is next week so maybe i will get the hub to take me. :}

                          1. re: DJMarilyn

                            Will...Way... It all works out.. :-}
                            Happy B-Day!