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Yet another wonderful party at Nicholas

seal Apr 5, 2008 07:16 PM

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.

  1. n
    Neener Jun 22, 2008 12:21 PM

    I have been to the place a few times, from first opening to the last time, about two years ago. The person who I think made our night was the head waiter Earl, who is no longer there. Best waiter I have ever experienced, and I've been all over the world. Food is still wonderful, detail to quality ( yes, prices are high) but we really miss that waiter and have gone to other places since. They should done whatever it took to keep him there. Yes, he was that good. Added to the pleasure of the dining experience.

    1. DJMarilyn Apr 10, 2008 07:15 PM

      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
        m
        mmgpsych Apr 11, 2008 05:13 AM

        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
          t
          Tay Apr 11, 2008 12:04 PM

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

          1. re: Tay
            m
            mmgpsych Apr 11, 2008 02:15 PM

            Thanks!

            1. re: mmgpsych
              t
              Tay Apr 11, 2008 02:59 PM

              :-}

        2. re: DJMarilyn
          val ann c Apr 11, 2008 11:40 AM

          Marilyn,
          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: http://www.restaurantnicholas.com/men...

          1. re: val ann c
            t
            Tay Apr 11, 2008 12:05 PM

            val
            :-}}

            1. re: val ann c
              DJMarilyn Apr 11, 2008 09:30 PM

              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
                t
                Tay Apr 12, 2008 10:50 AM

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

          2. HillJ Apr 10, 2008 09:45 AM

            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
              t
              Tay Apr 10, 2008 11:09 AM

              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
                HillJ Apr 10, 2008 12:53 PM

                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
                  seal Apr 10, 2008 01:31 PM

                  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
                    HillJ Apr 10, 2008 01:38 PM

                    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
                      t
                      Tay Apr 11, 2008 11:57 AM

                      seal...
                      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. a
              agruel Apr 7, 2008 09:16 PM

              how many servers worked the party??

              1. DJMarilyn Apr 7, 2008 05:34 PM

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

                15 Replies
                1. re: DJMarilyn
                  h
                  hotfoodhot Apr 7, 2008 05:48 PM

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

                  1. re: hotfoodhot
                    t
                    Tay Apr 9, 2008 09:00 AM

                    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
                      DJMarilyn Apr 9, 2008 06:19 PM

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

                      1. re: DJMarilyn
                        t
                        Tay Apr 10, 2008 08:19 AM

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

                      2. re: Tay
                        h
                        hotfoodhot Apr 9, 2008 06:35 PM

                        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
                          r
                          RGR Apr 10, 2008 01:38 AM

                          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
                            h
                            hotfoodhot Apr 10, 2008 04:37 AM

                            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
                              r
                              RGR Apr 10, 2008 07:48 AM

                              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
                                h
                                hotfoodhot Apr 10, 2008 08:37 AM

                                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
                                  t
                                  Tay Apr 10, 2008 11:31 AM

                                  hot...
                                  "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
                                    bgut1 Apr 10, 2008 12:57 PM

                                    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
                                      r
                                      RGR Apr 10, 2008 08:36 PM

                                      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
                                t
                                Tay Apr 10, 2008 08:16 AM

                                hot
                                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
                                  r
                                  RGR Apr 10, 2008 08:45 AM

                                  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
                                    t
                                    Tay Apr 10, 2008 11:25 AM

                                    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. HillJ Apr 5, 2008 07:21 PM

                      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
                        seal Apr 5, 2008 07:36 PM

                        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
                          HillJ Apr 5, 2008 07:55 PM

                          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
                            seal Apr 6, 2008 03:59 AM

                            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
                              HillJ Apr 6, 2008 05:31 AM

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

                          2. re: seal
                            t
                            Tay Apr 5, 2008 08:15 PM

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

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