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UWS Suggestion for Professor's Retirement Dinner

I live in Brooklyn and don't know the UWS well but I"ve been assigned to organize a dinner for about a dozen struggling doctoral students who want to treat their retiring professor to a decent celebratory dinner. Any suggestions?

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  1. What sort of budget to you have in mind? That will help us make appropriate recommendations. Any dietary constraints - vegetarians?

    Thanks!

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Thank you. Yes, there will be some vegetarians. And I think about $30 a person, including the meal for our professor, will be acceptable.

      1. re: flynnfood

        Sorry - one more - does that include alcohol?

    2. Kefi is probably the best reasonable restaurant in the neighborhood, however I don't know if you want to chance not being able to make reservations. China de Puebla is a good bet near Columbia. Based on the positive feedback from trusted CHers, Thai Market has been on my radar for some time, but I have to admit I haven't made it there just yet. Patsy's is within range but if you want more than pizza, look at Zeytin (Turkish - nicer space), Pasha (Turkish - nicer food), or possibly Cafe Frida (Mexican) if you order carefully.

      1. JungMann's suggestions hit almost every place I would recommend, as well (tho I've never tried China de Puebla). Thai Market is a great value for the quality of the food and I don't think you'd have any difficulty staying within budget.

        My concern with all of these places is more the size of the group. I'd definitely call ahead to see if the restaurant can accommodate.

        Another place to look into (that can accomodate 12 / is festive /has pretty decent food for a pretty decent price) is Gabriella's.

        Whatever you do, don't eat at that 'fancy' restaurant on campus that's located on top of some dorm. It has a great view of the city, but it's annoyingly stiff, the harp music there is contrived, and the food is pretty bad. I've blocked the name out of my memory, but hopefully someone else knows, so you can avoid it.

        edit: it's terrace in the sky. horrible.

        5 Replies
        1. re: cimui

          It is your recommendations of Thai Market that have me most excited to try the place. I took some of your recommendations to explore upper Amsterdam Avenue on some past nice days and have been thrilled with your discoveries.

          1. re: JungMann

            gosh that's nice of you to say. there are so many new places opening on amsterdam in the 90s that i can't keep up. so much to eat, so little time...

          2. re: cimui

            I haven't been for ages - but would Cafe Luxembourg work?

            1. re: MMRuth

              I think Cafe L might be a bit higher than budget. (Mostly $25 entrees.)

            2. re: cimui

              Oh shoot, I just remembered a prob with Kefi. They don't take reservations (and the space is cramped). Food is great, I think you can probably stay w/in budget there, but unless you work out a special deal w/ management re: seating, that could be a problem.

              One more to add: Though I personally am not at all fond of it, you'll find lots of fans of Pio Pio on this board. Pio Pio is located on the UWS where Sipan used to be (90s). Food is cheap and plentiful, the chicken is good and aji sauce great. The fish and seafood I've had here have not been good. I dont' like the restaurant in huge part because I've had very bad service there (i.e. entrees for some members of a party did not come until after all other members of the party had finished their meals).

            3. There's also Symposium, the Greek restaurant that's been there forever, up by Columbia.

              1. Haven't been in a long time, but would Turquaz on B'way @ 100th fit the bill? I don't recall how expensive it is (or isn't), but they take reservations and could certainly handle a group that size.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JoanN

                  Y'know, Turkuaz has grown on me. I think they do kebab meats and Turkish bread better than Pasha and Zeytin (though Pasha and Zeytin clearly have Turkuaz whupped on pretty much all other fronts). And I do think it's doable for a group that size, within budget.

                  There are a few vegetarian options, if that's an issue for anyone.

                2. Thank you so much! So helpful! One note to one of the restaurants you mentioned - unless something has changed, it seems Thai Market does not serve alcohol yet. Just something for people who haven't been there to consider. I think we will try Gabriela's or Zeytin's based on locale, price, and your praises. I"ll let you know how it goes.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: flynnfood

                    Will Thai Market let you do byob?

                    1. re: flynnfood

                      Thai Market serves alcohol and has done so for quite some time. Wines by the glass are middle of the road, though pours are very generous. Cocktails are not to my taste. (They're garishly colored concoctions mixed with bottom-shelf alcohol.)

                      Gabriella's is a great choice if you plan on drinking tequilla / margaritas. Margaritas are gringo (but tasty). The tequilla selection is astounding, with some hard-to-find selections.

                      Good luck with your dinner. It's great that you're celebrating a good prof!