Dinner for 15 in Philly
My family will be visiting me in about a month and I'm charged with making dinner reservations for a Friday night in Philly. We'll be approximately 15 people including a few under 10, a few in their late teens-early twenties, a few close to 30, parents, and a grandmother. I'd like to stay away from Indian and sushi, but we're open to any other ethnic cuisine or American fare. I'd like to stay in the $25-$30 range per person without alcohol. Any thoughts? Thanks!!
i've had 5 birthday dinners with parties of around that number (well 6, but mezze is now closed and i haven't been to kanella yet) and here they are ranked in order of overall satisfaction:
mezza luna - italian
cucina forte - italian
nam phuong - vietnamese
tequila's - mexican
marra's - italian-american
everyone was pleased with what they got at mezza luna (and you can byo wine, but they have a bar for wine, beer and cocktails too).
cucina forte is strictly byo. people go head to head over which is better (fueled by the fact that both restaurants are right across the street from each other), and while the food might be a hair better at cucina forte, mezza luna is slightly larger and very used to accomodating big parties (i've actually had two birthdays there, my college graduation and my cousin's funeral luncheon. stellar every time).
nam phuong was a last minute party and the food (vietnamese) was awesome as was the bill. definitely not abeautiful place, but very fun.
tequila's was spensivo, but delicious and everyone loved the food.
marra's will always hold a place in my heart, but oh lordie did they make a mess of that meal! one waitress serving a party of 18 upstairs and it must have been her first day. poor girl, she just couldn't get it right.
in reference to bigley9, i love beau monde too, but didn't know that they could/would accomodate a large group on a friday.....
and even though i can't stand the place, people LOVE villa di roma. i will never understand why, and i grew up around the corner from the place. but it's worth throwing out there.
I suggest Tre Scalini in South Philly, @ 1915 E Passyunk Ave. This new location is more than adequate in space, with 2 rooms on the lower floor and a large room upstairs for big parties. The food is spectacular, very traditional and simple Italian with excellent flavors. It is BYOB as well, which will help on cost. Enjoy...