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Please Help! B-day dinner in Dallas 'burbs

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Looking for a place to hold my mother's 60th birthday dinner, but there are a few "catches": it must be in either McKinney, Allen, Plano or Frisco, it's supposed to be a surprise (approx. 30 people attending), budget around $20-$30/head, and i'm supposed to help organize but i don't even live in the USA!

The easy part is, my mother is more "interior decorator" than "chowhound" (unlike her daughter!) so "atmosphere" is more important to her than food... (I know, saying something like that on this site is almost sacreligious.) That's not to say that she can't appreciate good food either, it's just that if she had a choice between a great meal in a dive or an ok meal in a really "cute" restaurant, then she would pick the cute restaurant every time...but I'm working on that.

Anyway, she likes pretty much everything except steak or sushi. Thanks!

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  1. What time of year is this to take place? Some restuarants might have patios that can accommodate 30+ but during the summer time those might not be a good idea.

    Two German places that migth suffice your requirements are Bavarian Grill in Plano and Jorg's Cafe Vienna in Downtown Plano. German/Austrian motifs in both. Both can get a bit loud if the accordian player is there, but fun nonetheless.

    http://www.bavariangrill.com/
    http://www.jorgscafevienna.com/

    Zoom Thai would be a good place that is nicely decorated and the food is good. It is actually in Dallas but at the Dallas North Tollway and Frankford. My top choice would be Jasmine Thai in Plano but that place would get cramped with thirty people but if you call ahead they might reserve the place for you. Both Zoom and Jasmine are nicely decorated.

    http://www.zoomvietthai.com/ - I know Tess Nyugen can put together something for everyone!
    http://www.jasminethai.net/ - My vote for best Thai in Dallas

    If you are into Chinese, Little Sichuan is excellent in Plano on Legacy just west of Hwy75. Sparsely decorated but excellent food!
    http://www.guidelive.com/portal/page?...
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/little-sichua...

    There is a new outpost of Babe's Chicken House in Frisco...if you are into Southern style cuisine

    http://www.babeschicken.com/Babes-Chi...

    I didn't like it much but others like some things from Zanders House in Plano along Hwy 75. I have had better Vietnamese elsewhere but it is a big venue!

    http://www.zandershouse.com/

    That will get you started. Sorry I can't provide you with any Allen or McKinney recs....don't get over there that much and I just never hear of any great places there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LewisvilleHounder

      Those places don't really seem like they'd work for 30 people, especially older people. If you want ethnic but nice interior, I'd suggest Casa Milagro or Samui Thai. Both places can *probably* handle 30 people. Otherwise maybe a big steakhouse type place or Love and War in Texas (Plano). If Bavarian Grill can handle 30 people, it might be a fun choice.

      1. re: luniz

        Steakhouse is out....sushi too!!

        Actually 60 is not old anymore....my parents are in their 60's

        Jorg's can handle them in the Biergarten out back....probably not right now in the sweltering heat....but it can be done.

        Bavarian Grill can handle them for sure!

        Gosh luniz....buzzkill on the recs today!!

    2. For a cute place, you might try Mignon in Plano. I've just stuck my head in, but never eaten there, so I can't comment on the food. I thought about taking my grandparents a while back, but decided it was too hip (they're in the 90's). http://www.mignonplano.com/index2.htm

      The DMN gave it a pretty good review not too long ago: http://www.guidelive.com/portal/page?...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Webra1

        Mignon is very nice, the food is good but likely outside of the prescribed price range. Bavarian Grill is fun and within the price range. Love and War does "Texican" food and can easily work and is in the price range. Blue Mesa would also likely work for both quantifiers. Zorba the Greek on Plano Parkway & Preston is always a good choice, not super fancy but solid food and decent surrounds.

      2. Terillis in Frisco has a private dining area that will accomodate up to 50. Great Italian food and atmosphere.

        http://www.terillis.com/privdin.htm

        -----
        Terilli's Frisco Restaurant
        4226 Preston Rd, Frisco, TX

        1. Has anyone tried Gregory's in Plano? I think it might fit the bill, but i'm honestly not sure how good it is. For casual tex-mex, Mattito's in Frisco has excellent service and ok food. I think they might be able to accomodate your group. You could also try Blue Mesa Grill...they have a few locations in the metro area.

          http://www.gregorysrestaurant.net/

          http://www.bluemesagrill.com/

          http://www.mattitos.com/banquets.htm

          2 Replies
          1. re: iluvtennis

            I haven't been to Gregory's yet, but I bet it would fit the bill. From what I understand, they have a rooftop bar, which can accomodate dining.

            Also, Allen has a new area at the SW corner of Bethany and 75. It is really lovely, with many shops and restaurants. Mi Cocina (a chain, I know, but a good one) is nicely appointed. You can stroll among the shops and outdoor
            areas. The area is called 'Watters Creek'. There is also a Cru wine bar,
            among other eateries.

            Border's is having a grand opening there this weekend, with great stuff:

            http://www.bordersmedia.com/seenewbor...

            1. re: orangecat

              What about Nicola's in the Shops at Legacy? Decent Italian, beautiful decor and atmosphere. Most of the dishes seem to fit your budget...

          2. Wow! You guys are great! Thanks so much for the help...I'll be looking into all of your rec's. Oh, someone asked, the birthday is Oct. 2nd.

            Cheers!

            1. AT the tollway and Park in Plano there is a beautiful Restaurant called Maggiano's it absolutly cater's to this type of event. In fact the frist time I went there I was invited to a friends 55th B-Day. It has private rooms and it is decorated beautiful. I am sure they have a web site. They serve Italian food that is pretty good but I think the atmosphere is exactly what you are looking for.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Analisas mom

                Also, Maggiano's is a national chain. I think it's pretty good for a chain, but if that plays into your consideration...

                1. re: donnaaries

                  I would look at Terelli's in Frisco. The location is beautifully decorated and they have a nice private room. Food is good and you should have no trouble meeting your budget.

              2. Maggianos (Italian) in Plano. (Lovely upscale softer lighting)
                MiMi's Cafe (French) in Allen. (Country French Bakery..lots of warmth and fireplaces)
                Samuui Thai in Allen. (Modern Asian Fusion)
                Good luck!