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Help!!! 30th Birthday party(it's getting critical)

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I am helping a friend plan her birthday and having a lot of difficulty picking a location. I have searched through the boards and haven't found anything.

We want great food, good drinks, great ambiance and nothing too expensive (average entre $20-25). The group will be around 15 people. Thinking either new American, Italian or Latin. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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  1. Boca Chica on 1st and 1st - had a birthday dinner there a few years and it was a great time.

    1. what do you mean by great ambiance? I'm more than willing to add some suggestions

      1 Reply
      1. re: silencespeak

        Fun and lively vibe, nothing to stuffy but not chaotic.

      2. What about Bar Stuzzichini?

        1. maybe otto? they usually do a set menu for more than 12 people, but i remember it being quite reasonable.

          1. I have had a party for a friend at Luzzo's on 1st Ave in the East Village. I have found them to be very accomodating, and it is a lot of fun. I also go there quite a bit in smaller groups as well. The food is truly wonderful. And it is good to share as well, which for me makes a great party.

            1. Otto has a $40pp pre fixe for large groups.
              http://www.ottopizzeria.com/group_din...

              'inoteca's is similarly priced, three courses, with the option of dessert or cheese for $34 per person or dessert and cheese for $39 per person
              http://www.inotecanyc.com/partiesCate...

              Alta also seems to work well for large groups
              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/512662

              If you can go up a little in price, Jane, the Neptune Room, or The Smith would work:
              http://www.ctrnyc.com/CTR/ctr_html/ct...

              1 Reply
              1. re: kathryn

                ditto Inoteca and Alta, Ive been to both wih groups and had a great time. The group prixe fixe at 'inoteca is fantastic. Everything's delicious at Alta.

                Ive heard Essex has a great deal for groups, but i cant comment on the quality of the food.....

                havana alma de cuba has a prixe fixe for large groups (unlimited sangria i think) thats fantastic. It may be a little above price range, but hey, it includes drinks :)

              2. how about rayuela? the food is great (not mind blowing, but the menu offers a good variety of interesting dishes). love their cocktails, too. the ambiance is great - beautiful space, open/airy, somewhat swanky but not overly so. they seem to do well with groups - i went with a group of 9, and imagine they'd be able to accommodate a larger party.