company dinners on the peninsula ARGH
I work at a start-up that understandably wants to cut costs on their xmas party this year. I was hoping to do it at pampas, but the $65/head+open bar deal their is a bit too expensive. We don't need extreme foodiness, but we do need decent food with vegetarian options and a FUN atmosphere. It's going to be about 60 ppl.
Redwood City through Sunnyvale/Santa Clara preferred.
Thank you so much for your help!
You might want to consider Nola or Blue Chalk in Palo Alto, especially if you're open to passed food as opposed to sit-down. I find that the ability to circulate makes corporate events more fun. We've done events at Blue Chalk where they will block off the pool tables, which is a fun activity. My fave for the pool table-type corporate event is still Steelhead Brewery, but that's in Burlingame, so outside your area. Not sure if Los Gatos is too far, but there's also the bocce ball place - again great for the fun aspect, not necessarily for the food.
In June I attended a birthday party at Vero. The table for 14 was set in the middle of the dining room. The original plan had been to seat us on the patio but went to plan B when the weather turned cold. This was my firsts time back since our exchange about it here a few years ago, and I was quite pleased. The host brought his own red wines and I believe that the prosecco and the whites were from the list. We started with a line up of antipasti to share, then had a choice of first course and entree from the set menu. I loved the ricotta gnocchi with fried sage leaves and browned butter. Dessert was birthday cake brought in from outside.
The dining room seats up to 60.
530 Bryant Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301
I've had excellent experiences with Il Fornaio in both Palo Alto and downtown San Jose for company parties of 50-150 people - they are quite flexible as far as adjusting the menu to accommodate your budget and preferences (most of my company is vegetarian). Food is better than average for a banquet type thing, in my opinion. Atmosphere - you'll probably end up in a "boring" private dining room, but I think this is going to be pretty standard unless you find a smaller place and book out the whole restaurant...
327 Lorton Ave., Burlingame, CA 94010
520 Cowper Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301
302 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113
With 60 people, looks like you & your colleagues will be creating the fun atmosphere. Also, when it comes to keeping costs down perhaps due to family style dining, ethnic restaurants come to mind. Restaurant Casablanca in RWC has received favorable reviews here and it seems they also have live music & belly dancing (yelp). This would also be a good option for vegetarians. I keep meaning to try this place & haven't made it yet.
Oh, another place that comes to mind is Mantra in Palo Alto (not exactly cheap, but may be doable). I saw a sign on their door recently about booking holiday parties early & perhaps a discount I think.
"Book your Holiday Parties at Mantra by November 15th and enjoy a complimentary Champagne Toast & a 200 Gift Certificate"
Hmm, perhaps a certificate for future use? I'd rather take the discount now:-)
Good luck and hope you report back on where ever you end up!