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Feb 23, 2009 07:29 PM

90th Birthday Party

I was just invited by the birthday girl to "hold the date" for her 90th birthday. She is arranging it, but wanted some suggestions. This would be a Saturday lunch in May for about 25 people. She was looking for a place with good food where people can mingle (at least for part of the time) instead of just sitting next to one person for the duration. I would imagine that at least half the people would be around her age and most of the others in their sixties (her daughter's age). She lives around the UN, but I would think any place in Manhattan accessible by mass transit or taxi would be fine. She doesn't have a lot of money, but has a lot of pride and would probably would spend (within reason) whatever it takes.

[A few years ago, I would have suggested René Pujol. They had a private space with a cocktail hour for mingling and then a sit down dinner. ]

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  1. How wonderful for your friend to be reaching this age! Indeed, it is something to celebrate!

    Perhaps, La Petite Auberge? They have a private party space upstairs. I've never seen it, so I can't say if it has the same style of decor as the cozy, inn-like public restaurant. The owners are hands-on, and I'm sure they would work with your friend to make this very special event successful.

    P.S. The Lexington Av. bus stops right in front of the door, and the 28th St. station on the 6 train is around the corner.

    6 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Thanks RGR, I'll call her tomorrow to make the suggestion. Don't know if she would have liked René Pujol, but if she would, it looks like La Petite Auberge would be a great substitute (and more convenient).

      BTW does anyone know anything about Sweet Emily's, the restaurant that took over RP's space?

      1. re: bobjbkln


        I just heard about Sweet Emily's but have not been. The menu on the website looks eclectic American.

      2. re: RGR

        If you're dealing with a bunch of 80 yr olds, I'd check with the birthday girl about whether everyone can manage stairs - probably steep and narrow ones.

        What about Cibo - they can set part of the restaurant for the group. Also The Ambassador Grill has a nice lounge area and a prix fixe lunch. I haven't been for a long time, but used to like it.

        1. re: Jane A.

          I gave her your suggestions as well as one made to me about the UN. She said Stairs do not seem to be a problem for any of the guests. If there are any more ideas, I'll pass them on as well.

          1. re: Jane A.

            We had my fathers 70th B-Day dinner at Cibo. Although the food didi not blow me away most folks really enjoyed it and they closed off a part of the rest. for us.

            1. re: Jane A.

              I attended a rehearsal dinner at Cibo a few months ago and I agree that the food was not memorable, but it was a great atmosphere and there was plenty of space to mingle.

          2. I just received a recommendation from someone about Maze (a Gordon Ramsey restaurant) in the London. Looks like they have $35 prix fixe 3 course lunches. I am unclear on the type of lunch, but it may be worth looking into.

            Also, another place that can accomodate ample room to linger would be Becco or something like Payard's uptown.

            Good luck!

            1 Reply
            1. re: coleyas

              The cuisine at Maze is superb; however, there is no private space which I think would be more appropriate for this kind of party.

            2. Just received the invitation. She decided on the Ambassador Grill Restaurant at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel, and will be doing a buffet (for the mingling). I'll report on how it went.

              1. Tavern on the green in central park is cute and has some interesting rooms.

                1 Reply
                1. re: elskin

                  Have you eaten a Tavern on the Green lately and if yes how was the food?