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Thoughts on downtown b-day dinner picks?

nightbug Apr 12, 2009 10:45 AM

Hello Chowhounds,

I'm planning a birthday dinner downtown for a group of 10-15 people and could use a little help! We are all in our mid 20's. Some of us like trendier upscale places, others are not comfy with the pretentiousness. I'd like to go somewhere that won't scare off the latter group but will still allow us to dress up a little and fit in.

I've done some research, and I'd love to hear if any of these places fit the bill: Vdara, Kultura, Veni Vidi Vici, Chic Chinoise, Coco Lezzone. Suggestions would be great as well!

We're not picky eaters, and price is not a big deal, but we do like value for our money. We're flexible on location as long as we can TTC it. We've already been to Ultra, Globe Bistro, Flow. I've crossed off Spice Route because of the bad reviews here. Thanks guys!

  1. nightbug Apr 26, 2009 08:47 AM

    Thread update: I tried to book Nyood, then L'Unita, but neither had space for our group that night. We ended up at Vdara, and our experience was good. I think everyone was happy with their food, and definitely with the prices! I think the most expensive entree was $25, but most were cheaper.

    There were two other big birthday parties there as well so the atmosphere was lively and fun. Service was friendly but I can see what people mean when they say there are a few kinks - they were *very* slow at refilling water, a couple of bills had errors, etc. It was also a bit slow, but we didn't mind since we were busy chatting anyway. On the plus side we never felt rushed, and it was definitely not pretentious. The decor was cool, dim lighting, funky art and chandeliers. I'd recommend it for a group dinner, especially if budget is a concern.

    Thanks again for all your help. =)

    1. nightbug Apr 14, 2009 07:36 AM

      Thanks for all your suggestions! I will definitely look into them. I looked at Lee before, but there don't seem to be any prices on the website. Could anyone give me an idea of how much it would cost to eat there?

      1 Reply
      1. re: nightbug
        p
        phoenikia Apr 14, 2009 08:08 AM

        Just depends on how many small plates you order.They suggest 4 small plates per person (which the table shares- range in price from maybe $8- $20, depending on the ingredients). But, I found allowing 4 small plates per person (1 of the small plates being a dessert plate) is a fair amount of food- if you aren't big eaters, you can get away with less.

        Can't remember exactly how much the individual small plates cost, but I think the meal cost about $75-$80 per person, including a bottle of wine split 4 ways, tax and tip.

        Second the idea of Nyood.

      2. n
        niagarafoodie Apr 13, 2009 04:23 PM

        What about L'Unita and they have a great family style table you can sit at for larger groups.
        Great food and wine list, great food to share too

        1. j
          JaclynS Apr 13, 2009 08:31 AM

          Vdara was good when I went for brunch, a couple service kinks need to be worked out still. How about Lee on King? I prefer it to Kultura for tapas style. I also like Brassaii for big parties, excellent space, good service and good value for your money, IMHO.

          1. Rabbit Apr 12, 2009 02:16 PM

            Another place you might consider is Nyood. It's not inexpensive, but if you've been to Ultra, Globe, etc. then you're obviously not afraid of spending some money on good food. I prefer Nyood to Kultura (they're owned by the same guys), and it's close to lots of other spots on WQW if you want to go elsewhere for drinking, dancing, or whatever after the party.

            I think Chic Chinoise and Coco Lezzone both get pretty rough treatment on this board

            1. Dimbulb Apr 12, 2009 11:07 AM

              The only one I'd go to is Vdara. It's also the cheapest of the bunch, if that matters.

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