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bday dinner for 10 around gramercy/flatiron

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So i have the daunting task of planning a birthday dinner for 10 people. The birthday girls apt is based around gramercy flatiron so somewhere close is fine. Murray hill and union sq etc you get the picture.

Problem is not everyone invited is working full time (no not a recession based rant) but more like still in school.
I'm open to any type of cuisine but hoping to cap the meal around ~30-35 all in (meal tax tip 1 drink)

thanks so much in adv for your help.

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    1. it's more in the chelsea area but il bastardo is a good spot for a group. price is right, decent food and a fun vibe. el cantinero for fun mexican on university. Sala 19 would also work. It is small plates so good for groups to share.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mch

        Via Emilia fits the bill. It's cash only.

        1. re: CMG920

          I second Via Emilia--perfect for a cash-strapped group (well other than the fact that it is cash only).

      2. Bao Noodles works as long as you try calling in advance or go at maybe a slightly off time. Friends of mine have done even larger groups there for a fun and inexpensive birthday meal.

        You can also do something like Penelope's, which is small and casual sandwich/chicken pot pie style food. Not sure if they have a liquor but they make great sangria and have a nice wine list.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stephaniec25

          thanks guys for all the tips. keep them coming!