Rehearsal Dinner in Long Island-help
As the primary foodie in the family I am trying to help my in-laws find a restaurant on Long Island (preferably in Suffolk county) to host my brother in-law's rehearsal dinner. The dinner is on a Saturday, and there will be around 30 people. We would like to keep the cost below $50 a person, but could go a bit higher if needed. Since a lot of the family is picky, Italian or American food really are the only options. My in-law's would prefer Italian if possible. Also a number of people including the groom and my father in-law do not eat seafood. Does anyone have any good suggestions about where to hold the dinner?
We are far away in the SF bay area, so we do not know the restaurant scene out there, and so far my internet research so far has found nothing. Also what are some other website for reviews of Long Island restaurants? It appears that yelp has not caught on in NY as much as around here. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
If you are near Huntington, there are lots of options there.
Mangiamo, a family style Italian place, has several private rooms. http://www.mangiamo-ny.com/
Red, eclectic American. http://thebusinessneighborhood.com/sitecreator/red//
34 New Street, a bit of everything. http://www.34newstreet.com/index.html
It might be a good idea to let everyone know where in Suffolk County you are going to be. It can cover a lot of territory. If you are closer to Huntington, you may also want to try Piccolo Bussola. They should be good for your size group and in your price range. We like the one in Mineola a lot. Their normal style of food is family style, so it should work out. Also, their wine list has some decent reasonably priced choices, so you might want to go with that. I am assuming if you are coming from CA you are not looking to bring $8 bottles of wine to have them uncork for you.
If you are further east on LI, Casa Rustica in Smithtown is excellent.
As far as corkage, this is not a usual practice, as almost all restaurants out here have a liquor license and want to sell you a $6/bottle of wine for $23.
Good luck in choosing a nice place.
Fred, we have found recently that if you ask a restaurant, "What's your corkage fee?", they will give you an answer. You would be surprised how willing they are to let you bring your own. It could be $25, but they do. If you are a wine collector, and go to a high end restaurant, you will not mind paying the $25 for great wine you have at home. It also is great if you are going with people who are not wine drinkers.
I have heard Casa Rustica is great, but the only time that we eat in Smithtown is with friends who live there, and that is their regular place.
Thank you all for all the replies...
The groom's family (my in-laws) lives in Lake Grove, and I believe the bride's family lives somewhere in the South Fork, so looking at a map, Huntington might be too far for them. I will look into some of the other suggestions.
As far as corkage goes, the reason I asked is because from what I've seen so far, we can buy most wines out here for about half or less than the restaurants charge. We would probably buy a case of good mid price wine ($20-30 a bottle), but the corkage fee would have to make $$ sense, or we will just settle for something off their wine list.