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Reception Dinner in Fairfield &, CT

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Hi,

I am looking for a moderately priced restaurant in Fairfield, Westport, SoNo for a wedding reception dinner for 40 ppl. Rustic Northern Italian with family style seating would be ideal but we are interested in any unusual, quirky dining locales. We love American but that is what we are serving for the wedding so we're looking for something a little different and a place where we can keep the cost down. No tapas, Mediterranean, Japanese or Chinese.

I've heard mixed reviews about The Dressing Room, Schoolhouse (I know, they are American too) is a bit pricey and nothing is standing out in SoNo but I live in LA so I am not familiar with the new restaurants.

Thanks~

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  1. try 55 degrees in fairfield. they also own cava in new canaan. extremely accomodating.

    1. try Via Sforza in Westport - terriffic Italian. There's a room that looks like a wine cellar that would be great for a private party - not sure how many it holds

      10 Replies
      1. re: Ima Foodie

        via sforza is good but terriffic might be a little too strong of a word. when you have as many people eating pizza as those eating a regular meal then i consider that basic italian. they are very nice though and probably less $$ than 55 degrees, although anything can be negotiated these days.

        1. re: poppy

          We had a terrible meal at Via Sforza that I mentioned in a past thread. I wouldn't recommend it for a special event. 55 degrees is better for italian in my opinion.
          What about Harvest Supper in New Canaan? Also American, but the food is great and they would probably work with you. It's a small place, maybe just the right size for 40 people.

          1. re: sibeats

            Uh, OP asked for moderately priced. Harvest Supper...while delicious...is nowhere near moderately priced.

            1. re: CTburgerlover

              Which is why I said maybe they would work with them if they took the whole place. Worth a shot for delicious food...

              1. re: sibeats

                i don't think ginger needs the whole place. if she is willing to settle for one room and the deck (maybe shared?) the the place can also do their regular business and not be dependent on just ginger's group. track down vincente. he is always either at cava in new canaan or 55 in fairfield. he works all the time.

                1. re: poppy

                  I was talking about Harvest Supper, not 55 Degrees.

              2. re: CTburgerlover

                Actually, Harvest Supper's 5 course tasting menu for $50 is a steal.

                1. re: Scotty100

                  Wow, that actually IS a steal.

            2. re: poppy

              funny, I've never seen anyone eating pizza there. In any case, why would that define it as "basic Italian"?

              1. re: Ima Foodie

                Last time we were there at least half the tables were eating pizza! Looked decent.

          2. Definitely Via Sforza!!!

            1. thank you all.
              I inquired at 55 degrees; the manager could barely hold a conversation and they charge a 5K minimum. I work in the events industry (West Coast) and that's just silly. The venue looked nice though!
              I also contacted La Zingara in Bethel. They could give me the outdoor patio that seats 45 but it's October. They say that they seat people there through December? I don't think that my inlaws would be pleased if I chose them.
              I will try Via Sforza; thank you! We have a few favorite upscale but comfortable italian favorites in LA and pizza is definitely on the menu. They server it at Mozza and many other four star restaurants in LA and NY. I think it's charming.

              1. ugh, Via Sforza doesn't take private parties.
                I am open to any suggestions!

                1 Reply
                1. re: poppy

                  i still think that 55 is where you want to be. while you could have hit a language barrier that would not affect their hard work or quality of food. they are all family and very hard working. if you said you wanted fresh fish they would probably run down to the river and catch you one. the set up is great and if you catch a nice evening you can have cocktails on the deck. haggle the price. the owner's name is vincente or something. ask for him.

                2. Would you be willing to go to Stamford?

                  Try Ferrante right in the heart of downtown:
                  http://www.ferranterestaurant.com/ind...

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: amanda3571

                    If you're gonna expand to Stamford, please consider Eclisse.

                    -----
                    Eclisse Restaurant of Stamford
                    700 Canal St Ste 5, Stamford, CT 06902

                    1. re: CTburgerlover

                      is that the family style place?

                      1. re: poppy

                        yup

                        1. re: CTburgerlover

                          how is it? i only go to family style places in the city. been wanting to give it a shot though.

                          1. re: poppy

                            It's decent enough. Good Penne a la Vodka. Nice space for private parties, the difficulty is navigating your way through the construction war zone that the South End of Stamford has become.

                  2. 55 degrees is 5K min; way overpriced and over our budget. thanks though!
                    I would love to have the dinner in Stamford but it is too far as the wedding is in the afternoon so it will be an early morning.
                    I am getting a proposal from Paci in Southport; the GM was very nice, explained things very well but with that James Beard award I have a feeling it's going to be pricey.
                    I will try chef luis; we ate at Sole and were very disappointed. In my head I think I knocked out NC.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: gingersoju

                      I was going to suggest Paci, it's one of our favorites. We had a dinner for about 25 people there a couple of years ago for my daughters graduation. I can't remember the cost, but we just went whole hog and everyone ordered off the menu, passed HD's to start, etc. If you are talking to Nino, I'm sure he'll be very helpful...and the food is very good.

                      1. re: gingersoju

                        I was going to suggest Paci as well but was concerned about the price. Sticking with Italian, you may also want to try Liana's Trattoria - it's on a very residential block in Fairfield and has great food.

                        1. re: Ima Foodie

                          liana's is very good. can't see how the logistics of a rehearsal dinner would work there but i agree wholeheartedly on the food.

                      2. why not try the new Barcelona in stamford? It's a tapas restaurant which I know also accomidates large parties.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nyctfoodie

                          Looks like you are another Barcelona fan (buy the book, but it has some lengthy preps to get to the end of some of the recipes), but "no tapas" in OP