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Reception Dinner in Fairfield &, CT

gingersoju Jul 21, 2009 12:50 PM


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.


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    poppy RE: gingersoju Jul 21, 2009 02:04 PM

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

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      Ima Foodie RE: gingersoju Jul 22, 2009 06:50 AM

      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
        poppy RE: Ima Foodie Jul 22, 2009 10:42 AM

        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
          sibeats RE: poppy Jul 22, 2009 11:05 AM

          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
            CTburgerlover RE: sibeats Jul 22, 2009 12:19 PM

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

            1. re: CTburgerlover
              sibeats RE: CTburgerlover Jul 22, 2009 01:36 PM

              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
                poppy RE: sibeats Jul 22, 2009 02:01 PM

                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
                  sibeats RE: poppy Jul 22, 2009 02:12 PM

                  I was talking about Harvest Supper, not 55 Degrees.

              2. re: CTburgerlover
                Scotty100 RE: CTburgerlover Jul 22, 2009 02:04 PM

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

                1. re: Scotty100
                  CTburgerlover RE: Scotty100 Jul 23, 2009 07:01 AM

                  Wow, that actually IS a steal.

            2. re: poppy
              Ima Foodie RE: poppy Jul 22, 2009 11:47 AM

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

              1. re: Ima Foodie
                sibeats RE: Ima Foodie Jul 22, 2009 11:51 AM

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

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            CTburgerlover RE: gingersoju Jul 22, 2009 07:21 AM

            Definitely Via Sforza!!!

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              gingersoju RE: gingersoju Jul 22, 2009 12:33 PM

              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. g
                gingersoju RE: gingersoju Jul 22, 2009 12:38 PM

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

                1 Reply
                1. re: poppy
                  poppy RE: poppy Jul 22, 2009 01:25 PM

                  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. amanda3571 RE: gingersoju Jul 22, 2009 02:12 PM

                  Would you be willing to go to Stamford?

                  Try Ferrante right in the heart of downtown:

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: amanda3571
                    CTburgerlover RE: amanda3571 Jul 23, 2009 07:02 AM

                    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
                      poppy RE: CTburgerlover Jul 23, 2009 07:07 AM

                      is that the family style place?

                      1. re: poppy
                        CTburgerlover RE: poppy Jul 23, 2009 08:51 AM


                        1. re: CTburgerlover
                          poppy RE: CTburgerlover Jul 23, 2009 09:00 AM

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

                          1. re: poppy
                            CTburgerlover RE: poppy Jul 23, 2009 09:08 AM

                            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. g
                    gingersoju RE: gingersoju Jul 22, 2009 02:53 PM

                    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
                      sibeats RE: gingersoju Jul 22, 2009 02:58 PM

                      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
                        Ima Foodie RE: gingersoju Jul 23, 2009 06:08 AM

                        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
                          poppy RE: Ima Foodie Jul 23, 2009 06:52 AM

                          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. n
                        nyctfoodie RE: gingersoju Jan 22, 2010 04:52 AM

                        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
                          jfood RE: nyctfoodie Jan 22, 2010 05:00 AM

                          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

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