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Turning 30-- any ideas for a casual party with awesome food?

Hi Chowhounders,

I'm turning 30 and want to host a party -- turning to you experts for creative ideas.

My first instinct, to which I'm not entirely wedded: at home, catered with something awesome. (My apartment is big enough to host in, and has smallish balcony too, though grilling's tough with the city's laws?) One idea: Is there a company that I could hire to roast a pig or two?

But I suspect y'all have better party ideas. I'm open to doing it off-site too, but wouldn't know where. With gratitude for any ideas or experiences in a similar vein,

-- getting older in nyc

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    1. If Hearth is still doing their pig roast, reserve and go. . .

      1 Reply
      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Wildwood does a pig roast and is casual and fun.

      2. Happy Birthday To you (ahead of time)! Since your b-day is coming up soon, are you a Virgo too? :)

        Anyway, since I tend to eat mostly Asian food, if you were to host a party at your home, one of my ideas would be to order a lot of appetizers from Chinese (or other Asian) restaurants. A few weeks ago I got an assortment of appetizers (scallion pancakes, asparagus with scallion sauce, spring rolls, etc.) from Grand Szechuan on St. Mark's and also Chicken Wings from Saint's Alps Tea House (in East Village) for a party I was invited to and these appetizers were quite popular with the guests. You can also order dimsum (a variety of steamed dumplings/siu mai, etc.) or Chinese BBQ Meats/Ducks too and if you order from Vietnamese/Malaysia/Thai places you can get Satay Skewers and summer rolls, etc. You can further enhance your party menu by getting sushi/California rolls, seaweed salad, etc. Basically, my idea is to have an Asian-themed appetizers/finger food as your meal. Hope this helps and I hope you will have a successful party!

        1. Happy Bday, Mulberries...

          -- bearmi's idea to order in from Grand Sichuan could be fun...

          -- another idea is to start w/ a meal at a restaurant and then adjourn to your balcony for cookies/dessert/cheese/digestifs/nightcaps...

          A few questions: what neighborhood do you live in?...what are your favorite cuisines?...how many people are we talking about?...what kind of budget if it's at a restaurant?

          If i was celebrating my bday w/ a group, i might want to have dinner at Malatesta and then return to my place for after-dinner drinks...or if i had a big group on a weekday, i might have everyone meet at Red Egg for dimsum happy hour and then to another bar or venue...another idea is La Nacional: great paella, reasonably priced wine, and decent tapas in a low-key setting...

          1. If you are set on roast pig, Daisy Mae's will do a whole pig if you give advance notice along with sides for a set price.

            3 Replies
            1. re: stephaniec25

              Thank you all so much for the genius brainstorming.

              I'm in Nolita-- which definitely makes one of those Chinatown routes geographically appealing, and I think there might also be Lower East Side prospects..

              But I am increasingly thinking that my building will not take kindly to my roasting a pig on their roof. Does anyone know any venues for casual parties, like a rooftop or a garden, that would be available for rental down here? (I looked at the hearth dining room but it like I'd have to go fancy sit-down there, rather than swing-by-for-some-pig.)

              Or anyone know of restaurants in Chinatown that have anything that fits the bill?

              1. re: mulberries

                you also might want to consider the downstairs area of Peasant -- they have a suckling pig liver on the menu that's great.

                re: Chinatown, i don't know about gardens/rooftops, but Amazing 66 is a fun place for a casual and delicious group dinner...

                1. re: mulberries

                  If you are looking for BBQ Meat options, below is a recent thread on BBQ Meats in Chinatown. The folks on this board seem to have a few places as their favorites. You can check them out.

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/641411