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Private dining in wine cellar for 15-18 people?

For my dad's 60th birthday - willing to go high end in terms of price (but not low end in terms of food quality!), but it's been hard to find a place that will seat more than 14.

Looking for something below 23rd street in Manhattan preferably, but willing to accept other ideas. Everyone is from the area - most live in the suburbs but know NYC dining pretty well. A restaurant that is hip but cozy would be perfect.

Non-wine cellar space suggestions would be great, too, as long as there's something interesting about them (chef's table, etc.).

Unfortunately, this is for mid-December, prime holiday party season.

Thanks!

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  1. Il Buco has a wine cellar that seats 20.

    1. If you are willing to go to nearby Brooklyn (one stop from Manhattan on the D/N and a few more on the 4/5/Q/M/R) try Convivium Osteria. Mediterranean (Italian/Portuguese). Good food, moderate pricing, private wine cellar dining.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bobjbkln

        The harrison has a private wine cellar room downstairs. It looked like room for 18, don't know how much room you need.

      2. Eleven Madison Park has a smaller private dining room for 18 (and a bigger one for up to 32). I've never eaten in either space, so I couldn't tell you what they look like. (I think they might be upstairs in a clear, glass-walled room with curtains, if this matters to you. But please call the restaurant to corroborate.)

        Further uptown, Del Frisco's steakhouse in the upper W. 40s has a very pleasant wine cellar for parties around your size. The food -- in particular the aged steaks, tho not so much the sides -- is actually quite good for a chain restaurant.

        In the same area, Red Eye Grill and Prime Grill both have a few private dining spaces, too, which might fit your group. The food at Prime Grill is excellent (and kosher). It's been too long since I ate at REG for me to tell you much about the food, but I don't remember it being objectionable.

        2 Replies
        1. re: cimui

          I had lunch at Red Eye Grill in early September. It was so unmemorable I no longer remember what I had. (Actually, I think it was some fish dish that they messed up with some topping or something. And the lobster roll someone else ordered got a thumb's down.)The service was also rather inept. Maybe dinner is better but if it were me, I wouldn't want to take a chance, especially for a special birthday event.

          1. re: uwsgrazer

            Sounds like it might be a good thing I don't remember more. ;)

            Something else that might affect the OP's decision: Our group of about 20-25 (IIRC) was able to order only off of a prix fixe menu. I suspect that was a requirement for groups that size.

        2. Not a resto or wine celler but NY Vintners on Warren St does private dining parties. With a chef that cooks right there in front of you. The place will fit 18 people very comfortably. I was there yesterday for a wine tasting with 30 people. THey make GREAT fresh pasta

          1. It is not below 23rd street, but 21 Club has an incredible wine cellar- I think it would be exactly what you're looking for......