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Holiday dinner for 20 - Melisse, Ortolan, Osteria Mozza or Providence?

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We're looking for a restaurant for our annual holiday dinner. There will be about 20 people. We are willing to spend $150 a person for food and drinks, excluding tax and tip. Both food and ambiance are important. A private room would be preferred but is not necessary.

We've narrowed it down to Melisse, Ortolan Osteria Mozza and Providence. What do you think?

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  1. It's a very nice group of finalists. I think Providence has the best food and service in town, but there is an emphasis on seafood....if that matters to the group. My second choice would be Melisse. Both have private rooms. I also think the ambiance at Providence is quite nice.

    1. hi norton44,

      i'd narrow it down to either providence or ortolan. main reason - both chef cimarusti and eme are extrememly approachable- wonderful talent without any attitude, and are actually in the kitchen! i have spoken with both on our visits. the private room might be more doable at providence - and between the cimarusti and his maitre d' donato - i think you''ll have a phenomenal evening! mozza - well, i like it, but not in the same league as the other 2. babbo in new york, yes! as to melisse - we've had them on our list for a while, but i think citrin is spreading himself a bit thin...have seen conflicting reviews, and for that kind of money...i'm sure you'll get many others to chime in with some good advice and tips. all the best!

      1. I love Ortolan, it is gorgeous, the food and service are impeccable, and Chef Eme will take good care of you.

        Melisse is also wonderful, but I don't like the room as much. And Providence is seafood centric. Osteria Mozza has some service issues from what I've read.