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Restaurant for a teen night out

Hey everyone! I am planning a small Sweet Sixteen celebration for myself, with just my closest friends (about 8 people). I'm looking for a restaurant that is memorable, possibly a little quirky (think Serendipity 3), and that will have a table for us to sit at. Good food is essential (maybe with cuisine similar to the Cheesecake Factory, but less commercial), and due to a limited budget, the target price would be about $20-$28 per person. There's a bit of leeway here. It should also be a bit fancy.

I really appreciate your help in advance! Thanks!

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    1. re: gutsofsteel

      I respectfully disagree with not being able to eat in a large group for under $28 pp. There are tons of places. I really think that Essex might be the perfect place for you. The price point works, they take group reservations, hip neighborhood (LES), good food, fun restaurant, hip! It has everything you could want for a great sweet 16. Good luck and happy birthday!

      www.inbundles.com

    2. I think maybe your budget would have to move too much but I'll mention these two because except for budget I think they fir your needs:

      Spice Market
      Stanton Social

      2 Replies
      1. re: Spiritchaser

        They are way out of their budget. Fancy, good food, and max $28 per person? I just don't think that's going to happen in Manhattan.

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          Absolutely out of their budget. Since she is OK with chains (Cheesecake Factory) maybe Red Eye Grill, if they stick to burgers? it could sort of feel fancy to teens used to subruban chains.

      2. Happy bday! You have posed a tough question.

        Does this need to be dinner? Or are you open to brunch/lunch? Alice's Tea Cup could be really fun for a group of girls (assuming you are all girls since you called this a "sweet sixteen"?). Took my best friend there for her 30th bday and have also taken my 6 year old neice - it's fun for all. Food is pretty, delicious, plentiful, and girly. (and they are actually open thru dinner time so this doesn't have to be a daytime event.)

        Their various tea services are a ton of food and usually include cookies so you get dessert thrown in. And there are several under your $28 limit. But, they also have crepes, delicious egg dishes, salads, etc.

        The original (UWS) location is my favorite, but there are 2 locations on the east side. And they take reservations for parties larger than 6.

        1 Reply
        1. re: piegirl74

          Alice's Tea Cup is a little too girly and childish, i think. I was perhaps looking for something a little more sophisticated

        2. Cafeteria?
          http://www.cafeteriagroup.com/

          I don't think you're going to find "good food," "a bit fancy" and under $30/pp in one place. You might consider Keste for pizza or one of the more upscale diners, like Remedy. You could squeak by at Houston's, maybe.

            1. re: smokeandapancake

              I'm not sure if you and your friends may feel you're too cool for Ellen's, but the food is very good, it's lots of fun, and it's within your budget.