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Need Westchester recommendation ...

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Ok, this is going to be VERY general, so pardon me.

I am meeting 8 people for a "book club" meeting.
The point is not so much the food, but the atmosphere.
Venue can be coffee, happy hour, dinner, etc.

I want a place in Westchester where we can
chat comfortably
and not feel rushed out
not so stuffy where the decorum/waiter distracts from the conversation.
We'd like to be left alone, but also not be the only people in the place.

I also need the same recommendation for a group of 15 people
(which might require a different venue)

Does anything come to mind?

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  1. where in Westchester? It's a big county.

    1. Try the Bean Runner Cafe in Peekskill. It would work for both groups you mention, but I'd call ahead for the larger group just to make sure they set up for you.

      1. Jean Jacques in Pleasantville is a good option. It's centrally located if people are coming from all over the county, big enough for a group, and I've sat there for hours without being bothered. It would definitely work for the group of 8... not sure about 15.

        http://jean-jacques.com/

        1. You can sit in any Starbucks for hours upon hours, undaunted.

          1. If it's not about the food, maybe COSI would work. It's a chain so you can find a convenient one and they leave you alone on some comfy sofas. Not a bad place to hang out, not a great place to eat.

            3 Replies
            1. re: debmom

              Thanks. Hmm, on 2nd thought, I think I'd like something nicer than the "retail/fast-food" vibe. (Starbucks, Cosi, etc) For me, these places have a subtle implication of quick in-out.

              Any ideas more in Southern 914?
              White Plains and below....

              The more I think about it, I think I'd want a nicer place, but that allows us to hang out. So not a "formal dinner" vibe either. (Done eating yet?)

              Hmm, I think I just need a bar vibe.
              How about a bar that has large tables??

              1. re: realitytruthprozac

                I think Jean-Jacques in Pleasantville, which was already mentioned, might serve the 8 person need.

                1. re: realitytruthprozac

                  A perfect place for this would be The Pub at Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook. I haven't been there in a few years, but it was always a good place. They have a happy hour every weekday and a DJ on the weekends. It was never crowded, but never dead. They also have pool tables and dartboards, but it's big, not like a hole-in-the-wall bar and it's very nice. The menu is more sandwiches, burgers and traditional pub food.

                  If you wanted something upscale, Morton's in White Plains would definitely cater to your parties size. Although the service is "very attentive" and it sounds like you want to avoid that.

                  Some other suggestions:
                  B&B 5th Ave Pub in Pelham...never very crowded, nice casual service
                  Mickey Spillane's in Eastchester...can get busy, but they have a big table in the back

                  It's kind of tough, because you didn't mention time, day of the week, any food restrictions/desires and an estimate of how much time you'll be there.

              2. What day of week and time of day are we talking about here?

                3 Replies
                1. re: Sloth

                  3 places that fit the bill perfectly IMO:
                  1. small private room at whitby castle. good food. super quiet especially this time of year. our office has had meetings there and we are the only ones there usually.
                  2. small private room at sam's on gedney way. busier than whitby but a private room is private!
                  3. Peniche has great communal tables but is the busiest I would say of the 3.

                  1. re: cubanat

                    Hey folks, thanks for all the various ideas. I appreciate it, and I'll let you know which I decide to go with ...

                    Peniche does have a nice "communal table" feel. Nice, yet has an informal vibe. That might actually be ideal. I HATE the feeling of being the only group in a place.

                    1. re: realitytruthprozac

                      I second Sam's of Gedney Way? There is a semi-private room off to the right when you walk in that looks like it can seat up to 15. I saw it set up for a private party the other day. Harry's of Hartsdale has a quiet and private 2nd floor. Have you looked into such places as Blue, Antipasti and Elements in White Plains? Also, Melting Pot does a "Ladies night..." I don't know if this is a group of women, but I am guessing with a book club, it might be.

                2. The Rye Grill & Bar might work well. They have a nice, large bar area, with a good mix of seating, and they also have a few other rooms to choose from - some with fireplaces.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: byramgirl

                    GREAT recommendation. I went there recently for the first time and thought it was gorgeous... the bar space especially.

                    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

                      Harry's of Hartsdale's also has a very cool wine room in the basement. It's private but busy with servers occasionally coming in to grab a bottle!

                  2. try the roadhouse in rye off the in a residential area the food is great, desserts great and it is a fun cajun place but do call ahaead