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college grad dinner for 9 people

A monday night -- age range 21-87. Need quiet place with predictably attentive service and delicious food. Preferably large round table. Can be pricey but high tab is not necessary. Doesn't matter where. Last such dinner was a law school graduation at Montrachet--is Corton as good? I'm nervous about 11 Madison Square because it could be wonderful or we could get blown off with our group of 9. Recommendations please. (I would choose Le Bernardin for its predictable consistency but two of the group don't ever eat fish so seems a waste.) Thanks.

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Le Bernardin
155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

Corton
239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

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  1. What do you mean by blown off? Do you mean they won't be able to accommodate a group of 9? Cuz you could just um, er, maybe just call and end your nervous state. Or do you mean you;ll receive bad service. That WILL NOT happen there.

    1. I never went to Montrachet, but from what I have read about it, the style of cuisine being served by Chef Paul Liebrandt at Corton does not in any way resemble the food served at Montrachet.

      I don't understand your nervousness about EMP. It is known for its hospitality (the hallmark of all Danny Meyer restaurants), and every member of EMP's staff makes a concerted effort to ensure that all diners, no matter how large the party, are treated with the utmost care and courtesy. Chef Humm's cuisine is sublime, the wine list is excellent, and the space is gorgeous! I think it's the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion.

      5 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        We love Danny Meyer restaurants for just the reason RGR mentions -- we feel welcomed. Had wonderful experiences -- terrific lunch at the Modern at MOMA, nice times at Union Square and Tabla. I'm a fan. But my big birthday at EMP was blah -- just not memorable, as was an experience my daughter had in a group. So I'm inclined to look further. You are right that "blown off" was not a helpful descriptor.

        I have not eaten at Corton and was just thinking of the big round table and the attentive service.

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        Corton
        239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: elizabeth2929

          Have you seen photos of Corton's interior? There are a few on the website. There are a couple of small round tables and, iirc, one larger one in a corner which I don't think can seat 9 people. And I was surprised to find that the room can sometimes be quite noisy.

          http://www.cortonnyc.com/gallery.html

          How about Picholine? It has the attributes you are seeking: delicious food, attentive service, and quiet. The only problem would be the round table issue, i.e., not one big enough to fit 9.

          Picholine photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

          1. re: RGR

            Thank you for checking Corton. No -- I didn't look -- I've crossed it off the list. Still checking Danny Meyer restaurants. Maybe the Modern. (Truth in decision-making--I'm not in charge. The graduate and family get final choice.)

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            Corton
            239 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013

            1. re: elizabeth2929

              We had a sensational meal in The Modern's Dining Room. And the service couldn't have been more polished and attentive. I loved the grand space with its view out to the Sculpture Gardens. However, I found it noisier than I think a restaurant of that caliber should be. That's because there's a very wide opening in the wall that separates the dining rooom from the Bar Room, and the noise from the very busy Bar Room filters into the dining room, which would otherwise be fairly quiet.

              1. re: RGR

                Hi RGR! When I visited NYC this time, I had dinner at the Modern Dining Room and both the food and service were superb. IMHO, much better than Daniel actually, especially considering the price difference. :)

      2. How about Gramercy Tavern? they certainly have large enough tables, and the food is always wonderful.

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        Gramercy Tavern
        42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChefJune

          GT's main dining room only has one table for 8. They would need to use the private dining room for their party of 9. I've dined in the private room twice, but part of special functions. It was quite nice, but I'm not sure how the pricing would work.

        2. perry street
          watch the sun go down, sit at the sofas and then transfer to a table