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Fairfield County CT- Where to go for a 70th Birthday party?

o
OrganicLife May 7, 2010 01:46 PM

We need to throw a party for my dad's 70th and we'll need a nice venue for about 40 people so a private room will be a must. We're flexible on food- nothing too ethnic- and we're not on a tight budget. Was thinking Westport or Fairfield area?

HELP! I moved to NY and I have no clue what's around now.

  1. foleyd7 May 7, 2010 06:50 PM

    Paci in Southport has a private upstairs room. It holds just 40 so this could be a great place if you have the budget.
    http://www.pacirestaurant.com/parties...

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    Paci Restaurant
    96 Station St, Southport, CT 06890

    2 Replies
    1. re: foleyd7
      s
      sibeats May 7, 2010 08:44 PM

      I love Paci, but do you really think it holds 40 up there? We had a private party for 20 and we pretty much filled the space. We had one large table in the middle though....

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      Paci Restaurant
      96 Station St, Southport, CT 06890

      1. re: sibeats
        foleyd7 May 8, 2010 10:25 AM

        Paci's website says 40 so I was just going off that. I have not been up to the private room myself.

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        Paci Restaurant
        96 Station St, Southport, CT 06890

    2. TrishUntrapped May 8, 2010 08:55 AM

      I haven't been in a long time, but the Cobbs Mill Inn in Weston has a lovely waterfall setting.

      http://www.cobbsmillinn.com/

      1. jfood May 8, 2010 07:29 PM

        See if Fjord Catering still rents boats and take the 40 people on a nice cruise and food. They used to have 75' and 85' choices.

        http://www.fjordcatering.com/

        7 Replies
        1. re: jfood
          o
          OrganicLife May 14, 2010 03:21 PM

          OK- We checked out Paci and while it's very nice, the $ was very high. For what they wanted we could throw a party at Blue Hill...we know cause we've done it! lol

          Any other ideas?

          -----
          Paci Restaurant
          96 Station St, Southport, CT 06890

          1. re: OrganicLife
            foleyd7 May 17, 2010 06:23 PM

            I originally recommended Paci for 3 reasons:
            1) great food
            2) separate private area
            3) your original post noting "not on a tight budget".
            In my reply I even mentioned that "if you had the budget...."

            It's not cheap... it's a special occasion place that I only get to once a year now because of the price.... but it's very good and in a great setting.

            Not sure of other place in the area with separate private rooms. I saw Barcelona mentioned in another thread - - - based on experience they aren't on the frugal-friendly side either.

            Just curious.... I've always considered using Paci for a big celebratin (big birthday, big anniversary, etc..)... what price did they quote you and what did it include?

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            Paci Restaurant
            96 Station St, Southport, CT 06890

            1. re: foleyd7
              o
              OrganicLife May 22, 2010 03:05 AM

              8-10K for 25 people, fixed menu

              We're not tight with cash by any means but that translates to over $300-400 per person.

              1. re: OrganicLife
                foleyd7 May 22, 2010 03:27 AM

                That is high.... unless each person also gets a $200 bottle of wine too!
                I would have guessed between $100 - $200 per person depending on the type of bar options you wanted.
                Good to know.

                1. re: OrganicLife
                  s
                  sibeats May 22, 2010 05:22 AM

                  That does seem extremely high. As I mentioned before, we took over that room at Paci, had about 20 or so people and after all was said and done we spent about 4k with tips and all. And we had a lot of food, passed HD's, apps, entrees, dessert, wine. It was 3 years ago, but still...weird...

                  -----
                  Paci Restaurant
                  96 Station St, Southport, CT 06890

                  1. re: sibeats
                    o
                    OrganicLife May 22, 2010 01:20 PM

                    Maybe becasue we needed a Sat night. We were told they had to cover the cost for leasing that floor to us.

                    1. re: OrganicLife
                      s
                      sibeats May 22, 2010 02:18 PM

                      That makes perfect sense...ours was on a tuesday night!

          2. TrishUntrapped May 14, 2010 05:12 PM

            The Elms Inn in Ridgefield can also accommodate you:

            http://www.brendansattheelms.com/reso...

            1. amanda3571 May 16, 2010 05:40 AM

              Are you able to expand your location parameters?

              Bernard's in Ridgefield is quite lovely with several private dining rooms.
              http://www.bernardsridgefield.com/weddings.htm

              Another thought would be, if your father lives in the area and would be willing to use his own home (or if you have other relatives around), try chef Tim Labant's from The Schoolhouse's catering company.
              http://www.timlabant.com/

              ETA: The only other real option I can think of in Westport is having the party at Splash (Inn at Longshore).
              http://www.decarorestaurantgroup.com/...

              7 Replies
              1. re: amanda3571
                o
                OrganicLife May 16, 2010 06:43 AM

                Most of our relatives are old and very reluctant to drive out of their own town (trumbull or stratford) so Westport is even pushing it.

                Anything in Fairfield? The guest list is looking to be about 30 people.

                1. re: OrganicLife
                  amanda3571 May 16, 2010 06:57 AM

                  I have not tried this place as I'm never in the area, but it gets some good press. Maybe worth at least a phone call. It might be a little closer to Stratford & Trumbull.
                  La Zingara in Bethel.
                  http://www.lazingararistorante.com/

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                  La Zingara
                  8 P T Barnum Sq, Bethel, CT 06801

                  1. re: OrganicLife
                    g
                    GatorMan May 16, 2010 07:15 AM

                    The Spinning Wheel in Redding could probably accomodate you.
                    They aren't too far of a drive from Trumbull.
                    There's also Roberto's on Rte 25 in Monroe.
                    Most local golf courses also have restaurants that could probably accommodate you (I know the new course on the river in Milford does).
                    Il Palio in Shelton has a private room downstairs, as does Gusto in Milford.
                    Guess it's all a question of your food preference...

                    1. re: OrganicLife
                      s
                      sibeats May 16, 2010 07:30 AM

                      How about Barcelona in Fairfield? They have a back room that would be about the right size.

                      1. re: OrganicLife
                        i
                        Ima Foodie May 18, 2010 02:39 PM

                        Have you tried Coppia in Fairfield? It's very small, so perhaps you could have the whole place for the evening.

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                        Coppia
                        937 Post Rd, Fairfield, CT 06824

                        1. re: OrganicLife
                          i
                          Ima Foodie May 18, 2010 02:41 PM

                          If you're looking in Stratford, how about Biaggios?

                          1. re: Ima Foodie
                            cheereeo May 19, 2010 09:29 AM

                            I was going to say Biaggio's Osteria in Stratford as well. We had a nice work party there in the glassed-in porch and was quite comfortable. It was around 26 people I think. It has a nice atmosphere in the evening in that porch. During cold weather months, it can be a bit chilly, especially for those old ladies who must bring their sweaters!

                      2. TrishUntrapped May 16, 2010 07:03 AM

                        How about Bin100 in Milford?

                        http://www.bin100restaurant.com/

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                        Bin100
                        Bridgeport and Lansdale, Avenues Milford, CT

                        1. r
                          razkel May 18, 2010 05:36 AM

                          I have some suggestions:
                          Vazzy's in Bridgeport
                          Testo's in Bridgport
                          Cinzano's in Fairfield

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                          Cinzano's
                          1920 Black Rock Tpke, Fairfield, CT 06825

                          1. stuck in Hartford County May 18, 2010 01:26 PM

                            The Three Bears. Older folks love it. The Wonen's Club (and the Rotary Club...) probably still meet there. We always went there w/my grandparents for special occasions. Definitely NOT fancy and NOT great food. But solid in the "special occasion, multi-generational" arena.

                            I'm ducking my head to avoid the cyber tomatoes that Chowhounders are going to throw my way for this recommendation. My grandparents loved it! Everybody's grandparents loved it! Admit it!

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: stuck in Hartford County
                              s
                              sibeats May 18, 2010 02:15 PM

                              The Three Bears has been closed for quite some time now. The new place that took over from them has also closed, and the building is shut down.

                              1. re: sibeats
                                stuck in Hartford County May 18, 2010 02:30 PM

                                Okaaaay, then...

                                How 'bout Splash. Or The Silvermine Tavern (in Norwalk). Unless they're also closed!

                                1. re: stuck in Hartford County
                                  foleyd7 May 18, 2010 03:34 PM

                                  silvermine tavern is closed - we got married there so very sad for us - the setting was beautiful!

                                  1. re: foleyd7
                                    steve h. May 19, 2010 02:57 PM

                                    Deb and I had our wedding reception there.
                                    Pretty cool place back in the day.

                                  2. re: stuck in Hartford County
                                    s
                                    sibeats May 18, 2010 05:03 PM

                                    Maybe you should stick to recommending places in Hartford County that you know are still open! ;-)

                                2. re: stuck in Hartford County
                                  cheereeo May 19, 2010 09:32 AM

                                  Poor Stuck - - I won't beat you up or make any fresh snide comments. <<HUGS>> Similar to Three Bears is The Red Barn, just down the road. Easy to get to from Merritt Parkway/Route 15, so may be a nice option for the older set who don't like driving on I-95. Similar food and atmosphere and the blue hairs love it too!
                                  http://www.redbarnrestaurant.com/

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                                  Red Barn
                                  292 Wilton Rd, Westport, CT 06880

                                  1. re: cheereeo
                                    s
                                    sibeats May 19, 2010 10:12 AM

                                    If you are referring to my post, I certainly was not beating her up or making snide remarks, just suggesting that she not recommend places that she doesn't know are open or not. Seems to be the point of this site, to help people, not send them on wild goose chases.

                                    1. re: sibeats
                                      cheereeo May 19, 2010 02:27 PM

                                      Yes, my comment too was tongue in cheek. I realize you didn't mean it personally by your ;-) at the end of your post. Stuck in Hartford County is a great CH-er. I felt a bit sorry for him/her I guess. No hard feelings.

                                      1. re: cheereeo
                                        s
                                        sibeats May 19, 2010 02:45 PM

                                        Got it, thanks! So hard to read "tone" here...

                                        1. re: sibeats
                                          stuck in Hartford County May 21, 2010 03:31 PM

                                          I'm a teacher in Hartford, now, so I have thick skin! I will check to see if my favorite restaurants are still open next time I suggest something in the area. I visit often, although I didn't know (and I'm shocked to find out!) that Silvermine and 3 Bears are both closed-they seemed like they would last forever, as many of those types of restaurants do. If Marios is still open, anything might still be open... Anyway, I hope the poster found a nice venue for the party.

                                3. TrishUntrapped May 19, 2010 10:07 AM

                                  Okay, Organic Life....
                                  You got a lot of rec's. What do you think??? (Just wonderin')

                                  1. g
                                    GourmetGroupOrganizer May 19, 2010 10:57 AM

                                    Have reviewed the below 26 replies and the Three Bears and Spinning Wheel are definitely closed. I often organize restaurant dinners for our Gourmet Group of 24 and St. Tropez on Sanford St. in Fairfield near the outbound train station and Post Road has a private dining room that can easily accommodate 30, food is superb and ask for Nicholas. We enjoyed hors-d'oeuvres, 5 entree choices, dessert and unlimited wine a couple of years ago for $47/pp. plus tax and gratuities.

                                    Another great suggestion is Vino on the Brick Walk in Fairfield, great quality Italian food and not quite as pricey. We recently organized a school event there for 20 in a separated portion of the dining room (not private), cash bar (decent size drinks), and the restaurant added wonderful specials in our honor such as lobster rissotto, linguine with salmon & smoked salmon (out of this world---have since returned and asked the chef to make it again), etc. Huge portions, but great doggie bags!!

                                    Paci would be far too pricey for me, Bethel and Milford are too far away, Cinzano's has a wonderful varied menu and private dining rooms for such events, Coppia you would need the entire restaurant definitely... Hope this helps!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: GourmetGroupOrganizer
                                      TrishUntrapped May 19, 2010 01:42 PM

                                      Sine the OP said most of the people are coming from Trumbull and Stratford, just wondering why Milford is too far away.

                                    2. foleyd7 May 19, 2010 06:35 PM

                                      I haven't been there (yet) but I got my parents a gift certif and reservation there a few months ago and they really enjoyed it.
                                      The place is Assaggio in Stratford and I figured the location might be in your search area (link below).
                                      I have no idea if they do private parties, but I've heard decent things about the food so it might be worth you checking out.

                                      http://www.assaggiostratford.com/

                                      -----
                                      Assaggio's Restaurant
                                      168 Montowese St, Branford, CT 06405

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: foleyd7
                                        s
                                        sibeats May 19, 2010 07:09 PM

                                        It was recently reviewed in the NY Times...got a "Worth It"

                                        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/nyr...

                                      2. o
                                        OrganicLife May 22, 2010 03:15 AM

                                        Hi All!

                                        Thanks for the recs!!!

                                        So now we've decided to expand the area since it seems the relatives who don't want to drive might not come regardless. We also now have a handicap access issue. We have an invite list of 40+ many of whom would require air travel so I'm thinking maybe the final head count will be around 25-30. But the handicap access (or just not many stairs) might be critical.

                                        Sigh. If i wasn't due to have a baby about 15 days before this party, I'd be cooking and having it home.

                                        So thanks to all! Keep the ideas coming.

                                        FYI- we've looked into most of the suggestions. Thanks!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: OrganicLife
                                          s
                                          sibeats May 22, 2010 05:24 AM

                                          So is anything looking promising? If not, why? It will help us to give more suggestions if we know why all these didn't pan out for you...did you look into the Schoolhouse at Cannondale? You might be able to take the whole restaurant over, it's pretty small and I know they have private parties there...

                                          -----
                                          Schoolhouse at Cannondale
                                          34 Cannon Road, Wilton, CT 06897

                                          1. re: sibeats
                                            o
                                            OrganicLife May 22, 2010 01:24 PM

                                            We're looking into Valbella. We looked at Aqua. The place in Milford might be too far for the folks traveling from NY.

                                            I guess for cuisine- My dad likes seafood but can't have shellfish. He likes Italian but good italian, not run of the mill pasta and sauce, so I thought Paci would have been the ticket. He's not into ethnic food but new/bistro/american he'd be fine with.

                                            Anything else in Westport? That's like the perfect in between town.

                                            -----
                                            Valbella
                                            1309 E Putnam Ave, Old Greenwich, CT 06870

                                            Paci Restaurant
                                            96 Station St, Southport, CT 06890

                                        2. t
                                          temilove May 27, 2010 11:14 AM

                                          The Red Barn on the Westport/Wilton line is always great for large parties. The back room can handle your size group, no problem! The piano player is an added bonus!

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                                          Red Barn
                                          292 Wilton Rd, Westport, CT 06880

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: temilove
                                            s
                                            sibeats May 27, 2010 01:13 PM

                                            But the food is less than mediocre. The OP is clearly looking for a more upscale place than the Red Barn.

                                            -----
                                            Red Barn
                                            292 Wilton Rd, Westport, CT 06880

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