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Ideas for a group E Village or LES

t
twochesters Dec 15, 2010 02:30 PM

Hi - we are taking staff out 6 people total this Friday eve -- looking for a place that feels a little special is fun with good food -- app $40pp or so, Thanks.

  1. p
    Pan Dec 15, 2010 02:47 PM

    I have some thoughts in mind, but I don't know what will feel special to you. Could you help us by mentioning some other places anywhere in the city that have struck you as special? And is the specialness mostly a function of the food, decor/ambiance, service, or something else? The more specific you can be, the more likely we can tailor our recommendations to your tastes and desires.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Pan
      t
      twochesters Dec 15, 2010 02:53 PM

      Thanks. I think special would be mostly a function of decor/ambiance in this case but also at least good food is important. I have a tentative reservation at Kittichai - might be a rush to get there in time for pre-theater and I was reading that portions are small. Three if the staff are young and don't usually take themselves out to better places, but we want someplace we can hear each other talk as well. Last year we took them to Pylos and they liked that.

      -----
      Pylos
      128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

      Kittichai
      60 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012

      1. re: twochesters
        p
        Pan Dec 15, 2010 03:50 PM

        Have you been to Cacio e Vino? If your crowd like wood-fired pizza and schiacciate (two pieces of very flat bread with filling in between), I'd recommend building a meal around that there. They always seem to have an inexpensive, good half-priced bottle of wine, and some of their antipasti are pleasant. I'm thinking of the place partly because it's a bit darkly lit (nothing extreme, though) and convivial. It might be pretty loud on a Friday night, but I would have thought the same of Pylos. I've also found the staff at Cacio e Vino friendly and enthusiastic about food and wine, much like many of the folks I've dealt with in Italy.

        I've never been to Kittichai and don't have too much interest, based on the mixed reviews I've read here and the prices. If you want something Asian, there are various Japanese places you could consider. For example, I find Kamui Den a dependable, homey, very tasty all-around Japanese restaurant, and it should be at or very close to your price range. And now that I think of it, though I like both Cacio e Vino and Kamui Den, I consider the food more consistently good across the menu at Kamui Den.

        My one hesitation is that I don't think either place has the kind of unique amphorae-suspended-from-the-ceiling look Pylos has.

        -----
        Cacio e Vino
        80 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

        Kamui Den
        186 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

        1. re: Pan
          t
          twochesters Dec 15, 2010 04:16 PM

          Thanks very much. I did eat once at Cacio e Vino and had a great pasta dish but my companion did not love it and will be part of this evening as well. Maybe we will try Kumai Den. When I was at Pylos it was not a Friday night, and was an early dinner as this will be, and was not loud at that time. I've read on a discussion board here about Yerba Buena. Are you familiar with that? Also, we could go a little higher on the price if a place is worth it. Thanks.

          -----
          Pylos
          128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

          Cacio e Vino
          80 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

          Yerba Buena
          23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

          1. re: twochesters
            k
            kathryn Dec 15, 2010 04:54 PM

            Yerba Buena is definitely loud and will be pretty packed on a Friday night.

            -----
            Yerba Buena
            23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

            1. re: kathryn
              kelea Dec 15, 2010 05:10 PM

              Seconded. Yerba Buena is anything but comfortable on a weekend night. The bar is usually packed to the brim and u will be squeezing between tables to get to the bathroom

              -----
              Yerba Buena
              23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

            2. re: twochesters
              p
              Pan Dec 15, 2010 04:57 PM

              I haven't been to Yerba Buena. I think that most places will be loud on a Friday night. How much higher are you willing to go? There are places like Apiary and Hearth in the neighborhood, but those may double your budget or come close.

              1. re: Pan
                t
                twochesters Dec 15, 2010 05:08 PM

                $ 50 would be fine, probably would not want to do much more than about $65. So far things sound good but maybe not exciting and good food at the same time. I know that now that we ended up scheduling on a Friday that has changed the picture. I did see some bad food reviews abou Yerba Buena. A place with a buzz would be great but for sure a priority is also for a little more bonding to happen.

                -----
                Yerba Buena
                23 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

                1. re: twochesters
                  p
                  Pan Dec 15, 2010 05:39 PM

                  I think buzz and bonding may be mutually exclusive on a Friday night, given that you actually want to hear your dining partner easily.

                  One other idea for a Japanese place: Soba Koh. Very classy, reliably good food (caveat: I haven't been there for several months and possibly close to a year), beautiful, sweet modern jazz on the sound system, gracious service. It's well within your original budget. I think it's likely that both Soba Koh and Kamui Den will be reasonably quiet, though you never know on any given night.

                  1. re: Pan
                    t
                    twochesters Dec 15, 2010 05:50 PM

                    Thanks so much to both of you for the comments and ideas. Will check them out. If any others come to mind, please pass along. By the way, how is Freemans? I am waitlisted, but it didn't sound promising.

                    1. re: twochesters
                      p
                      Pan Dec 15, 2010 06:30 PM

                      I actually have yet to go to Freeman's (I'm probably the last person who usually lives in the area who has never been there), but it's trendy and I would think it would be very loud on a Friday night. Wait for Kathryn to confirm that now. :-)

                      1. re: Pan
                        k
                        kathryn Dec 15, 2010 07:21 PM

                        Freemans is definitely fun and buzzing even on a Monday night!

                        The food is solid but I don't think it really feels all that special any more. Perhaps their sister restaurant, Peels?

                        Hearth is a good call and less cramped than most EV restaurants. If you are budgeting $50pp for just food, you can probably do Hearth for that price (one appetizer each, one main each, shared desserts).

                        1. re: kathryn
                          t
                          twochesters Dec 16, 2010 09:38 AM

                          Thanks again to you both -- this was the first time I posted and it was great!

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