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Hill Country or Blue Smoke for a group dinner?

Looking to make a reservation for a big group dinner (about 10-12 guys). Which place is better for a group dinner?

Price is one of the factors, but so is atmosphere.

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Hill Country
30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

Blue Smoke
116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

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  1. Depends what kind of atmosphere you want. Blue Smoke is much more upscale.

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    Blue Smoke
    116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

    1. How about ordering a whole hog dinner from daisy mae's? Ive always wanted to try it. Sounds like fun for a group, although it could get very messy!

      2 Replies
      1. re: AdamD

        Daisy Mae's has no atmosphere to speak of and when we did the whole hog dinner, the service was terrible. Food was good, though.

        1. re: kathryn

          Yeah I have heard that about the service, but it almost sounds like its worth it for the food!

      2. My company has had group dinners at Blue Smoke on several occasions. For groups of your size they will put together one long table in the dining room, with family style platters of appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts. It was a great way to try lots of things on the menu, it simplified ordering, and no one ever left hungry.

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        Blue Smoke
        116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

          1. re: jstarr

            Hill Country is more I guess "lowbrow" with no utensils and you're eating on butcher paper and people get pretty loud. Blue Smoke is more refined.

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            Hill Country
            30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

            Blue Smoke
            116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

            1. re: kathryn

              Agreed with this comment. There is better table service at Blue Smoke and you dont have to line up for your food.

              HOWEVER, the brisket at Hill Country makes me drool in my sleep and I would choose Hill Country over Blue Smoke anytime just for the food. Plus a table downstairs usually means live music

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              Hill Country
              30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

              Blue Smoke
              116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

              1. re: kelea

                Yes, they are both very different restaurants. If you care about non-meat BBQ dishes & sides Blue Smoke pulls ahead I think. They do a good burger, great deviled eggs, good mac and cheese, decent fish tacos, good chips and dip, etc.

                Blue Smoke also offers pulled pork which Hill Country doesn't. I've never really been impressed with any of Hill Country's sides. But I do love their fatty brisket and the Kreuz sausage.

                At Hill Country, if you do a large group and arrange it ahead of time, they will do a prix fixe -- you can choose 3 meats, 3 sides, and 2 desserts for $45pp which they bring out to your large group. Add $10pp more and that will include starters and cornbread. Given what other places charge for a big group, this seems quite reasonable to me.

                http://www.hillcountryny.com/assets/f...

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                Hill Country
                30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                Blue Smoke
                116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

                1. re: kathryn

                  this is now a problem...i want some fatty brisket

          2. I've only been to Blue Smoke, a few times, and never with a big group. I've seen big groups in the inside, lower level area and it looks like a fun place for a group meal. My only knock on it is the almost inevitable wait time even when advanced reservation have been made.

            4 Replies
            1. re: RCC

              We've been to Blue Smoke with large groups and it's always been great.
              Never been to Hill Country
              How about heading uptown to Dinosaur? It's also great for groups.

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              Hill Country
              30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

              Blue Smoke
              116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

              1. re: Motosport

                How are the prices at Hill Country? What would it be per person for a group of guys that like to drink?

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                Hill Country
                30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                1. re: jstarr

                  Menus are on their web site. Checkout the events section for the group prix fixe. It also talks about open bar prices.

                  http://www.hillcountryny.com

                  1. re: jstarr

                    We had our rehearsal dinner at Hill Country (yes, it was non-traditional for sure). Anyways, there were 15 of us and we didn't need to do the prix fixe because of our party size, so we lined up for our food like everyone else. We had several buckets of beer and some other drinks but only about 10 of us were drinking...in the end we spent $375 all in which was super reasonable.

                    I've been to Blue Smoke and the food there is good but for BBQ I like a more casual kind of place; plus the fatty brisket is pretty amazing.

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                    Hill Country
                    30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                    Blue Smoke
                    116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

              2. Hill Country has big long tables, but it's set up confusingly with a choice of table service, or ordering at a window. It's pricey, and for a group, I would almost check if they have a special package.

                Blue Smoke would normally be the better choice...it's got a good menu, and it's spacious enough... but it's currently a disaster of mediocre food and service. In another post, I compared a recent visit to feeling like I was at an Applebee's gone awry.

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                Hill Country
                30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010

                Blue Smoke
                116 East 27th Street, New York, NY 10016

                1 Reply
                1. re: sugartoof

                  Hill Country's brisket is the best in the city. For ambience and more refined atmosphere blue smoke is better - their bbq is generally "ok" imo but you can get better individual items in other places such as dinosaur and rub. Daisy maes' pulled pork is reasonable but everything else was pretty average last time I ate there.

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                  Hill Country
                  30 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010