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chowhound getting married yet another bachelorette dinner advice thread

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So, I've been reading a lot of bachelorette threads here but still want to ask my own question and see what responses I get.
Here is the deal - I just moved away from NYC after living there ten years and my family still is there, so it's my home base. I'm coming back for my bachelorette party in May, for which I plan to go have dinner with friends and then go dancing after. Manhattan is probably easiest because I have friends from Queens and Washington Heights coming although the majority of the crowd is from Brooklyn. We are probably about 12 people, aged mid-30s to mid -50s. Something festive would be nice. If we were staying in Brooklyn, I'd probably choose Belleville.
I am 42 & a fairly serious (and long time user of) chowhound - my NY relatives have been known to call ME from the street to ask where they should eat dinner.
so here are my specifics: I live in "Hotlanta" now where the down-home calorific comfort food craze is in full effect and where Mexican food is far superior to what can be had in NY.
I like Italian, Spanish tapas, sushi, French bistros, pan-Asian. I'd prefer to be close to the LES or financial district., something around $40-$50 pp . I used to enjoy inoteca with friends, but I imagine it is too crowded and zany now.

Places I'm considering based on what people have said here are

Alta
Stanton Social
Kuma Inn
Boqueria
La Bottega - largely because of the possibility of sitting outdoors.

places I might choose based on my own old faves - Aroma, Artisanal, Crispo, Mermaid Inn if it weren't so loud.
Any other places I should consider? Downtown is better - we can travel east to west. Any of these you'd recommend over the others? How does La Bottega compare to Crispo?

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Artisanal
2 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Stanton Social
99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

Kuma Inn
113 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

Crispo
240 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

Alta
64 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011

Mermaid Inn
96 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

La Bottega
88 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

Boqueria
53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

Aroma
36 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003

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  1. I recently did a bachelorette party (for a mostly mid-30s group) at Boqueria Soho and it was pretty great - $50pp set menu was an absolutely enormous amount of food, though adding a few bottles of wine did up the price a fair amount (so much wine in fact that i don't recall my exact total bill, but maybe $80ish, and we paid for the bride). If cost is a factor, bear drinks in mind, obviously, wherever you end up.

    Stanton social is also fun but might be annoyingly crowded & very young on a weekend, I'd not recommend Alta in warm weather, don't know Kuma Inn. Food at La Bottega is only fair, scene is usually very lively, but mgmt and service are really, really hit or miss and I'd bet it's the type of place where they won't guarantee outdoor seating.

    One other place I'd suggest for a big group is Otto, not as far downtown but fun scene, very reasonable set menu, etc.

    Hope you have a great time wherever you end up!

    -----
    Kuma Inn
    113 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

    La Bottega
    88 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

    Boqueria
    53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

    4 Replies
    1. re: starvomarvo

      hey thanks for this specific info. I thought of Boqueria, but $80/pp is too high for my crowd. hmm.

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      Boqueria
      53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

      1. re: redbecca

        isn't it $40 pp at boqueria for a group?

        1. re: Barcelonian

          I believe starvomarvo was including tax, tip, wine, and paying for the bride to be as well.

          1. re: kathryn

            Indeed I was - that was the grand total, and there was quite a bit of wine flowing. (And I don't remember whether we picked more- or less-expensive wines, either.) I do think costs could be kept down quite a bit without so much to drink! The set menu is $40 and they were also nice/friendly there, etc., if that matters - I bet they'd work with you to make sure you cap costs at a certain amount.

            I also second the Balaboosta suggestion below if they can work something out for a group! Or, Supper, though I'm not sure of their reservations policies.

            -----
            Supper
            156 E 2nd St, New York, NY 10009

            Balaboosta
            214 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

    2. I had my bachelorette this summer at Tia Pol in Chelsea and it was great. They have a back room with two big tables that is a bit quieter. We were only 8 and so took one of the tables though you could probably get both if you needed them. We just had the kitchen serve random tapas (umm chorizo with chocolate) and kept the sangria flowing. I am not sure of the price, but imagine it should be within your range. It was a perfect bachelorette party (after we went out for karaoke). Congratulations.

      -----
      Tia Pol
      205 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011

      1 Reply
      1. re: maxine

        i love Tia Pol...i think it'd be a great place for this dinner...

      2. If there are 12, you will likely take over 80% of Kuma Inn. You will not likely be all at the same table. The food is awesome and the BYOB factor will keep it very reasonable. Call in advance as your party is big for the tiny space.
        SS is way too young on the weekend.
        I do like the Artisinal idea. The place is loud and large and you could do some fun fondue and wine.

        -----
        Kuma Inn
        113 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

        2 Replies
        1. re: princeofpork

          thanks. It's funny then that someone kept recommending it every time someone asked for a bachelorette dinner.

          1. re: princeofpork

            Kuma Inn used to do big parties where the whole group would take over half the restaurant. At some point they began capping the party size though. So it's not going to work for 12.

            -----
            Kuma Inn
            113 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

          2. +1 for Boqueria in Soho.

            For whatever reason, Balaboosta seems to get a lot of female groups, and serves great food too. If the menu appeals to you, the restaurant might be able to accommodate your party.

            -----
            Balaboosta
            214 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

            2 Replies
            1. re: H Manning

              maybe it's what the name sounds like if you say it with a certain Itlalian-American accent?

              1. re: H Manning

                I love Balaboosta - plus, the menu is very share-friendly.
                Adding: Balthazar, Jo's, Jane, Esperanto, The Odeon, Aurora (Brooklyn), Supper...

                www.TheLunchBelle.com

                -----
                Balaboosta
                214 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

              2. I recently had a bachelorette dinner for 10 people at Paprika in the East Village. The food is fine - definitely tasty enough though nothing you'd really write home about - and the prices are affordable. We ordered about 4 bottles of wine, some got both appetizer and entree/pasta, some just entree/pasta and we were out of there for $45, including tax/tip/paying for the bride-to-be. The staff was really kind and the restaurant is lively enough that you can be loud without disturbing anyone (we are a loud group).

                1. Boqueria sounds like the perfect blend of what you need, if you can work out the pricing.

                  Inoteca has those big family style tables in the lower cellar level which you can probably reserve, and it would feel almost like a private room. They also have a location on 25th street now, but I would stick to the original.

                  Nuela is a latin fusion place that I think would fit your mood.

                  I'd avoid Stanton Social unless you need to feel like you're somewhere clubby.

                  Have you looked into Beauty & Essex, Macondo, Shang, Sorella or maybe (if it's nice enough) Falai?

                  -----
                  Stanton Social
                  99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

                  Falai
                  68 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002

                  Boqueria
                  53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

                  Macondo
                  157 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002

                  Shang
                  187 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002

                  Sorella
                  95 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

                  Nuela
                  43 W 24th St, New York, NY 10010

                  Beauty & Essex
                  146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: sugartoof

                    hey,
                    thanks - I think Macondo would be too loud and party-party. I'm trying to avoid anything attempting Mexican food in NY because the Latin food in ATL is so much better - while the Italian food here is almost non-existent.

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                    Macondo
                    157 E Houston St, New York, NY 10002