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Recs for 40th birthday dinner for 12 people (tapas or family style preferred)

mrgdess Jun 21, 2011 08:04 AM

My husband is turning 40 next month and I'm looking to host a birthday dinner for 12 people on a Saturday night (wish we could do a different night!). I've recommended a few restaurants that he shot down (Beauty and Essex, Stanton Social), so I would love help with some new ideas. A few guidelines

1) comfortably accomodate 12 people, maybe flexing to 14 people
2) Husband loves tapas, or would like some other shared-food type restaurant
3) Good beer list is a plus (especially if American microbrews)
4) Nothing too trendy (hence shooting down Beauty and Essex)
5) Aiming for $50 or less per person


Stanton Social
99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

  1. r
    Riverman500 Jun 21, 2011 08:11 AM

    How about Untitled at the Whitney Museum, which serves a family style menu for dinner on weekends. I'm not sure whether they can accomodate 12-14 but it might be worth inquiring. The fixed menu changes weekly but here's a recent one priced at $46/person:


    945 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

    2 Replies
    1. re: Riverman500
      mrgdess Jun 21, 2011 08:21 AM

      Personally, I love this idea, but my husband is a picky eater so fixed menus won't work for this occasion. He requested tapas so that he can gorge himself on chorizo and patatas bravas, and yet not force the other guests to eat only the things he likes.

      1. re: mrgdess
        kathryn Jun 21, 2011 08:35 AM

        If the $50pp is before beverages, try Txikito:

        Txikito has a new-ish private dining room, which may work well for such a large group.

        Also, Birreria, the rooftop beer garden at Eataly, takes reservations for large groups and might work:

        Says their site:
        We will begin accepting reservations for parties of 6-12 persons beginning on July 1st. Reservations will be accepted up to 1 month in advance. Please contact us at 212.937.8910.

        240 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001

        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

        200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

    2. l
      Linsybee1 Jun 21, 2011 08:17 AM

      How about Otto? They are not necessarily set up to serve things family style but the portions are a good size and the food is delicious and reasonably priced. I also like Pipa near union square, which is tapas. It is a beautiful space and I guess a little bit trendy but nothing compared to Beauty and Essex.

      1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003

      38 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003

      5 Replies
      1. re: Linsybee1
        mrgdess Jun 21, 2011 08:22 AM

        Hmm - I'll give Otto a look. Pipa is a good rec; I always think of it as super crowded, but maybe that isn't a bad thing.

        38 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: mrgdess
          Linsybee1 Jun 21, 2011 08:40 AM

          Pipa can get crowded, but I have been to two different birthday dinners there with large groups of people and they have been accommodating.

          38 East 19th Street, New York, NY 10003

        2. re: Linsybee1
          kathryn Jun 21, 2011 08:32 AM

          Otto has a special large group menu:

          1. re: kathryn
            mrgdess Jun 21, 2011 08:36 AM

            Thanks - looks like Otto requires the $55/person option for dinner if reservations are between 7:30pm-10pm, which before drinks, tip, and tax will be too much $. I was hoping for $50 or less, for the food, tax, and tip. (I know the drinks will add up with this group).

            1. re: mrgdess
              kathryn Jun 21, 2011 08:39 AM

              If you're including tax and tip into the $50pp figure, that only leaves $39 for food, which in my experience, is too low for a large group dinner like this, unless you do Chinese, pizza, or BBQ.

        3. p
          PetiteSyrah Jun 21, 2011 08:40 AM

          I haven't been in years, so not sure if the food is still good, but how about Alta on W. 10th. Small plates. Not sure they specifically have patatas bravas, but that fried goat cheese was AMAZING!!

          64 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011

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