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Suggestions for party of 12-15

  • p

Hi, everyone. It's rough to avoid more expensive, limited prix fixes with larger groups, and we want to avoid them. So what restaurants in Manhattan would you recommend for a party of 12-15 that don't require a prix fixe for a group of that size? Cuisine is open (though of course good food is required), but we want a place with entrees or at least pastas in the teens which serves decent wines and has decor that's at least a step up from the garish fluorescent lighting and formica tables of some of the good Chinese banquet restaurants like South China Garden. What would you suggest?

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  1. Have you considered DBGB, Empellon, Rubirosa, Kefi, Turkish Kitchen, Ali Baba, Saravaanas, or Zabb Elee?

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    Saravanaas
    81 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

    Turkish Kitchen
    386 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

    Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine
    212 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

    Kefi
    505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

    DBGB
    299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

    Rubirosa
    235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

    Empellon Taqueria
    230 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

    Zabb Elee
    75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

    3 Replies
    1. re: peter j

      Thanks for your ideas, Peter.

      We like Zabb Elee (I like it very much), but it seems too small to me, unless they have a room I don't know about or are willing to take such a large reservation and combine tables together. We were kind of underwhelmed by some of the food at DBGB, which I think is otherwise a good suggestion. Kefi is a place we've been to many times and a good reminder. I think Saravanaas, as a vegetarian restaurant with very good food but poor service and unspecial ambiance, is unlikely to be popular with this group, which includes both vegetarians and meat eaters (including some on a low-carb diet). I don't think anyone thought of Turkish Kitchen, which we've been to before. It's a pleasant place. I've never been to the other places you suggest. I'm particularly interested in knowing more about Ali Baba, which is in an area I often have reason to be in, though I think the host of the party is likely to nix Middle Eastern food for this occasion (sorry I forgot to mention that before).

      Everyone, please keep the suggestions coming.

      1. re: Pan

        Hi Pan,

        Turkish Kitchen has been a long-time favorite of ours, but we've also been to Ali Baba a few times though not recently. The food is quite good but, imo, not as good as Turkish Kitchen's, and the decor while pleasant is not as attractive. Service, I think, is a bit more pleasant than T.K.'s. But if the host won't go for for Middle Eastern cuisine....

        Bistro Lamazou recently opened a few blocks south of Turkish Kitchen, on 3rd, b/t 25th & 25th. We've been there twice for lunch and dinner. The food is delicious, portions are generous, service is friendly, and the large space (which can easily accommodate a group your size) has very attractive decor. The menu is basically Mediterranean but is wide-ranging enough to have something for everyone, including vegetarians. Prices are in what I would consider the moderate range with pastas in the teens. I don't know what their policy is for large groups vis-a-vis ordering but definitely worth a call to inquire.

        Bistro Lamazou photos here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

        http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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        Turkish Kitchen
        386 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

        Ali Baba Turkish Cuisine
        212 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

        Bistro Lamazou
        344 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

        1. re: RGR

          RGR: Thank you for your suggestions. Bistro Lamazou's food looks good.

    2. Craft?

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      Craft
      43 E. 19th St., New York, NY 10003

      3 Replies
      1. re: daffyduck

        Good place. We went to Craftbar recently and liked it a lot. They're still associated, aren't they?

        I appreciate everyone's suggestions and hope for more. Anyplace the host doesn't choose for his party is likely to get a visit from me or/and him at some other time.

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        Craftbar
        900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: daffyduck

          I love Craft but most entrees are in the high $20 range to low $30's.

          1. re: valerie

            Yeah, I know they're kind of expensive.

        2. It looks like we're going to Legend for this dinner, but I greatly appreciate every suggestion and look forward to trying some of them.

          By the way, Peter, my girlfriend and I had yet another good lunch at Zabb Elee today. One recommendation to everyone, though: Don't get the Nuer Yang; it's too tough and the accompanying sauce is not nearly as good as the one with minced hot peppers for the Kai Yang.

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          Legend
          88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011

          2 Replies
          1. re: Pan

            Glad you enjoyed your lunch at Zabb Elee. While I like the restaurant a lot, I agree that some dishes might not be quite as good as others (albeit based on my limited exposure to Isaan cooking). I should try the Kai Yang.

            I should also try Legend. I haven't been there yet.

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            Zabb Elee
            75 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

            1. re: peter j

              I do recommend the place. The host last night felt that by not ordering items like water-cooked fish, we didn't show the restaurant to its best advantage, but it was still a good meal.

              I look forward to going through the list of restaurants you recommended, eventually. :-)

          2. Obao on E 53 (2-3rd)
            Peking Duck House - same block, private room in the back
            Doubt that either place is offering decent wine but you might not be thinking wine at either.

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            Peking Duck House
            236 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022

            OBao
            222 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022