Celebratory Dinner for 8 with a price tag of no more than $500.00
Trying to plan a small party for 8 people to celebrate a very special occasion - looking for a quiet, pretty space with very good food, and a price tag of about $60.00 a person including wine. (I know, I know, it's a stretch). In Manhattan, can be anywhere. Help?
A stretch, indeed! However, if you are willing to dine early, i.e., before 6:30 p.m., and would be fine with a limited menu, Tocqueville offers a 3-course "pre-theater" prix-fixe for $44. With wine pairings, it's $59. Superb cuisine, very good wine selections, excellent service, and one of the most elegantly beautiful dining rooms in the city.
Tocqueville photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391@N03/sets/72157627680335651/
1 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003
$60 before tax/tip = about $45 meu price. Yep, that's a stretch.
One word: Chinatown.
You can do an elaborate Chinese banquet for 8-10 people around $350 - $400. Many Chinese places have pretty loose BYOB policies, so you can bring an assortment of sake, dry Rieslings, or just drink beer (which would be the most appropriate beverage pairing, anyway) and easily come in under budget.
For my money, the best options are:
South China Garden
That said, it could be tough figuring out menu options - OG has a couple of set banquet menus, though I'm sure they'd play with the selections depnding on your taste. A66 is more customizable - sometimes just selecting a bunch of family-style dishes from the regular menu that add up to your cost, though some need to be ordered a day in advance (the short ribs cooked in a hollow pumpkin, shrimp-stuffed chicken, a couple others). Ping's might be better for going fancier - you can see on his website he'll do foie gras and whole suckling pigs and such, but that would probably break the price point.
South China Garden
22 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013
66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013
11 Division St, New York, NY 10002
14 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013
22 Mott St, New York, NY 10013