Something similar to Otto near NYU
I need to organize a dinner somewhere within walking distance of NYU Law School (Washington Sq. Park) for a group of professors and students on a Wednesday night in mid-November. I don't know what the official budget is but last year they did Otto and I think keeping it in that price range and general atmosphere is ideal. I don't know food preferences and it's not really a foodie outing (although I will be there and given the power to choose would prefer to enjoy my meal) so something where I can be relatively safe in assuming everyone will find something they like (I think Otto worked well for these purposes). If I can't find anything else, will plan to go there again but would love to find something new. Thanks!
Alma33 (Argentinian, Italian) would be a good option for a mixed crowd like this, I think. The scene in the dining room tends to be pretty reserved and it's easy to hear one another speak. The front room (for tapas and drinks) can be a bit more lively, but I've never seen it too rowdy. It'd be a good place to either break the ice before the meal or retire to, after the meal, if everyone's mingling well. Food tends to be fair to good, not amazing, but it's very fairly priced. It's a very easy walk from the law school.
This writeup's a bit dated and unfortunately I was too lazy to add to this on subsequent visits. But this might give you some feel for the place: http://www.girleatscity.com/2011/03/a...
33 W 8th St, New York, NY 10011
Cacio e Vino works well for those foodies-and-non-foodies/vegetarians-and-carnivores eating together occassions...it's a little farther from NYU than Otto -- 2nd Ave, betw 4th/5th St, and it's a smaller place so you'd need to reserve...but it has a nice selection of both famililar pizzas and pastas as well as more intriguing Sicilian specialties...about the same cost as Otto i think...warm rustic atmosphere...nice staff...
Cacio e Vino
80 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003
A bunch of other grad students and I took a professor to North Square for food/drinks- little bit less boisterous than Otto, but perfect for the occasion, and I remember the food there being very good and pretty varied. Plus you can't get much closer to the law school- just walk up Macdougal.
103 Waverly Place, New York, NY 10011