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Big group on short notice? (But good, please)

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Dear all-knowing NYC Hounds,

I am currently in New York trying to cross a lot of restaurants off my list (I have another thread on here that covers that), but this is a more specific request. I'm tasked with making a reservation somewhere in town for 9-10 people, and it's got to be this Tuesday or Wednesday night (1/3 or 1/4). As one person will be treating all of us, I'd prefer not to stick him with more than $60pp including drinks. Also, from what I know of the group's tastes, something on the rustic and jovial side would be best. Any location in Manhattan will be doable.

Thanks for your suggestions!

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  1. Here's my other thread; hopefully it gives a good picture of what I've liked in NYC thus far:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/804487

    1. $60pp, with drinks, does it cover tax and tip, too? Can you give a budget for food only? It's easier to give recommendations that way.

      What are the preferred cuisines of the group (not just your own)? Neighborhoods? Is Chinatown OK?

      2 Replies
      1. re: kathryn

        Let's say around $45pp on food alone.

        It's a diverse group, but the person treating mainly likes foods from the kebab belt, i.e. Morocco through India. That isn't a tight restriction, though; it's just the reason I gave the rustic and jovial guideline above. What I'm really looking for is something I will like but to which I can also bring 9 people with me.

        Most of these people will be taking cabs, so nothing wrong with Chinatown.

        1. re: the mess

          Bistro Lamazou's Mediterranean menu includes many Moroccan dishes as that is the homeland of the owners, Aziz and Nancy Lamazou (who also own the boutique food shop Lamazou Cheese). The bistro's food is delicious, and prices fit your stated budget. They can easily accommodate a group your size, and you should have no difficulty securing a reservation on either of the two days you mention. Though the decor is not rustic, it's still a casual place. As for being "jovial," that will depend on how busy it is. But, then, a group your size will make it jovial.

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

          http://thewizardofroz.wordpress.com

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

      2. I'd like to recommend Supper (156 E 2nd St, corner of Av. A), but I think with a group that big, they may make you do a $75 prix fixe.

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

        1. Kefi

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          Kefi
          505 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10024

          1 Reply
          1. re: rkaene

            Good thought. Consistently good food, can be loud and crowded, but maybe that would feel jovial to the original poster's crowd.

          2. I am a fan of Flea Market Cafe, a French restaurant in the East Village. It's tasty and not expensive, and if you get there before 7 there is a "sunset menu" that is excellent value. I think with a large group and some of their tasty house wine you will be set!

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            Flea Market Cafe
            131 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

            1. We had a wonderful meal with a group of 12 at Pylos in the East Village - rustic Greek food with impeccable service.
              http://www.pylosrestaurant.com/

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              Pylos
              128 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

              3 Replies
              1. re: Berheenia

                Did they make you do a prix fixe, and how much, in that case, was it?

                1. re: Pan

                  We ordered off the menu and I was a guest so I don't know what the final bill was but the price point is in your range.

                  1. re: Berheenia

                    I do know the menu and I'm not the original poster, but I'm sure the information is useful to him/her.

              2. Thanks, everyone. I tried to do Bistro Lamazou at first - they actually accepted my reservation on OpenTable but then turned out to be closed when some of my party arrived.

                I ended up going with Flea Market Cafe the next evening. It was just perfect for the occasion - young and lively enough to pass for a cool New York experience, familiar enough not to scare off less adventurous diners, and still stimulating enough for me. And really nicely priced. We spent about $48pp including tip and alcohol.

                I had the duck confit, which was nicely rendered and crispy. Also thought their harissa, fries, and mussels were all good. A companion got some really dry chicken with his couscous, unfortunately, which was surprising since all their other meats were handled well.

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                Flea Market Cafe
                131 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009