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Struggling to find a place for 15 people on a saturday night in February

My wife is in town for work (which happens from time to time) and we get put up in Jersey City--weekend of Feb. 11, 2012. I have arranged for friends and family from in and out of town to meet and surprise her for her 50th birthday.

PROBLEM: Where do we fit 15 people from age 21 to 55 for drinks/beers/wine AND food that is not some awful Times Square tourist trap? Lots of favorite places are unable or unwilling to accommodate that many people on a Saturday evening.

We have a tentative "maybe" from Il Buco Vineria but I am still looking for a great place. We like food from all places and all levels, and will probably eat, drink, and be merry in one location, and then some of us will continue the celebration into the later hours elsewhere. We last ended up at Decibel for Sake and then cocktails at Little Branch, so we are game for good bars too. But the first locale has to be about food and beverage for that larger group.

Any and all help is welcome...

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  1. You might want to check Open Table to get some ideas. You can make a reservation at a fair number of places for 15 people.

    1. How about daisy mays big pig gig?

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      Daisy May's BBQ
      623 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036

      1. Budget?

        1. Chinatown Brasserie, which is not actually in Chinatown but in Noho, has a really nice private room up behind their slightly swanky bar area. We held a team party there last year for 15 and it worked out great. They can arrange a menu to suit various budgets. The fact that it is a private room means folks can gather ahead of time to pounce a surprise. Plenty of second and third round options nearby for afterwards.

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          Chinatown Brasserie
          380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

          1. DBGB
            Rubirosa

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            DBGB
            299 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

            Rubirosa
            235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

            1. Good question on price. I am covering the first 600 dollars and ideally we won't go to terribly past 60-65 dollars per person...unless some people opt to drink at the very high end. The plan is to continue the party down the road somewhere (not everyone) and that is partly why we are not looking for a fabulous meal by courses.

              I have checked open table for a lot of locations, but over 10 seems very hard to find.

              As for Daisy May's, we currently live in the south, so BBQ is not on our radar when we come back home--unless it's Chinese or Korean. Down here we'd just head over to Buzz and Ned's (look it up, it's excellent!)

              Thanks so far, looking forward to more suggestions...will be emailing DBGB in the AM.

              1. Changing plans. All of our possible options were going to require fixed menus and a minimum of 100 dollars per person. We are now looking at Chinese food, but not in Chinatown...I like Grand Sichuan in Chelsea. I know they have other locations but I do like the food there and it has a fun vibe, good location. Hopefully they can take a reservation or seat 15 people. Any thoughts, thanks.

                1 Reply
                1. re: chefsalad

                  Have you considered a Korean restaurant? Near the PATH and uesd to seating large groups. Madangsui is pretty good.

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                  Madangsui
                  35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

                2. Beacon on 56th between 5th & 6th has a couple of private rooms, in addition to spacious dining rooms. The food there is really delicious. We've celebrated several big birthdays there and been very happy with the results. Their specialty is wood-fired cooking, and they do as great a job with the wood fired fish as they do with the meat.

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                  Beacon
                  25 West 56th St., New York, NY 10019

                  1. I know I suggest this for everything, but call Gnocco, good pizza and pasta etc, I have seen big parties there, and they are pretty laid back, also Lil Frankies for that matter. Otto maybe?

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                    Gnocco
                    337 East 10th Street, New York, NY 10009

                    Lil' Frankie's
                    21 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003