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Apr 10, 2012 04:48 PM

Seeking (another) Group Dinner Rec

10-15 ppl in their late twenties.
Must have a la carte menu.
$40-60pp for food alone.
Looking for a hip(ster) meets sophisticated vibe a la Vandaag or Acme. Sorella also came to mind but would be a bit too cramped for a party that large.

Spoke w Acme, they want to put us in their basement bar area. Have yet to talk to Vandaag, but want more options first.

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    1. re: rushbikes

      Try calling:

      Empellon Cocina

      1. re: H Manning

        Hmm, Perla... I'm intrigued. Have you been? Looking for a first hand account. What's it like? Just opened a month or two ago, right?

        1. re: rushbikes

          Here's some early reports:

          From the photos on Eater, though, I think it might be tough to accommodate your party, but it's hard to see how many that banquette can fit. I see booths for 4 or 6 in the Eater photos.

          1. re: rushbikes

            Yes I've been to Perla and loved it. The restaurant opened last month and is already very busy. They do take reservations for parties of four or more.

            I tried the cavatelli with egg, pancetta, and pecorino (the chef uses black pepper in moderation but you can add a few extra grinds on your own), the guinea hen with black trumpet mushrooms, brussels sprouts, and foie gras sugo, the funghi misti side dish, and the chocolate crostata with caramel, which were all excellent. I thought the food at Perla was easily on the same level as Babbo, Scarpetta, and Lincoln.

            The vibe is hip but unpretentious. It's a small, crowded space but they might be able to accommodate your group.

            Here's another review:

          2. re: H Manning

            Empellon Cocina requires prix fixe for parties of 7 or more.

          3. re: rushbikes

            Very tough question since you want a combination of big group, hip, & no set menu.

            I don't think the layout of Empellon Cocina is conducive to big groups but I think they literally just put in a banquette so you might be OK. I would call ASAP.

            Not sure Tertulia will work for your group size (they have an odd layout that is interrupted in the middle of the room), and they require a set menu.

            Here is what their web site says:
            Tertulia does not take reservations for dinner, except for groups of 6-12 people, up to two weeks in advance to the date. Large group reservations are offered a Chef’s Menu for $55 per person for food (excluding beverages, tax, and 20% gratuity).

            You might also want to give Wong a call, but my guess is that they will force you to do their Duckavore dinner for such a big group. Another possibility might be Fatty ‘Cue West Village, if they can squeeze all the banquette tables together.

            1. re: kathryn

              Kathryn: what is the vibe like at Empellon Cocina on a Friday night? I'm planning a dinner for 9 in roughly a month and atmosphere will matter a lot to most people in the party...

              1. re: lucyj

                I was there last Thursday night (where many people had off the next day) and the place was packed but not overcrowded. It was certainly a lively atmosphere and the tables and bar was filled but I didn't think it was too much. Is this the kind of info you wanted?

              2. re: kathryn

                We must be on the same wavelength. I spoke to Tertulia about a group dinner the first week they opened and they said mandatory set menu. Ended up hosting the dinner at Fatty Cue W Vill instead.

                Never been to Empellon Cocina. I feel the whole group dinner at a Mexican restaurant is a bit played out. Besides, I'm off to Mexico tomorrow so I'll be Mexicaned out by the time I return.

                Any other suggestions?

                1. re: rushbikes

                  Empellon Cocina is unlike any other Mexican restaurant I've ever been to. The chef Alex Stupak used to work at Alinea and WD-50. Beautiful plating. Excellent cocktails. Not your standard chips and guacamole spot, check out the menu online.

            2. Not exactly smoking hot any more, but how about Saxon and Parole? I think they could push tables together along that one wall.

              1 Reply
              1. re: thegforceny

                Ooh, good idea, and also I'm sure Public would be able to accommodate as well.