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21st birthday dinner for NYU actor student

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Suggestions please for 21st bday for 7-8 people, weeknight (Thurs) Birthday "girl" is Actor/trendy. Loves all cuisines, just need great/creative menu for food and for drinks. Under $30 pp. Guests are students so some thoughts here, please. Prefer Union Sq or below 14th st. but will consider up to 30th if it fits the bill.

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  1. If $30pp is all-in, i.e. food, drinks, tax and tip, you're in for a struggle.

    If just food, maybe w/one drink:
    Alta
    Congee Village

    1 Reply
    1. re: thegforceny

      30 pp w/o drinks

    2. Creative foodie menus tend to command a higher price, I think your budget may be a bit low for your expectations but if you're flexible you might find something suitable.

      The only place I know of that might meet your criteria is Dieci. They have very creative Japanese/italian fusion tapas dishes, but it's very small inside and probably won't fit your group unless you sit at their bar table. If you go there make sure you make a reservation. I really must stress that Diechi is SMALL, and they have 4 tables for 2 with a raised bar table for larger parties (it's not an alcohol bar, but a narrow elevated modern table with a cool curvy shape).

      I have Dined at Diechi 4 times and love it. Their beef tongue is amazing, the foie gras chawanmushi is sublime and a big thumbs up for their squid ink tagliolini. I don't remember much about their drinks, but I think it's more sake and wine rather than cocktails.

      Another place that might fit is the Wren on Bowery, but it's more upscale pub food than cutting edge creative- but the drinks are good and it's a trendy place. That said, I've only had drinks at the Wren but the food they served looked very good.

      Dieci
      228 E 10th St

      The Wren
      344 Bowery

      1. If your guests can handle the heat, Mission Chinese might be worth an email, to see if they'll take a large group.

        What about the Bo Ssam meal at Momofuku Ssam Bar? $200 total for 8 people equals $25pp.

        1. Veselka has a new-ish Bowery location that's quite large and is good for larger parties. Their entrees are between $11-17, so you could swing $30 pp w/o drinks on that. I've been to a group birthday there and it was awesome. Big, hearty food perfect for creating that nice binge-drinking stomach fortress!

          1. Alta. The Smith. The Lion. Rosemary. Not sure I would call them creative but otherwise fit the bill.