Group Dinner Brainstorming
Hi gang - I somehow got myself into planning a group dinner for approx. 25-30 people in a couple of weeks, on a Friday. Since the dinner is being paid for by the event organizers who are on a tight budget, the budget is quite low, approx. $18-21 pp before tax & tip, depending how many people RSVP. Some of the organizers prefer a BYOB "so we seem less cheap."
The past two years we've gone to L'Academie, which I've found bad to mediocre. I guess they got tired of my complaining and asked me to pick an alternate spot this year.
Location-wise ideally it should be fairly central, at a minimum accessible by metro, ideally within walking distance from Sherbooke/Jeanne-Mance area.
After re-reading many past group-dinner posts, putting my thinking cap on, and doing a whack of Googling, here are the ideas I had so far, none of which is ideal. I'm open to all thoughts and suggestions:
Moti Mehal on Jean-Talon - great Indian, could certainly work budget-wise, but a little far, lots of room for big tables
Khyber Pass - $25 set menu, a little high for our budget
Tout feu tout flamme
- all you can eat soup & salad bar, table d'hote between $16-24 (except steak)
I've never been here - anyone?
Prato Pizza on St-Laurent
- have a private room, great pizza could do a set menu with pizza & maybe 1 drink
- really inexpensive Turkish, could do set menu with 1 drink. No separate room but maybe we could take the back of the restaurant.
Il Focolio - http://www.ilfocolaio.ca
- pizzas & calzones $13-15
I've never been here, not sure what the layout is like
As promised, a brief report on our group dinner at Prato Pizzeria.
In a nutshell: it was a smashing success. Everyone loved their coal oven-fired pizza - and kept asking who picked the place, so I got lots of props that night. ;-)
The food came out *nearly* all at the same time, which can be a challenge with big groups. Everyone had one pizza and one drink paid for - extra drinks were purchased by attendees on their own tabs, and no one seemed fazed by it. A few folks had desserts and I thought the tiramisu was excellent, as I'd heard before. There were a couple of daily specials which looked delicious, including a spinach-ricotta ravioli in brown butter.
Service was efficient and friendly, and the room was cozy and warm.
Overall, I think Prato is a great choice for a group between 12-24 people. Any more than that and the room would have started to feel a little cramped. There is one long table that fits about 18-20, and a booth on the side that fits about 4.