Celebratory dinner for 8ppl on a Friday night - must take reservations
I'm looking for a celebratory restaurant for 8 ppl that is quiet enough for all parties to participate in one conversation and flexible enough to accommodate less adventurous eaters... my brother has requested 'tapas' initial ideas on my part were Beauty & Essex and Babbo, looking for approximately $40/entree and preferably downtown, though midtown/uptown are fine too.
Thanks in advance
Babbo has a six-person limit, so they're out. You might want to try Scarpetta if you're to do Italian. Granted, neither of them are "tapas" in the slightest.
For tapas, you could try Casa Mono, another Batali venture. Other tapas options might be Tertulia, Salinas, Tia Pol, Txikito, El Quinto Pino... Macondo does a Latin/South American spin on tapas, and is pretty solid.
Both Beauty & Essex or their sister restaurant, Stanton Social, could certainly work. They're not Spanish tapas but they're in the "small plate" style.
I've been to Casa Mono, Tertulia, Tia Pol, Txikito, and El Quinto Pino. Casa Mono is on the cramped side but could be fun with a big group. Tertulia is a little nicer than that you can get a big booth. I wouldn't bother with Tia Pol. The food is better at the others. Txikito is my favorite out of all of them, I think the food is the best there. The layout of El Quino Pino would make a big group hard -- it's more of a wine bar, lots of standing room, not really a true restaurant.