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Reasonable, nice lunch for after central park wedding

Julia4480 Oct 19, 2012 09:10 PM

My partner and I are getting married in Sept 2013 in Central Park. yay!

We are looking for a nice place to take our family and friends (20ppl) for lunch after... it doesn't have to be very fancy, but in a nice location, gay friendly and just a cool space with really good food. I would like to keep the budget to $600 or so, including wine if possible. Close to Central Park would be great.

Any good ideas??? :)

  1. a
    arepo Oct 22, 2012 03:07 AM

    If the consensus is that La Boite en Bois, whose prices were under $30 for the Prix Fixe, is not up to snuff, fine.
    Telepan, which is definitely more upscale, comes with a more upscale price as well, just like the rest of the other ones on your list.
    I was trying to recommend something that was in your price range and you stated $30 would be okay. La Boite en Bois is $28.
    Whatever you end up choosing, I wish you a happy and fulfilled life together.

    1. n
      Nancy S. Oct 21, 2012 06:43 AM

      Just an aside, remember to apply for the permit to marry in the park.

      1. Monica Oct 20, 2012 08:44 AM

        One of my friends had a small family and friend gathering at a Viet/tThai fusion restaurant called Obao after their wedding at the Central park boathouse. They have a lovely outdoor garden in the back that should be big enough for 20 people. It's on 53rd between 3rd and 2nd and your budget should be ok even with some wine. Btw, their food is really good.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Monica
          Julia4480 Oct 20, 2012 06:14 PM

          I might have found a nice list with prix fixe lunches that might work with our budget. What do you guys think of this?


          1. re: Julia4480
            Pan Oct 20, 2012 10:45 PM

            I know the site claims it's a 2012 update, but at least some of the information is not current. For example, Nougatine's lunch prix fixe is $32, not $28 - http://www.jean-georgesrestaurant.com... - and Tocqueville's least expensive lunch prix fixe is $29, as you can see on their own website. The other point you have to consider is whether the restaurants in question would offer their regular prix fixe menus to a group of 20. Many probably will only offer you a higher prix fixe, possibly with fewer choices, and some of the restaurants on the list simply don't have room for 20 or/and won't give such a large group reservations.

            1. re: Pan
              arepo Oct 21, 2012 03:53 AM

              Humbly I state that I have found the perfect place. If you can afford that list you just posted, this one is a breeze and charming as can be.
              It is a walk-down and you'd swear you were dining on a Parisian street.

              1. re: arepo
                City Kid Oct 21, 2012 06:02 AM

                In my experience La Boîte en Bois is merely OK. The food was passable but the space is so cramped, hence the name, which should be shoe boîte. Might be a tight, uncomfortable fit for larger people. Perhaps more important, it would be hard to stay within your tight budget. I think some of the Asian options above would be preferable.

                1. re: City Kid
                  arepo Oct 21, 2012 06:42 AM

                  Tight quarters absolutely, but I was speaking of taking over the entire place where it would then become an intimate love-in for the occasion.
                  Passable food?
                  Are you serious?
                  The food is excellent, enjoys a fine reputation, and the restaurant is extremely popular with the Lincoln Center Met opera and theater crowd.
                  Don't just listen to me, check it out on Chowhound and competition elsewhere.

                  1. re: arepo
                    City Kid Oct 21, 2012 07:07 AM

                    Yes, arepo, that was my experience there, glad yours has been better. I remember a very limp salad, uncomfortable seating (including chairs and I am quite petite), and brisk service. Opinions vary, as reflected on this board and elsewhere. Still think it is out of the budget range in any case.

                2. re: arepo
                  rose water Oct 21, 2012 05:44 PM

                  My very limited experience with la boîte was awful, and from this thread it does not seem particularly tempting: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7748...

          2. Motosport Oct 20, 2012 07:06 AM

            Julia in my experience all of Manhattan is "Gay friendly" not to worry.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Motosport
              tex.s.toast Oct 20, 2012 08:29 AM

              Not Amber VIllage, apparently: http://gothamist.com/2012/09/18/green...

              1. re: tex.s.toast
                Motosport Oct 20, 2012 09:21 AM

                Where do they find their waiters???

            2. k
              kathryn Oct 19, 2012 09:16 PM

              Central Park is very, very large.

              Have you narrowed it down to where exactly in the park? West side, east side, in the 60s, 70s, 80s, etcs?

              $600 total for 20 people including tax, tip, and wine as well?

              That is very, very low for such a large group. That's only $23pp for food and wine, to account for tax and tip.

              3 Replies
              1. re: kathryn
                Julia4480 Oct 19, 2012 09:48 PM

                I realize it is very low... We might be able to go up to $30-35. Any ideas would be really appreciated!
                No we haven't narrowed down a location! Honestly, for the right place I will be happy to drive a bit... No big deal. So, any suggestions in manhattan are good !!! Thanks, Kathryn!!

                1. re: Julia4480
                  Pan Oct 19, 2012 09:59 PM

                  I think you should forget about a "cool space" at that price. Just go for a Cantonese banquet at a place like Oriental Garden. You could reserve a private room, and they'll be happy to work with you to stay within your budget. There are several Cantonese restaurants that are very much accustomed to serving banquets. Other possibilities include Congee Village and Congee. But at those prices, I really think that will be your best bet. Bring your own wine, and they'll serve it for you (check first, but I certainly believe that's true at Oriental Garden).

                  1. re: Julia4480
                    kathryn Oct 20, 2012 09:05 AM

                    Well, at a minimum, a brunch reception will be cheaper than a dinner one. I think Pan and Monica have good suggestions -- Asian restaurants will probably come in at a better price point.

                    (Also for a Central Park wedding, make sure you plan a backup location in case of rain. This is one of the reasons why we chose not to get married in a park.)

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