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closing dinner for foodies - really need some help

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Foodie from DC coming up to NY next month to host a closing dinner for 8 people who all are foodies as well. I spent major time yesterday between this board, Eater and Yelp searching for the right combination and never got there. Here are my priorities:
1) Great Food
2) Fun Atmosphere
3) Not a Steak Place
4) Under $100 PP for food (i.e. not including drinks/wine)
5) Folks are coming from different places so pen to all of Manhatten

Open to whatever kind of food - some places that looked like they could work:

The Nomad
The Modern
Torrisi

Any suggestions???

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  1. Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria

    1. Locande Verde, Commerce, Yerba Buena Perry

      2 Replies
      1. re: princeofpork3

        Thanks for the suggestions - any feedback on Mas Farmhouse?

        1. re: RichardinDC

          Mas strikes me as more romantic than fun.

      2. I vote for the NoMad. Request the Parlor room (with 8 you might be seated there anyway).

        Torrisi is a set menu, $75 for 7 courses (or $160 for the 20 course Chef's menu), so that might be too limiting. Plus I don't think you can wedge 8 in there.

        I think you'd have to do Bar Room at the Modern but I don't know that I'd say it's a "fun" atmosphere (though I do really enjoy it).

        Mas could work, though not sure about the size inside for a group of your size. They might also make you do a prix fixe; not sure.

        Other thoughts: Commerce? L'Artusi? L'Apicio?

        1. Jungsik
          Osteria Morini
          Brushstroke
          Recette
          Blue Ribbon Izakaya
          Nougatine at Jean-Georges
          Tribeca Canvas ( Morimoto)

          1. Was just reading this list (from today, if you haven't seen it yet) and thought many would suit your criteria:

            http://ny.eater.com/archives/2013/01/...

            1 Reply
            1. Not sure exactly how much "fun" but these are all lively:

              Barraca
              Yerba Buena Perry
              Louro
              The Marrow
              Perilla
              Kin Shop
              SD26
              Recette