Dinner for 15 that won't break the bank?
We are celebrating our nephews 21st birthday at the Encore in June and want to host a fun but delicious dinner for a group of 15 from all over the country.
Private room would be fun but not necessary. It would help if we didn't have to all hop in a cab and need the $$ not to be over the top.
I had dinner this weekend at Culinary Dropout at the Hard Rock. It was actually very tasty and it has great space, both indoors and outdoors, for groups (it clearly is set up with the bachelor party/bachlorette party crowd in mind, but with that said, the food is much better than it has to be). Although our group of 8 did not eat outside (just a bit too cool) there are some very nice areas outside and firepits. The food is 'gastropub'. Service was good and there were options (including a very nice shaved spring vegtable salad) that were not meat centric and very good. At our table, people liked the sweet potato chip appetizer, the mussels, the meatloaf, the shrimp ceaser, and the ribs. The fish and chips appeared to be a miss.
Maggiano's is certainly reliable and good for a group, and the location is very good.
Another option to consider might be the Charlie Palmer $48 cut of the week special; comes with wine, an appetizer, the steak and dessert. Some of our group went there this week and had nothing but positive comments.
Not worried about fine dining and a realistically, a private room will be too much $$.
But.......quality cuisine and fun atmosphere is key. Hosts are from NYC and know the difference between good food and an overblown celebrity chef "walk on" or "chain restaurant" venue.
Italian might be the best value since it lends to family style serving? Asian is not preferred. I thought Lotus of Siam but location might be too much off the beaten path in it's strip mall surroundings.
Taxis are OK if the location is right.
If you aren't worried about "fine dining" you may consider Maggiano's Little Italy across the street from Encore in the Fashion Show mall. They serve family style, the food has always been solid (not gourmet). You could easily get out of there for less than $50/pp including tax and tip - depending on alcohol. No cab needed!
They have a private banquet room, but think it would may be cost prohibitive for only 15 folks.
Here's the link: