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Lunch for 50 in Summit, Newark or New Brunswick (or nearby)

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California hound needs your help. Hosting a lunch in July for mother-in-law's 80th bday for 50 people. Good food, private room, ethnic okay and open w/ cost. Family wants the party in NJ and recommended Summit, Newark or New Brunswick. Any ideas close to those towns would work, too. Thanks in advance for your help.

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  1. We did a large birthday party at Fernandes in Newark. We had the entire upstairs dining room (even though we didn't fill it). We opted for Ala Carte over the set menu.

      1. If cost is not an issue, Restaurant Serenade in Chatham (very close to Summit, convenient to Newark) will give you the entire restaurant for parties of 50 or more. I threw a 50th anniversary party for 36 people there about 3 years ago in the loft room (which is too small for 50) They gave me a "cocktail hour" for 45 minutes in the bar area with some passed hors d'oeuvres and then I just offered a choice of wine with dinner. I think the party ran me about $100 per person (but remember - I threw a dinner party, lunch should be less). I have thrown about a half a dozen parties similar in size over the past few years and I think Serenade did the best job. They were very professional and the food is excellent. They have a lot of experience with private parties and they do them very well. I have been to several functions at The Summit Hotel, but in my opinion, the food is just average there.

        1. In Summit, La Focaccia has a nice room that can be reserved for private events. It is also a byob resto.

          http://www.lafocaccianj.com/group-din...

          If cost isn't an issue, you may want to check out Huntley Tavern in Summit.

          http://thehuntleytaverne.com/

          1. Two years ago we had a 90th birthday party/luncheon at Garlic Rose in Cranford. Private room with bar downstairs (if stairs are an issue, this may not work for you), food was excellent, and price was right.