Large Group Dinner - Need Location Reccos
I am trying to plan a dinner for 20 friends in early November. I am looking for recommendations from CH community as my list of needs / wants is fairly long and specific.
The venue I'm looking for has:
- Really good food (North American, Italian, Mediterranean, Asian)
- A private space that we could use for socializing.
- Somewhat upscale
- The ability to BYOB (we're happy to pay corkage)
- The option to have a set menu created (nice to have not need to have)
- Is located in midtown or downtown (east end or west end are ok)
If you have had an experience at a place that fits the description above, please let me know.
The silence is because you've stymied the board with your list. You cannot have everything you want at that price point, and I suspect this is for a Saturday night, too, right?
Paintbox Bistro has surprisingly good food for the price point (not REALLY good as you specified), is in a dicey downtown neighborhood but has safe and plentiful (paid) parking directly under it, and a comfortable and pleasant(not upscale) atmosphere. BYOB $20 corkage, and a side room for jazz that's too big for your group but rarely busy and will book to you if there is nothing else on, that has a nice little bar just right for 20 to mill around, and could work. Pop over and try it for dinner yourself.
For REALLY good food at your price in an upscale environment with a beautiful private dining room, no BYOB, but happy to make you a set menu, is YANG'S but it is not downtown; it's in Richmond Hill. Search this board for "Yang's dinner"rather than the general dim sum threads. Lots of love for that kitchen, and greatly deserved, IMHO.
For very good Chinese in a ridiculously LAVISH downtown place, Crown Princess will cover it, set menu, BYOB $ 25 corkage. At least one private room the right size that I've seen, astonishing loos, and so on. That probably comes closest to your specs, and many other people think the food is REALLY good, too! Chowhound standards are very high.....
None of my suggestions is "fun" the way, say, Kingyo or the Ossington Strip are, but in all of them you can actually TALK with your friends and make your own fun.
Pizzeria Libretto Danforth has no room fee after 8:30 for their lower level space. Option of a 3 or 4 course set menu (around $40-50/person before tax and tip) or cocktail-style menu (price/person varies, depending on number of spuntini ordered. I went with 5 different spuntini for my group).
Not sure abt BYOW, but you could call to ask. They do offer some reasonably good-enough-for-a-group. (Imo) house wines.
Le Select offers dinners in that price range, as well as BYOW for a corkage fee, but there is a room fee that is relatively hefty, if you wanted a private space to socialize.
Thanks to everyone for their comments and recommendations. We've settled on Cibo Wine Bar on King West. They have several private rooms available and have 3 family-style menus at $45, $55 and $65pp. There is no minimum charge, but there is no also BYOB option.
We've selected the $45pp menu and selected some of the more modestly priced wines.
I will report back on the experience.
Thanks again ChowHounders!