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Ideas for dinner party to go

Hey, I'm planning on putting a poker night with my co-workers in my own apartment... There will probably be around 8-10 of us. I was brainstorming ideas for a dinner that could go along with this. My co-workers know me well as a serious eater -- I mean, I do have a Chowhound account, after all! -- so I want to live up to expectations and get something from a restaurant that people could visit later (i.e., don't want to go the Whole Foods catering route or whatever).

The fact that this is a poker party means that I don't want the food to be *terribly* serious... On the other hand, I don't mind the idea of having semi-messy food around. It's my party: I can force people to wash their hands before touching my cards. ;-)

Anyway, Momofuku Ssam's bo ssam jumped to mind. But I'm curious as to any other ideas, especially since at least a couple of the attendees will be vegetarian. In the past, I've had some success with ordering things from Parm. And on the interesting sandwich front, a bunch of subs from No. 7 Sub or Num Pang seems like a not-bad idea.

But I'd appreciate other ideas, especially from anyone with real-life experience! Pizza, e.g., Artichoke? BBQ? Katz's? I'm in Midtown East but more than willing to travel for this.

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  1. you seem to have good ideas already but you may want to take a look at www.trycaviar.com and see who they have on their home delivery list. some good places. i know you can get mission chinese delivered and their $10 fee is waived til 11/15 so that helps.

    2 Replies
    1. re: djk

      Nice site! Definitely some interesting ideas there, and food for thought.

      Mission Chinese also initially jumped to my mind -- I've verily enjoyed my two visits -- but they closed two days ago for a, um, "revamp".

      1. re: sappidus

        yes, i didn't kno that when i posted. they'll be back.

        but apparently the try caviar site is going to have Han Dynasty starting on monday or something so there's that. :0)

    2. BBQ and side dishes from Fette Sau.

      1. Have you considered doing a dumpling party? clean hands, no mess. There are vegetable dumplings for your vegetarian friends. It's inexpensive, delicious and filling. You can make different dipping sauces for the dumplings or order them. Sometimes I like to order Thai or Indian curries and use them primarily for the sauce. I've been using the lamb madras curry from Malai Marke as a condiment, so delicious.

        You can order a cake from Baked or Lady M for a scrumptious dessert. The grasshopper cake from Baked is so, so good. As is their coconut cake, sweet and salty, red hook redhot, double diner dark.... Lady M's green tea cake is light, not too sweet and a perfect accompaniment to dumplings.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pookipichu

          Dumplings! Now there's a different idea. I like it... But what restaurant's dumplings do you think survive transport?

          Of course, I know I could just go buy a billion frozen dumplings from some of the usual suspects, but I really don't want to be spending the effort to cook all of them, easy as it may be. I'll have my hands full as-is.

          Love Lady M, of course.

          1. re: sappidus

            Vanessa 's dumpling house on east 14th will deliver to you and for large orders they will throw in free dumplings. I would supplement dumplings with some dipping sauces and veggie platter. You can get creative with it. Dumplings are fun and are great vehicles for sauce. :) They are low fuss and something different than typical sandwiches, wraps party platters and you can spend more money on drinks and dessert :)

        2. Num pang sandwiches would be great- you could order a variety and ask they cut them smaller so people can try a few.
          A trip to chinatown's markets for interesting nibbles (dried crispy anchovies, assorted pickles, spicy nuts and such) would be a fun way to pick up a few more novelty snacks without spending too much.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ttrockwood

            Num Pang is shaping up to be my go-to backup at this point. They're within ten blocks of me, and they seem well set up for small-party catering: as you say, you can order a bunch of different sandwiches, and they have salads/soups portioned for groups too.

            1. re: sappidus

              you should do that. your guests will be lucky! another thought - sullivan st bakery will cut up their roman style pizza slices into bite size pieces and those are awfully good. i think you'd have to pick them up though.

          2. I've ordered a pig from Daisy May's. They deliver and you could make sure that some of the sides are vegetarian. I've also ordered a suckling pig from Chinatown.

            1. Just a little follow-up here... I did choose Num Pang in the end, who was very easy to work with. They do require a minimum of a 10-sandwich order for this sort of thing, though, and remain their usual anal about no sandwich modifications. (They did cut the sandwiches in half, phew.) They were a big hit.

              I supplemented with appetizers delivered from Sip Sak because, c'mon, Sip Sak, as well as mini-cakes I picked up myself from Black Hound Bakery.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sappidus

                Thanks for the update- Sounds like a delicious evening!