Large Group Dining in NYC
April 30, 2010 7:36 AM   Subscribe

I currently live in NYC and am graduating from grad school here in about two and a half weeks. My family will be coming up for the ceremony, and I'm struggling to figure out a place for us all to eat dinner. Problem is, there will be 9 of us total, which eliminates a lot of places I like.

So, I'm looking for recommendations for nice restaurants in NYC where I can reserve a table for nine. I really like places like Prune and Little Owl, both in terms of price (entrees mid-$20s to low-$30s) and style, but those are much too small and don't take large group reservations.

Other ideas in that price range? I'm open with regard to cuisine and location.
posted by ecab to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I recommend a restaurant where the nine of you can order tons of small, sharable plates. Greek, Turkish, Middle Eastern, Indian, Tapas, etc. Pasha, on the UWS, would work well.
posted by mizrachi at 7:43 AM on April 30, 2010

Check out The Red Cat (Chelsea) and Tabla (Flatiron).
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 7:43 AM on April 30, 2010

I had a really great birthday dinner a few years ago at Da Andrea (35 W 13th) with 11 people. Good service and excellent Italian food in your price range.
posted by Bromius at 7:43 AM on April 30, 2010

Tabla is made of win! I have been there many a time for special occasions, and it really is great.

You might also try Gyu-Kaku, the Japanese hibachi/Korean BBQ place--lots of fun, everyone shares, cook it yourself, yummity yum.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:51 AM on April 30, 2010

Otto is great, one of the best Italian meals I've ever had.
posted by essexjan at 8:03 AM on April 30, 2010

So many options...

Tabla is unique and delicious. I would also highly recommend Ilili - it's Mediterranean food with lots of potential for small plates and sharing (but they also have amazing entrees). It's beautiful, plenty big and the food is fantastic! If you go there - PLEASE make sure someone gets the Ilili candy bar for dessert, I dream about it.

You can also always search Chowhound's NYC Board for suggestions - it's filled with foodies.
posted by jasbet07 at 8:10 AM on April 30, 2010

Start calling is both graduation-dinner season as well as wedding season (meaning lots of large groups wanting to book Friday nights for rehearsal dinners).

The Smith
'inoteca (LES and Gramercy one)
Blue Ribbon Bakery
Kuma Inn
Perbacco (a family member went recently with a large group)
Hecho en Dumbo (larger parties are encouraged to call ahead, not sure exactly what that means as they typically don't take reservations)
Clinton Street Baking Company
Tia Pol
posted by kathryn at 8:31 AM on April 30, 2010

Via Emilia is excellent Northern Italian cuisine, reasonably priced (including their top notch wine list), and never crowded. It is my all purpose go to restaurant. They have lots of space, and can definitely seat a party of nine. The one thing you need to know before you go is that they are cash only.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:36 AM on April 30, 2010

Seconding Tia Pol. It is an amazing place.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:39 AM on April 30, 2010

Hmm. Person says Prune and Little Owl and people throw out tons of recs for things totally unlike that which they happen to like. Ok.

So in the genre you asked for...Market Table (owned by same team as LO but not as good) would be able to fit eleven I think.
Back Forty for sure - its older sibling Savoy has a private room - but Back Forty is better and cheaper I think. Actually back 40 has a patio you might be able to grab some space on.

Slightly lower end - Belcourt closer to Prune then LO

Blue Hil @ Wash Sq has a private room but that may be out of your price range.

Hearth is not new american but it shares sensabilities with LO in terms of localvoreism, sourcing etc. and def can fit your party.

Otto btw - suggested up the page is a tremendous deal for big groups even if it doesn't hit your sweet spot.

If Brooklyn has any interest there are some options there that are in the genre you are looking for.
posted by JPD at 8:45 AM on April 30, 2010

I used to love Tia Pol. Even had my 30th birthday party in the private room there. IMHO it has gone way downhill. Follow the old Chef to Txichito and El Quinto Pino (which she recently acquired as part of the Tia Pol split it seems)
posted by JPD at 8:46 AM on April 30, 2010

Antique Garage?
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:56 AM on April 30, 2010

JPD, the poster said "I'm open with regard to cuisine and location."
posted by ocherdraco at 8:57 AM on April 30, 2010

Try Carmines. It's Family style, and great for large parties.

There is also one in mid-town
posted by tobiaswright at 11:59 AM on April 30, 2010

Sorry this isn't a specific recommendation, but I find Open Table to be super helpful when I need to make reservations for groups. It will give you a big list of places that will let you make a reservation that big, then you can then apply additional filters to your liking.
posted by heliotrope at 3:51 PM on April 30, 2010

NB: Restaurants who use Open Table often restrict group bookings online. They may have availability but it won't necessarily show up in the OT system, particularly for a group of 9 (sometimes the cutoff is at 8 people).
posted by kathryn at 11:03 PM on May 1, 2010

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