Group dining near Lincoln Center?
March 20, 2014 1:00 PM   Subscribe

In a few weeks, a group of undergraduate students from the university I work at will be attending a Saturday Night performance at the Met. I've been asked to research dinner options for that night, but am having some trouble finding something that fulfills all the criteria: fairly close to Lincoln Center, relatively inexpensive ($20 for entrees, tops), and can take a reservation for a group of twenty. Any suggestions?
posted by naturalog to Food & Drink (19 answers total)
That one's hard, it's either snooty things, or the 76 Gas Station. How about Amsterdam Billiards on Union Square? You can reserve things for a crowd (they seem to cater to parties there.) It's 1.7 miles from Lincoln Center.

I couldn't see ANYTHING else in the vicinity.

If you like you can meet up somewhere else, then take the train or walk to Lincoln Center.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:26 PM on March 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: We're going to be at Lincoln Center already for a tour of the Met Archives, so we do need to stay in that area.
posted by naturalog at 1:28 PM on March 20, 2014

Another thought is to see if Lincoln Center can provide you with a meeting room, and then order in pizza.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:32 PM on March 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Okay, how about Rosa Mexicano. Yeah, it's an upscale chain, but it might work for you. Gluten free and vegetarian options.

No idea on pricing, but call and ask directly.

61 Columbus Ave
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:37 PM on March 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

That area is tough for large party + cheap. I was going to suggest Rosa Mexicano because it's delicious and their entrees are big enough that you could probably split some. Some of their entrees are over $20/pp. They can definitely handle a party of 20 but you should call them. It's right around the corner from Lincoln Center.
posted by bedhead at 1:40 PM on March 20, 2014

PJ Clarke's is just across the street from the Lincoln Center complex, and a common pre-show stop for a drink. Their sandwiches and burgers seem to be within your price range, although your students may have to skimp on any extras. I have no idea about reservations but the number to call is 212.957.9700.
posted by Liesl at 1:41 PM on March 20, 2014

I should say, I found the place remarkably less snooty than I had expected, for an Institution in That Neighborhood. In fact, it was quite lovely and the bartenders (and I assume the wait staff as well) were very nice.
posted by Liesl at 1:43 PM on March 20, 2014

I would recommend looking into Brickyard GastroPub. I think it's about 10-12 blocks away.
posted by bzn at 1:50 PM on March 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I was at John Jay College (just around the corner from the Met) and had to make large reservations my go-to option was the Greek Kitchen. Maybe try the Olympic Flame Diner. I left before the Hudson Eatery moved in, but that might be another option. Looks like they have $12 burgers, etc.
posted by postel's law at 2:15 PM on March 20, 2014

Is Ollie's still there? That was the quick and cheap but still good food choice for lunch/dinner when I worked at Lincoln Center back in the day.
posted by mothershock at 2:41 PM on March 20, 2014

Maybe The Smith?
posted by loolie at 2:59 PM on March 20, 2014

Is Ollie's still there?

Nope. Closed due to a fire in January 2013.
posted by Jahaza at 3:39 PM on March 20, 2014

Maybe take the subway up Broadway to 103rd and go to Empire Szechuan @ 2642 Broadway. Or walk up to 72nd st to Gray's Papaya.
posted by Sophont at 4:07 PM on March 20, 2014

Whole Foods food court at Columbus Circle!
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:58 PM on March 20, 2014

Seven's Turkish Grill (horribly noisy autoplay video). Well priced, tasty, very close to Lincoln Center and they can definitely take a group that big.
posted by cushie at 8:39 PM on March 20, 2014

Maybe give Guantanamera a call to see if they can accommodate a group that big? Delicious Cuban food, and it's within walking distance of Lincoln Center.

Also, would you consider splitting the group up into two or more tables? That might open up your options...
posted by Grither at 3:58 AM on March 21, 2014

I am a big fan of Cafe Fiorello! But definitely call well in advance for a large group.
posted by MyFrozenYear at 8:06 AM on March 21, 2014

Union Square? You can reserve things for a crowd (they seem to cater to parties there.) It's 1.7 miles from Lincoln Center.

1.7 miles in NYC is not the same as 1.7 miles in driving cities so this is very much not in the same neighborhood. Going south or north on the #1 subway from Lincoln Center is easy but (if you don't know NYC, OP) know that picking a restaurant that is not on the west side is going to involve more than one subway, a bus, or a bus or subway and then more walking.

If this were my group of undergrads wanting casual and inexpensive, we'd have fun walking up Broadway 12 blocks to the Cuban/Chinese restaurant La Caridad on 78th and B'way.
posted by third rail at 9:32 AM on March 21, 2014

Can't get much closer than at65. They do groups, but I'm not sure if there's a max. It's in Tully Hall which is a 2-3m walk to the Met. Also: Old John's (diner-esque), Bar Bouloud (a la carte), Gabriel's, or Shun Lee.
Otherwise I second PJ Clarke's and Rosa Mexicano.
posted by TravellingCari at 1:41 PM on March 21, 2014

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