Meal: For Über-foodies, Daniel is required
Many couples invite their out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner
(R) the night before the wedding; traditionally, the newlyweds—or
their parents—also host a brunch (B) the morning after. The
following restaurants have private or semi-private spaces that are
suitable for large groups. Prices are per person and don’t include
alcohol unless specified.
Amuse(R) (B) 108-10 W. 18th St., nr. Sixth Ave.
Four private dining rooms are available for lunch and dinner in this sleek spot, which is located in an elegant turn-of-the-century townhouse. The third floor seats 190 for dinner (325 for cocktails) and includes a lovely faux fireplace to help set the mood. Dinners start at $90 per person, and selections include a roasted-shiitake-mushroom soup, peppered Long Island duck breast, and a delicious caramelized-brown-sugar toffee cake for dessert.
Avra(R) (B) 141 E. 48th St., nr. Lexington Ave.
This festive Greek restaurant is known for fresh Mediterranean fish. The rustic private room, decorated with vases, racks of wine, and stone-washed walls, holds 50 to 80 for dinner, with dishes like charcoal-grilled octopus, salads, and loup de mer ($45 on weekdays; $85 on weekends). Even brunchtime eggs Benedict gets a Greek twist—pita instead of an English muffin.
Baldoria(R) 249 W. 49th St., nr. Eighth Ave.
It’s nearly impossible to score a table at Rao's, but it’s a cinch to take your friends to its well-regarded offshoot, Baldoria. The second-floor private room seats 80 to 100; bring 130 to 170, and they’ll lend you the entire restaurant. Three menus ($55, $65, and $85 per person) feature great Italian food, served family-style. A buffet dinner starts at $45 per person for up to 80 people.
Barbetta(R) 321 W. 46th St., nr. Eighth Ave.
This landmark Italian restaurant, which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2006, spans the length of four 1874 townhouses and has an impressive garden that will hold 80 guests for a seated dinner. The largest private room seats 135 and showcases antiques dating from 1775. The menus—each priced upon request—may include agnolotti, Maine diver scallops with potato crust, and monte bianco for dessert.
Bayard's(R) (B) 1 Hanover Sq., nr. Stone St.
Chef Eberhard Müller began at Le Bernardin, took over Lutèce, and now oversees this freestanding Wall Street mansion. Model ships and maritime oil paintings decorate eight private rooms, which host anywhere from 6 to 300 for cocktails (200 for dinner). Dinner is $65 to $155 per person. Menu standouts: lobster salad, filet of beef, and a chocolate-dome dessert.
Restaurant (R) (B) 25 W. 56th St., nr. Fifth Ave.
At Beacon, where everything is cooked on an open wood fire, chef Waldy Malouf serves up dishes like roasted trout and oysters, Delmonico steak, and brandy-laced roasted-lobster soup. Three-course meals start at $65 a person. The second-floor glass-enclosed room seats up to 100.
Biltmore Room(R) 290 Eighth Ave., nr. 24th St.
The floor-to-ceiling Italian marble, brass finishes, and ornate chandeliers in the dining room are originally from the 1930s white-glove heyday of the old Biltmore Hotel. Reserve the entire room for up to 82 people, starting at $16,000. The evening will start off with cocktail hour, followed by a formal seven-course dinner or buffet of specialities like the tataki of bluefin-tuna appetizer or the ancho-chile-and-sage-crusted seared breast of duck. Entertainment is also an option.
Fish(R) 21 W. 17th St., nr. Fifth Ave.
The maritime offshoot of Laurent Tourondel’s BLT Steak brings the same luxurious bistro feel to the former AZ space. The second-floor private dining room accommodates 100 for cocktails or 65 for dinner. Rent the third floor with its movable glass roof for under-the-stars dining. Preset menus start at $75 and include dishes like marinated acacia-honey Chilean black cod.
Blue Fin(R) (B) 1567 Broadway, at 47th St.
The sexy 24-seat Red Room is one of three options at Times Square’s hip seafooder from Stephen Hanson; the West Room (75–100) and the East Room (30–40) are available as well. Your guests will love the nonstop energy as well as the Chilean sea bass with roast red pepper and lemon potato ($35–$80 a head).
Blue Water Grill(R) (B) 31 Union Sq. W., at 16th St.
Plush velvet curtains warm up the vault room in this cavernous former bank, where up to 35 people can dine on modern classics like wasabi-crusted big-eye tuna or grilled American filet mignon ($65 a head; more for hors d’oeuvre, sushi, or raw bar). The jazz room holds 10 to 22.
Bottino(R) 246 Tenth Ave., nr. 24th St.
A private room opens onto a garden at this upscale Italian space popular with the neighboring Chelsea art crowd. Up to 50 guests can sip cocktails and snack on hors d’oeuvre in the garden before they sit down to a three-course dinner inside. A smaller garden space enclosed by glass and tents and warmed by heat lamps is available for up to 26 people. An all-inclusive dinner is $110 per person and includes three hours of open bar. There is a $25 prix fixe menu for lunch on Saturday.
Bouley(R) 120 W. Broadway, at Duane St.
Treat yourself to chef David Bouley’s French-inspired menu, which includes Maine day-boat lobster with mango and bok choy, or thai curry with port-and-paprika sauce. The two private dining rooms have a sensuous cream-and-pomegranate décor. The White Room seats 40 and the Red Room seats 70 (prices vary).
City Hall Restaurant 131 Duane Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 964-4118 cityhallnewyork.com City Hall offers award-winning ambiance, enticing menus, and flexible designs, perfect for intimate rehearsal dinners or gala receptions that will create wedding memories to last a lifetime.
The Glazier Group 116 John Street, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10038
212-608-7400 theglaziergroup.com The Glazier Group locations are enhanced by their ability to exceed the highest expectations for cuisine and service.
Grand Hyatt New York Park Ave. at Grand Central
NY, NY 10017
(212) 883-1234 www.grandnewyork.hyatt.com With panoramic city views, the classically elegant Manhattan Ballroom provides an unparalleled wedding experience in a perfectly styled atmosphere.
Hotel Plaza Athenee 37 East 64th Street on Madison Ave.
(212) 772-0958 Home to one of the most romantic rooms in New York City. Intimate, elegant setting for up to 100.
Sel et Poivre 853 Lexington Avenue (between 64th and 65th)
NY, NY 10021
(212) 517-5780 seletpoivrenyc.com Casually elegant, cozy and quaint country-style French bistro.
Trattoria Dopo Teatro 125 West 44th Street (between Broadway & 6th Ave.) New York, NY 10036
(212) 869-2849 dopoteatro.com Trattoria Dopo Teatro combines extraordinary Italian cuisine and exquisite décor to create weddings that are truly bellissima! Upon entering The Secret Garden, one of New York City’s most beautiful interior gardens, one experiences the ambiance of a romantic Italian villa. Exposed brick walls and glass-paned doors surround The Garden and its adjoining rooms, which are designed to become one large, beautiful banquet area.
West Bank Café 407 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 695-6909 www.westbankcafe.com Specializing in creating menus to suit the needs and meet the budgets for all occasions. Rehearsal dinners, weddings and showers.