Best for Parties of 10
35 East 18th Street
Bravo to Babbo for not booking parties of more than six people. It's a rare restaurant that doesn't capsize when serving a large group, its waiters tethered to the party's immediate and often insistent mass needs, the other patrons forced to endure the group's inevitable rise in frenzy and entitlement. Chicama, however, can draw a whole conga line into its celebratory, slightly raucous whirlpool with hardly a ripple, and Douglas Rodriguez's insidious Mojitos, delightful seviches, mariscos, and chupe are meant for passing and sharing.
161 Ludlow Street
The enclosed garden at Paladar is a more economical oasis, its slapdash yet seductive backyard-party setting a happy complement to Aarón Sánchez's beguiling Latin cooking.