17 State St., nr. Pearl St.; 212-809-5508; batterygardens.com
Picky couples come to this Battery Park restaurant for banquet chef Lyndon Cayonne’s flexibility in accommodating their outlandish menu requests (vegan Egyptian falafel with tahini, miniature samosas, and bite-size potato latkes). More intimate rehearsal dinners are held in the Garden View Suite (seats 40). In the light-filled Harbor View Room (seats 220), floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the East and Hudson Rivers, Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. From $90 per guest.
1 Main St., at Plymouth St., Dumbo; 718-222-0666; bubbys.com
The mood here is laid-back and the food is unfussy; your loud uncle and rowdy cousins are no cause for concern. Bubby’s folksy aesthetic and home cooking (barbecued pulled pork sandwiches, mac ’n’ cheese) will make a stressful evening less so. The Tribeca outpost can accommodate up to 120 guests, and the behemoth in Brooklyn fits 300, though their mezzanine for 80 is a more obvious choice for rehearsal dinners. Starting at $60 per person.
Fred’s at Barneys New York
660 Madison Ave., nr. 61st St., ninth fl.; 212-833-2200; barneys.com
The shopping outpost on the Upper East Side has a restaurant on level nine that is surprisingly affordable. From the famous french fries to Chef Mark Strausman’s signature meatballs, Fred’s Italian-American menu has quality food without pretense (that goes for the atmosphere too). A three-course dinner starts at $70 per person.
The Peninsula New York
700 Fifth Ave., at 55th St.; 212-956-2888; peninsula.com
For couples keeping it traditional and small, let the Peninsula’s 3,300-square-foot suite do triple time as the rehearsal dinner venue, wedding suite, and bridal-party prep room. The dining room can seat ten for a formal dinner, or the living room can accommodate a 40-guest cocktail reception (the grand piano may have to go). From $15,000 per night.
21 W. 52nd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-582-1400; 21club.com
With ten separate themed private dining rooms (buttoned-up Park Avenue, classic New York), this lovely spot (leftover from the Prohibition era) is remarkably versatile. ‘21’s speakeasy-turned-wine cellar seats 22 people amidst bottle racks and rustic mahogany wood. The seven-course tasting menu with bourbon-cured salmon and barbecued bison tenderloin couples a wine with each plate (starting from $485 per person, all-inclusive); or, choose the more affordable option, the Orchid Room, that seats 40 (starting from $195 per guest).