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A Very Torrisi (or Bowien, or Carmellini) Rehearsal Dinner

Hot restaurants that will host you the night before.


1. For: Intimate Scallops
ZZ’s Clam Bar
169 Thompson St.; 212-254-3000

For those looking to celebrate with just the immediate family, you can rent out the entirety of Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Jeff Zalaznick’s acclaimed seafood-focused spot and treat 15 people sitting (they’ll push its tables together to create one larger one) or 20 standing to trout crudo, seared scallops, and tropical cocktails. Dinner is meant to be shared, and ZZ’s brings out several rounds of each dish, so you can snack without clamoring over large-format portions. Buyouts of the turquoise-tiled space start at $6,000.


2. For: Mission Chinese
Mission Chinese Food
171 E. Broadway; 212-432-0300

What really makes it feel like a special occasion is not having to wait in a two-and-a-half-hour line. For a minimum of $4,000, you and up to 35 guests can enjoy Danny Bowien’s culty Chinese fare in the private downstairs roomóan open space with brick walls, views of the restaurant’s modern-art installation, and its own bar. It’s a strong move to get the large-format Josefina’s House Special Chicken, a labor-intensive Filipino dish in which a bird is stuffed with chorizo, raisins, olives, pickles, butter, and hard-cooked eggs and can easily feed six. Couples can also opt for the salt-cod fried rice, green-tea noodles, and mapo tofu, though the menu is customizable, and you can choose a mix of passed and plated dishes.


3. For: A French Affair
Lafayette
380 Lafayette St.; 212-533-3000

There are two private rooms and buyout options at co-owner and chef Andrew Carmellini’s elegant French restaurant. The dimly lit, subterranean, heavy-on-the-leather Cave du Vin room holds up to 100 seated guests (or 150 standing), and the more intimate and bright Salle Privée can accommodate 20 seated (30 standing). Dinner pricing ó for family-style dishes such as duck pâté, steamed black bass, and short-rib ravioli ó starts at $100 per guest, and booking the private rooms requires a food-and-beverage minimum of $2,000. Expect a formal, full-service event, with servers walking around with food on trays and an open bar, and there’s the option to bring in live music. Lafayette also handles custom-printed menus and offers specialty cakes, such as croquembouche and a dark-chocolate-mousse cake, by Jennifer Yee, the restaurant’s pastry chef.


4. For: Brooklyn Beef Ribs
Hometown Bar-B-Que
454 Van Brunt St., Red Hook; 347-294-4644

This Red Hook spot is widely regarded as one of the best barbecue destinations in the city, and its party roomówith barnlike décorócan seat up to 60 people or hold 70 standing. Prices range from $30 to $50 per person for food (brisket, pulled pork, beef ribs, banana pudding, and sides such as Texas-style queso macaroni and cheese, which can be served family style or as a buffet) and up to $60 to $100 per person with a bar package. For an additional fee, you and your guests can do some post-pudding two-stepping to live country music.


5. For: Civilized Squid
Wildair
142 Orchard St.; 646-964-5624

This new and critically beloved Lower East Side restaurant, from the team behind Contra, is housed in one sleek, simple room with high tables. It specializes in natural wine but offers serious food too. Dishes are coursed out, but all plates are shareable and can include black-bass crudo, beef tartare with smoked Cheddar, fried squid, and pork Milanese. The small space can be yours for a $4,000 buyout and accommodates about 50 people, who can mingle around the restaurant. An ideal spot for the soon-to-be-wed couple to perch is along the line of counter seats, which face the open kitchen and offer a view of all the action.