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Good Philly Restaurant for Party of 50?


tim
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Hi,

We have been seeking a Philadelphia restaurant about an October rehearsal dinner.

It has been very frustrating in that restaurants are not willing to talk about hosting a private party. We get no response after repeated phone calls and emails.

We have been repeatedly ignored or treated with houghty condecsension. A recommended BYOB wanted four times their normal pris fixe for their room. We cannot get information because the manager is working on this weekend and could care less about October. One restaurant event coordinator claims the restaurant only seats 23 after we counted over 40 chairs in their private room. Most BYOB's do not have web sites.

What's the deal? Any ideas? Any contacts? Any recommendations? How about a really fun, casual and inexpensive bistro?

Tim

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Do you need to be in the city for this? Alison Barshak is opening a second restaurant this summer in Fort Washington, very near the turnpike interchange. Her food is amazing and she is very flexible about working with her customers. She is among the top 25 restaurants in the recent top 50 that Philly mag put out. The new restaurant isn't a BYO, but she has a corkage fee for those who want to bring their own.

Her food is amazing - interesting, perfectly balanced, not "precious"

Just a thought.

Eileen

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Molcajete Mixto would, I'm positive, be very happy to receive you. They have garnered some good reviews and I had a nice meal there, but I think their problem is they're more expensive and fancier than the other Mexican places down on Washington so the local Mexicans all go down there.

Point is, they have a big dining room, authentic Mexican food, impeccable service (really really) and I think margarita mixes. 8th and Christian. BYOB. Inexpensive.

I'd say Cochon but they don't seat that many. Ansill could do it but I think that would be above your price range.

What about Ethiopian or a brewpub in west philly?

Edited by mattohara (log)

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matt o'hara

finding philly

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I'm wondering why there has been no mention of Tinto, Supper, Fork or Osteria.  Any thoughts?

Tim

Because you set the parameters at 45 bucks a head which just ain't happening at those places (maybe Fork but that hasn't been receiving any ringing endorsements lately - at least in these parts).

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Also because most of those would have trouble fitting in parties the size of yours: you didn't say how many you are, but it can be deduced it's a number in excess of twenty-three.

Osteria wouldn't come close to fitting your budget; Fork probably would have to reserve the entire space for you; Tinto's private room seats a maximum of sixteen, and they're busy enough that I doubt they could make other arrangements.

I actually have no idea how you'd fare at Supper.

And, may I add, your post seemed to imply that you were looking specifically for BYOBs, and none of these four fit the bill in that regard.

If that's not a concern, you may also look into Rae: they certainly have oodles of space. I've been to a number of catered affairs there, and although I don't know the cost, I had the feeling that they were reasonably priced.

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your lack of customer service may be related to the stress that UPenn's (and other school's) graduation ceremonies place on the local party planner / event coordinators each spring about this time, but it should be better now.

While I have never held an event there, i would think supper might be a good choice, as they have a very big second floor with a full bar that I think would be perfect for 50. the food there is delicious, and the owners / chef have a catering background so I'm sure everything would go smooth and easy. worth checking out.

Also, Amada's back room can hold 50 people pretty easily, and i know they have a $45 banquet menu option.

Maybe also look into Chick's Cafe, I am a big fan of what they do, and I know they have a second floor space that might fit 40 - 50 people.

As far as byobs, most in the city are too small but if you can find a space (like the one in Northern Liberties) I can tell you some great caterers...

good luck, report back....

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Rehearsal dinners are always murder to plan. Good luck with it, wherever you end up.

I've been to a party of this size at La Viola -- they use their La Viola Ouest branch across the street to hold large parties. The food doesn't set new records of awesomeness or anything, but I think it was three courses for around $35 and the service was good.

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Hi,

All of the restaurants that I mentioned do fit our budget.

Their are two problems with Amada. No noise control and the event coordinator will not return calls.

For those reasons, we visited Tinto and talked to the GM who was very accommodating. They have two new rooms with excellent noise control that seat 46 people. Unfortunately, their events coordinator (shared with Amada) insists the restaurant only seats 23. Obviously, she has not been to Tinto since their expansion. Who does SHE work for?????? Garces is in Chicago opening a new hit restaurant.

The owner of Fork was imperious and aloof. My son owns a restaurant in NYC and was really turned off. Fork her!

Supper seems really willing to work with us and they do have the room. I don't know much about their food.

Osteria may just be too busy to respond. Kind of a bummer.

Tim

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  • 2 years later...

wanted to bump this up. I'm a long time lurker who is also interested in this too --- 50 people on Nov 19 for a rehearsal dinner.

My budget is around $30-$40 w/o alcohol or $50 a head with (just beer and wine is ok). Prefer BYOB -- private areas OR taking the whole restaurant. Looking for something in one big room where everyone can see each other.

Everyone is staying at the Loews, but we've arranged for a shuttle to take us wherever in the city the dinner is. Her family is Italian, so it would be nice to have Italian, but definitely not a must.

I've looked into the top room at Marras, but they were kind of rude (expected). Franco and Luigis price/menu was awesome, but its not one big room (more bi-level).

Gnocchi on 4th and South/passyunk would let me do a buy out for $30 a head, byob, price fix menu. I've eaten there and its a solid B, but nothing spectacular.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

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According to their website, Fork's back room only holds 35. FWIW, Laban just mentioned in an online chat that he went to Scannicchio's and loved their meatballs, but hated everything else...

(Sorry to not have any advice, I've never looked into booking a party that large.)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

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I havent been there in years, but Ralph's has a private room. I remember the food being good Italian fare, nothing fancy. The website says they can accomodate up to 100 people.

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