Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birthday. Show all posts


An Awesome Birthday: Tips to Help You Plan a Large Gathering in the East Village

I celebrated a birthday last week and wanted to plan a night out including dinner and drinks with friends and my Dad who was in town. I quickly learned that it is near impossible to plan an outing for more than 8 people in this city without a restaurant forcing you do pay for a $40 and up price fixe meal that doesn't even include alcohol. I love you NYC, but sometimes you are so gosh darn ridiculously expensive!

However, my hours of research and some bar scoping paid off and I of course wanted to share my insight with you in case you are looking to plan a similar event.


190 1st Avenue between 11th and 12th streets
(212) 358-7171

Tree has been a longtime favorite of mine for their year-round garden, outstanding service, and simple yet elegant food. They could not have been easier to work with and assured me that they accommodate large parties often. They even do weddings! As such, I simply made a reservation for 18 people via email (which changed to 15 the day of with no penalties) and they allowed us to order off the menu--no required price fixe and no deposit whatsoever. It was like living in event dream world! 

As for food, I'd highly recommend the "Sunday Morning" flatbread ($16), duck meatloaf ($22) and Cookies and Cream Panna Cotta ($7).

Here we all are at dinner:


133 Avenue C between 8th and 9th streets
(347) 465-7911

For after dinner drinks I wanted to find someplace close to the restaurant without the college and post-college vibe that plague many East Village bars (not that there wasn't a time and place for that in years prior!). A friend and I did a Monday tour of 4 bars in the area and settled on The Summit Bar for it's clever but not rip-roaring expensive cocktail menu, the friendly bartenders, and (again) the ease with which it was to make a reservation. The long, skinny bar can section-off either the front or back areas, and I chose to go with the front because it is surrounded by tables which makes it semi-private and is close to the bar. All I had to do was call up a couple weeks in advance and let them know how many people--no deposit necessary and no penalties. 

I would highly recommend both the Sutter's Mill ($12 - Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Cinnamon Agave, Pineapple, Lemon) and The Guv'nor ($12 - Famous Grouse Scotch, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Toasted Cardamom Infused Agave, Japanese Yuzu Juice, Orange Juice) cocktails.


Sure Bets for a Birthday

So it's been more than a month since my birthday, but honestly, it's taken me that long to recover. Well, maybe not, but I thanks to great friends and two awesome bars, I had one of the best nights out in the city.

With a summer birthday, I'm always tempted to go for a venue with outdoor space, so I was banking on Loreley Restaurant and Beer Garden in the Lower East Side. However, I got caught up in the week and forgot to call and make any reservations until the day of. Oops! It actually turned out for the best though because that day was one of the hottest of the whole summer. After frantically calling around, I remembered an old favorite - Common Ground in the East Village. The manager there was more than accommodating, reserving a whole couch section in the back for my group. This comfortable yet chic venue (hello?! red velvet couches!) is great for it's fully stocked wall of board games and a $2 Yuengling and $5 Cosmo and Appletini happy hour. For my birthday, the service was great, with waitresses periodically checking in on our group to make sure we were fully quenched.

Before we even settled into the comfy couches of Common Ground however, our group met up around the corner at Key Bar. This dive is not a place I'd recommend for a cozy round of drinks for two, but for birthdays, this is your place. Two words: free shots. Two more: for everyone. If your birthday is within a week before of after your visit and you can prove it with an ID, the bartender will pour a round of shots for everyone in your party. I decided on lychee shots (highly recommended!) and since my boyfriend's birthday is two days before mine, he ordered blood orange (also delicious). All of our friends were definitely thankful and thoroughly ready to celebrate birthday style.