My brother is graduating from the Coast Guard Officer Candidate School in New London, CT on Wednesday the 13th of June. I'm looking to put together an early evening event (starting at 6 or 7 PM) for 20 to 30 people. I live in New York City and have never been to New London, so I have no idea where to start.
I'm looking for a great (but unpretentious) dining experience followed by an evening characterized by abundant booze. (He's had nothing but the mess hall and no alcohol for a couple of months. We need to celebrate in style.) We are a group of foodies, but have the potential to become a loud and boisterous group, so we ought not end up anywhere overly formal. However, a let's-get-black-out-drunk-and-do-something-stupid Frat Boy environment would be just as bad, if not worse.
Combination recommendations (i.e. go to this restaurant for diner, go to this bar afterward) are welcome.
To be honest, any help at all would be greatly appreciated. I really want to pull out all the stops for my brother, but am a bit out of my element outside of the City.