Alright, just wrote a long-ish post about this that got lost in the machine. Here goes, condensed:
Looking for a young, fun place for a big (dozen or so) group of 23-24 year olds. Want the East Village or Lower East Side. Being young, this group likes to drink and does not have a ton of money lying around. Total (with wine, tip) should not exceed $80 per head. Also, the simple the better as it's a big group and will be a rowdy dinner. I'm thinking Italian might be the way to go. Similar vibe, price-point to Frank, Lil' Frankie's etc, but maybe a bit less claustrophobic. Some thoughts I had were the prix fixe at 'inoteca and Il Bagatto. Any other suggestions? Amenable to non-Italian too.