So I know there are a ton of these posts, but hopefully you don't mind rehashing this topic. I'm once again overwhelmed by trying to pick a birthday venue that will please everyone - I'm turning 27, and most of my friends are in their mid-20s to early 30s, and I'd like to go out for dinner, drinks, and then possibly to a bar or lounge after.
Last year, I did my birthday at Sidecar and had a great time but am hoping to do something different. I'd like somewhere a little conducive to mingling, where we can linger a bit (within reason). I envisioned the patio at the Drake but highly doubt my group will spend over $1000, even with drinks, nor do we want to start the party at 6pm. That said, a similar vibe might be nice - somewhere that takes reservations, and somewhere downtown (say west of the DVP and south of Eglinton), which is either transit accessible or has parking readily available. Our group will be about a dozen people which rules out a lot of small places. They're a mix of drinkers and non-drinkers, and I'm looking for a menu which can accommodate vegetarians and a picky eater or two.
I love Mexican, Italian, Thai, and all kinds of food - but a pork-heavy menu won't work for our group, so I'd need them to have at least a few other choice in terms of meats.
Does that sound like too much to ask for? What's new and might be able to accommodate us? I'm looking for something not too stuffy, and semi-casual, allowing people to dress up or down. And ideally within the vicinity of a nightlife!
Any help would be greatly appreciated :)