Thanks to all who offered suggestions for places to hold our engagement dinner this past Saturday night. We chose Ponticello and everything was really great. My parents were "hosting" so I can't speak to the economics of it, but the food was really terrific and the space was lovely (we had it in the wine cellar downstairs, so it was nice and private). The only minor problem was that there was WAY too much food, even for 9 people--but too much is better than too little. They started us off with a cold antipasto platter with meats and cheese and olives, served family style, and a plate of Italian hot peppers. Then we were served a "Chef's Selection" of hot appetizers--each person was individually served two baked clams, a shrimp (oreganato I think) and a piece of eggplant rollatine. They also served, family style, a huge plate of mozzarella with tomatoes and roasted peppers and several plates of sauteed portabella mushrooms, and accommodated my future mother-in-law's request for Spadina a la Romana (they brought 3 plates of that). The appetizers were followed by a pasta course--each person got a plate with small portions of two stuffed pastas and a mushroom risotto. THEN we got to select our entrees, which were accompanied by family-style servings of fried potatoes (SO yummy), mashed potatoes with escarole, and sauteed string beans. Everything was delicious, but there were a LOT of doggy bags.
My folks were also able to order a cake through them ahead of time, on which they wrote "congratulations on your engagement" and our names (very delicious cake) and they gave us all complimentary after-dinner drinks. (They also bought my mom and dad a drink at the bar after everyone left.)
Overall a great experience, terrific service, good food. Everyone had a great time. Thanks Hounds!