I'm planning a surprise birthday party for my girlfriend. Part of the evening is a big gala we're going to, and she knows about that. But what she doesn't know is that we're meeting a bunch of her friends prior to the gala for drinks and appetizers. But I'm having trouble finding the right place for a group of 10-12 to get together at 7:30-ish for appetizers and drinks. I need a place that will take a reservation because it won't be much of a surprise if her friends are crowded at the front door of a place and aren't at the table waiting. And we don't want out of control expense, but it has to be nice enough that she won't wonder why we'd be going there for a birthday dinner prior to a formal event. It's a weird balance, but can anyone help? Does anyone have recommendations?