I've been researching private rooms in Manhattan for a Friday night. I would ideally like to spend less than $180/person (1 hour cocktail hour with open bar and hors deourves, three-course sit down meal with wine service). Ambience is definitely a priority. My tastes are very eclectic -- I like rooms that ae grand such as Eleven Madison Park, farmhouse rustic (AOC Bedford), quietly elegant (Wallse) and more sleek, modern (The Modern). I do not like rooms that are very stuffy (Lespinasse) or Victorian-like. The quality of food is very important. I am leaning towards New American (this is for a wedding reception -- so looking for something that can appeal to a wide range of tastes).
I would ideally like a private room as opposed to a restaurant buy-out -- costs can be really prohibitive. Lupa has a $35,000 restaurant buy-out cost -- and it only seats 70! That comes to $500/person.
I've discovered that the following restaurants do not do private parties: Babbo, Gramercy Tavern, Stanton Social, Hudson Cafeteria, Blue Ribbon. The following restaurants are too small: Harrison, AOC Bedford, Mas, 5 Ninth, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Salt, BLT Fish, Hearth. These restaurants exceeds my budget (either because of restaurant buy-out policies or it is just too expensive): Daniel, Danube, Cru, The Place, Alto.
I've narrowed it down to these for now:
Tocqueville (however, limit is 70 people; no breathing room in terms of guest list)
Astra (not private room, but Charlie Palmer's catering thing)
Dish (catering thing -- used to be a restaurant)
Wallse (limit is 70)
I've also thought about renting a space and using Abigail-Kirsch -- although I've never tried her food and have no clue what her fees are.
I would love any opinions or feedback you may have. Thanks!