After getting many replies to my earlier requests for help in finding where to hold a surprise birthday dinner for 16 people on a saturday night that would not be cost prohibitive, I took several of your advice and we had our party at Legend. In short, it was a GREAT decision.
First, they were very accommodating. We ate downstairs and were set up with 2 tables in a semi-private space. Service was first rate...owner/manager waited on us with 2 servers and we never were lacking for a thing. They understood that we needed the element of surprise and assisted with that (successful!) part of the night as well.
When the group had assembled, I was texted and got my wife to the restaurant from The Strand on a fake hunt for a book. In the meantime my son ordered appetizers and a round of drinks. When we got there the party had definitely started as our friends and family did not wait to tuck into Dan Dan Noodles, various dumplings, wontons in chili oil, scallion pancakes, and sichuan cucumber. With Tsingtao for everyone, it was a great start when they surprised her.
We ordered what seemed like half the appetizers and then had entrees brought out in batches:
Sliced Pork Sautéed w/ Garlic Stems, Ma Po Tofu, Chongqing” Diced Chicken w/ Chili Peppercorn, Hot & Spicy Crispy Prawns, Numbing Spicy Sliced Chicken, Dry Sautéed String Beans, Ginger Noodles, and Lamb with cumin were generally agreed upon by the group, and they also sent out a "house chicken for not spicy people" which was needed for a few in our party...and it was actually quite tasty, with almost an XO sauce taste to it and an interesting assortment of vegetables (baby bok choy, dried mushrooms, etc.)
I may have left out some things, but just about everything was excellent, and it was all up to the level of spice that some reviews had been critical of...
Our local friends are likely to return instead of Grand Sichuan on 23rd st. and having a bar really helps.
I am looking forward to a return in April.
88 7th Ave, New York, NY 10011