I have a real challenge for my chowhound friends. I am trying to organize a welcome dinner this Saturday for a power wheelchair-using friend who has just moved to New York from Europe. I am myself a power wheelchair-user and know the New York restaurant scene quite well, but I am still scratching my head on how to proceed.
Is there anywhere (preferably with good food) in Manhattan that can accommodate all these considerations?
1. The place needs to be wheelchair-accessible (one step could possibly be acceptable depending on the specifics) with enough space to accommodate two (or maybe even three) wheelchairs and anywhere from about 3-6 other people.
2. I probably won't know the exact size of the group until at least Saturday afternoon.
3. It doesn't have to be pin-drop quiet, but we need to be able to hear each other talk. The point of the dinner is to introduce my European friend to my local friends.
4. It shouldn't cost more than about $30/head (at least for the nondrinkers).
5. The European friend does not like spicy food. He said that he would prefer not to have burgers or "bar food" but I would suspect that good gastropub food could work if it exceeds expectations.
6. It has to be in Manhattan due to transportation concerns. Since he's never been downtown (West Village, East Village,LES, etc.), I would prefer there but it's really not a big concern.
I would greatly appreciate your input!