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A big group and low budget but has to be cool?!
Q:Dear Hip Guide,

I am in charge of bringing a group over to NY during a congress in New York. The last couple of years I have arranged restaurant visits for them quite succesfully. We went to Buddakan last year and to The Gansevoort Hotel.

This year I am looking for something new, something different (as I do every year..), something unusual. Maybe something very low budget, simple, but very different.

I have heard about Williamburg, it should be a nice place to be - do you have suggestions where bring a group of 30 to 40 surgeons to for dinner? By bike..?
Do you have any suggestions for restaurants where I could bring this group, some place they will talk about for a long time in a positive way?

-- "Viola C, Netherlands"

A:Dear Viola
Let me see if I get this right. It's 40 people, but it has to be cool, memorable and low budget in NYC???!

HipGuide readers dearheart, something to air once and for all. It is nearly impossible to have all three. By definition, a large group is hard for a place to accomodate. It morphs very quickly from dinner to catering. i.e. the kitchen has to orchestrate to turn out that amount of food quickly en masse for that many. There are certain places that do something like that well; Vegas, Atlantic City. Basically places that cater to groups. NYC, where we live like little mice on top of each other with astronomic rents and tiny footprints rising into the sky, is not one of them.

That said, I am a magic fairy. So lesson aside, in all seriousness, how about Mole Williamsburg? You're not getting Cirque du Soleil with your budget but it's Mexican with a vibrant atmosphere. The bar hangs inside and outside and thereís sidewalk seating too. The restaurant is right near the water front so itís a great location. Plus they have 80 different kinds of tequila. (Let me know when your biking docs are back on the road after so I can stay indoors and please don't let them scrub in the day after anywhere.)

Alternatively the theatre district is very used to groups. There, I'd say Ca Va, Todd English's place or Trattoria Dopo Teatro could handle your party. The former is inventive French, the latter is Italian. You'd need to call and arrange prices to find out if it's in your ballpark but it's certainly less than Buddakan and I know both are quite accomodating.

Okay, hope that helps with your conference and thanks for being a reader!
xoxo QueenBee

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