I am graduating from med school and want to have a celebratory dinner with close family and friends. Looking for a spot for 8-10 people outdoors since some of the family members, although vaccinated, still don’t want to eat inside. Let me know if you have any suggestions.
M.D. / Party Planner
What’s up Doc,
First of all, this is now a platform to brag about your iconic and successful year. As someone who is currently writing this response while wearing sweatpants-cut-into-shorts, I’d like to extend my sincerest congratulations.
I’ve heard so many big-group-meal questions from friends and internet friends that I wrote a guide to private dining options all around the city. Some of the restaurants on the list can only accommodate groups inside, but there are a couple great spots with gardens that can easily fit ten of your relatives and friends asking annoying questions like, “When are you getting married?” or, “Can you prescribe me Xanax now?”
One of the best outdoor private set-ups on the guide is Palo Santo, a long-standing Latin restaurant in a Park Slope brownstone with a garden area for up to 12 people. They offer a bunch of customizable menu options, including a taco bar and an open bar for $55 per person. Email them here to figure out what works best for your group. Personally, unlimited tacos and booze seems like an ideal way to celebrate the knowledge you’ve amassed about everything that can go wrong with the human body.
If you’d rather avoid the private dining route, the unfortunate truth is that a lot of restaurants aren’t taking outdoor reservations for groups of 10 online right now (since NYC outdoor areas tend to be on the small side and there’s still a state rule in place that limits party sizes. There are, however, a couple of places that do accept big group reservations on their patios: The Bonnie in Astoria can fit big groups in their glorious backyard, and Hanoi House in the East Village serves consistently good Vietnamese food to parties of 10 on their sidewalk.
Otherwise, I’d recommend using this massive directory of restaurants with outdoor dining and calling the spots near you to see if they can accommodate parties that large.