Restaurants With Great Private Rooms
Restaurant recommendations are a common request here at goop, and the ask is often for spots with great private rooms where you could host a really special event like a birthday party, an anniversary, a rehearsal dinner, or even a wedding. Our picks all have a few things in common: The food is great, the backdrop justifies the celebration, and the excellent service means you can sit back and enjoy yourself, too.
Wythe Hotel80 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg | 718.460.8000
Williamsburg has been big for a long time, but the neighborhood’s waterfront is now the place to be, in no small part because of the Wythe Hotel, which is owned by the masterminds behind Marlow & Sons. On-site, you’ll find locavore restaurant Reynards, a rooftop bar, and views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan skylines. The building has a plethora of spaces to rent for parties, including a full-fledged screening room. Oh, and if you're traveling in a band, as one does in Williamsburg, you can book their "Band Room," complete with bunk beds.
Acme9 Great Jones St., Greenwich Village | 212.203.2121
Formerly known as Acme Bar & Grill, this old-school standby shortened its name and got a little spruced up with the help of Danish celebrity chef Mads Refslund in 2012. With the upgrade came a cool interior and an even cooler scene. The food is homey, earthy American with a twist (country toast and white asparagus hollandaise, for example), and whether you're in the mood for a meal or not, it's also worth coming here for drinks. The downstairs space (which features exposed brick walls and is usually candle-lit) is available for private events.
American Cut363 Greenwich St., Tribeca | 212.226.4736
This dressed-up restaurant has all the elements of an old-school Mad Men-style steakhouse: Oysters, tick; an excellent Caesar Salad, tick; crabcakes and shrimp cocktails, tick. And of course, if it's steak you’re after, this is one of the best places in town to get it, with all the classic options for dressing it up, from Bearnaise sauce to an egg on top. The private space is moodily-lit.
Babbo110 Waverly Place, Greenwich Village | 212.777.0303
This is probably Mario Batali's best restaurant, serving up his perfectly executed, regional Italian dishes in a dressed-up, white tableclothed setting. Unlike many other upscale NYC restaurants, Babbo has a fun (and never stuffy) vibe. It's hard to get a table but we like to go to the bar for an incredible plate of pasta and a glass of wine. The private room is a great place to host a fancy lunch.
Charlie Bird5 King St., Soho | 212.235.7133
Apart from the tasty Italo-American dishes—a now famous uni pasta, homemade spaghetti (kids go nuts for it), perfect roast chicken—the music is what really sets this restaurant apart. Colorful old-school boombox prints decorate the walls, and Snoop Dogg, Jay Z, and Dre boom from the speakers, making the meal a good one for a big group (they actually have a private dining room if you're inviting more than ten people), rather than an intimate gathering.
China Blue135 Watts St., Tribeca | 212.431.0111
At this new spot in Tribeca, the interiors are a contrast between a lofty, classic downtown space, and the jazz age Shanghai of our imagination, full of old-fashioned touches, ornamental light fixtures, and dark wood bookshelves lined with pretty flea market finds. The food carries some of the same contrast: The menu (including the Dim Sum) is typically Shanghainese, but presented beautifully, making the meal a cut (well) above a typical family-style joint. The space is broken up into a few partial rooms, which is great if you're planning a private event because they can accommodate any size party.
Four Seasons Restaurant99 E. 52nd St., Midtown | 212.754.9494
Housed in Mies van der Rohe's Seagram Building, this icon of a restaurant still honors its 1959 design by modernist Philip Johnson. Everything—from Philip Johnson's custom chairs and bar stools, to the metal chain curtains, to the Japanese-style pool in the middle of the dining room—is as true to the original concept as possible, making a meal here something of a field trip for Modernist design nerds. Needless to say, it's one of the city's true gems: While the Pool Room is a romantic spot for dinner, New York power lunches take place in the clubby, wood-paneled Grill Room. It's best for expense accounts: With its lofty prices and bustling location, it's usually packed with business types and Upper East Side denizens. And while it's an undeniably elegant space for an event, private rooms here are best reserved for big-deal celebrations like engagements or graduations.
Franny’s (Closed)295 Flatbush Ave., Prospect Heights | 718.230.0221
In addition to the pizza, Franny's has small plates of contemporary Italian, great cocktails, microbrew beer, and good wine. You'll definitely want to share plates here, as even the simplest salad elicits food envy. The setting is stark yet warm, and the comfortable vibe makes it a popular spot for weddings and rehearsal dinners.
Gramercy Tavern42 E. 20th St., Gramercy Park | 212.477.0777
For over 20 years, this venerable Danny Meyer restaurant has been continually packed, thanks to the delicious, seasonal, and local American cuisine, a movement that’s currently stewarded by chef Michael Anthony, of Blue Hill fame. The woodsy dining room, complete with Robert Kushner’s vegetable mural, is so comforting. Their private room is a great classic spot for a private event.
Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria53 Great Jones St., Greenwich Village | 212.837.2622
We like to stop by this homey café and wine bar for the occasional snack—a house-cured plate of salumi and a glass of wine—just as much as for a full, rustic meal. With gallerist David Zwirner as one of its backers, it’s no surprise this artfully restored ex-lumber supply space fills up with the art crowd on a regular basis. It's ideal for an event, too—their skilled planners will design a beautifully rustic event at long tables in the back rooms.
Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery380 Lafayette St., Greenwich Village | 212.533.3000
Lafayette serves all three meals in a beautiful brasserie space: Copper pots hang in the kitchen, horseshoe-shaped booths are spacious and inviting, while the clean, fresh look of the bakery—with blue-and-white patterned floor tiles and lots of white marble—offsets the rusticity of the dining room. We like the shellfish platter and the oysters, along with the rotisserie chicken for two and an order of the fries. It's also a great place to meet for breakfast, with simple, quality dishes that all have a French twist (two farm eggs any style with pommes de rôtisserie or smoked salmon benedict on brioche). The private wine cave has its own bar, which makes it ideal for office holiday parties.
La Grenouille3 E. 52nd St., Midtown | 212.752.1495
Serving haute cuisine since 1962, this place is wonderfully old school (with the buttoned-up crowd to match). The food is decadent and indulgent as are the floral arrangements, for which they’re known. Incidentally, it's not surprising that it's an excellent choice for a fancy private event. For a relative bargain, try their $38 prix fixe lunch.
Le Bernardin155 W. 51st St., Midtown | 212.554.1515
Le Bernardin opened in 1986 after the success of the storied Parisian original. Helmed by Chef Eric Ripert, this swanky restaurant continues to deliver some of the finest, freshest fish in the city, served with delicate yet complicated sauces that make seafood incredibly exciting. The menu is prix fixe only (starting at $150) and organized by preparation (almost raw, barely touched, lightly cooked, etc.). The private room here is upstairs and has a separate entrance. Interior Photo: Daniel Krieger
Lupa170 Thompson St., Greenwich Village | 212.982.5089
Lupa is Mario Batali's most accessible spot, full of ambiance and offering all sorts of affordable pastas served family style. Our favorite: Spaghetti Aglio e Olio. It's simple but the quality of the ingredients makes it luxurious. You'd never know it, but they actually have a private room in the back. Or, for a larger group, you can reserve the entire restaurant.
Milos125 W. 55th St., Midtown | 212.245.7400
This Greek seafood mecca launched the whole fish trend in NYC, and still does it to perfection. This, paired with delicious Greek mezze like grilled octopus, fried zuchinni, fresh salads, dips, and more in a beautiful whitewashed dining room with some of the highest ceilings in the city, is as close as you’ll get to the islands. The tuna burger with lightly fried zucchini sticks at lunch is pretty insane. Plus, their private room upstairs is perfect for an intimate dinner with a killer menu.
The Nomad1170 Broadway, Nomad | 212.796.1500
Daniel Humm of the Michelin starred Eleven Madison Park runs a food program here that is as delicious as it is elegant, all appropriate to the Jacques Garcia-designed surroundings. Choose between the clubby Parlour with velvet seats and Persian rugs or the shimmering Atrium under a massive skylight for your meal's venue—both are a treat. There are several private rooms available here, but opt for the rooftop if possible—you can actually stage a small table in the hotel's iconic cupola.
Per Se10 Columbus Circle, Upper West Side | 212.823.9335
Napa's French Laundry may have put Thomas Keller on the map, but Per Se, which is perched above Central Park, confirms his legendary status. Chef Eli Kaimeh's menu changes daily, and the meal itself can last for hours as you advance from seasonal course to course, but it's all superb. Having one of the best meals in New York City comes at a price, though, as the set dinner menu starts at $325 (you can now order á la carte). The private room also happens to have one of the best views in town.
Red Farm2170 Broadway, Upper West Side | 212.724.9700
Chef Joe Ng is doing wonders in a great second floor space in the West Village (upstairs from Red Farm’s newer sibling, Decoy), and a second outpost on the Upper West Side. Red Farm’s menu focuses on fresh greenmarket product, artfully prepared fish, and delicious dim sum (including less familiar creations like Katz’s pastrami egg roll). From the dim sum selection, the Pac Man shrimp dumplings are as delicious as they are Instagram-worthy and the duck spring rolls are not at all greasy and taste surprisingly refreshing. We’re more than willing to endure the substantial wait (no reservations here) for a bowl of the Lobster Long Life noodles and the veggie fried rice. They put together prix-fixe menus for large groups in private spaces at both locations.
Rotisserie Georgette14 E. 60th St., Upper East Side | 212.390.8060
Modeled after rotisseries in Paris, you can watch (and smell) the chickens simmering in the brass-trimmed ovens in the back. There's plenty more aside from poulet rôti, but that's what they do particularly well. The cozy chef's table in the back can hold private parties of up to ten and gives you an up-close view of the kitchen.
The Spotted Pig314 W. 11th St., West Village | 212.620.0393
There's always a party going on at this permanent fixture on the New York dining scene, and always good food: Among other things, they serve up some of the best french fries in New York and, incidentally, one of the best brunches, too. The private room upstairs is hyper-cozy, making it best suited to more intimate parties (and the colder months).
ZZ’s Clam Bar169 Thompson St., Greenwich Village | 212.254.3000
This teensy 12-seat jewel box serves top-notch raw fish and small seafood plates best washed down with some pretty out-of-this-world cocktails by Thomas Waugh, of Death & Co fame. In other words, definitely sample a few cocktails, which come in playful presentations from a tea cup to a ceramic buddha with a straw through its belly. As in all restaurants by the Major Food Group, it's hard to get a reservation—same goes for their private room, which needs to be locked down well in advance.
Blaue Gans139 Duane St., Tribeca | 212.571.8880
If you've traveled in Austria and Germany, you know how uniquely delicious (if carb-heavy) the cuisine is—and also how hard it is to find good versions stateside. Blaue Gans' menu goes way beyond the obvious weiner schnitzel and wurst by including a hearty beef goulash, a traditionally made sauerkraut, and spätzle. Meanwhile, the kaiserschmarrn is apple-filled, with perfect batter and plentiful powdered sugar. The entire space can be rented for small gatherings.
Daniel60 E. 65th St., Upper East Side | 212.288.0033
It doesn't get much better than Daniel when it comes to haute cuisine (and destinations for special occasions). From the exceptional French prix-fixe menu to the flawless service and elegant jacket-only dining room, it's a one-of-a-kind experience. For a slightly more casual (and reasonably priced) a la carte dining experience, head to the lounge. And for a special event, book their private Bellecour Room, which has windows facing 65th Street—a rarity for event rooms in the city.