In January, my pal Josh celebrated a birthday, and I volunteered some recommendations of places to go with a large group. We were focussing mainly on the East Village for some reason. Oh yeah... we had plans to go to Von for drinks afterwards, so we wanted to be convenient to the bar.
Check these out:
Banjara - excellent Indian spot, nicer than the usual joints on the block and especially good. 1st ave and 6th street
Pylos - greek food in a cool room with clay pots all over the ceiling, 7th st and 1st ave
Cafecito - casual, cuban food, cheap and good. ave c and 11th st
Mancora - surprisingly yummy peruvian food, I get delivery all the time from their BK outpost, inexpensive. 1st ave at 6th st
Euzkadi - spanish, tapas, very european vibe, I had a fun birthday here once, 4th and 1st
Mo Pitkins - new place on Ave. A with a kooky updated jewish/latin retro fusion comfort food menu. Or something.
Hasaki is the good Japanese place that everyone likes a lot, downstairs location, nice but not fancy. On 9th st at 4th ave.
We ended up at Mancora, one of my reliable Smith Street stand-bys now transplanted into the East Village. Two issues though -- the heating was all messed up, blasting burning gusts of recycled air right at our table. Unpleasant. Another strange misstep was that one of the ceviches was served in a bowl that was so unbalanced and precarious that Josh spilled the ceviche in his lap, twice! Why use dishware that literally topples over and dispenses its food in your customers' laps? The food was great, though, and we had a lovely evening, fish juice be damned...