The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the flurry of holiday parties thrown by pretty much everybody all over the city. Anyone hosting a holiday party in NYC has such a wide variety of choices that they can really make it their own: large or small, formal or informal, etc., etc. One of the most important and definitive choices to make, of course, is the venue: where your party goes down will really set the mood for the evening, not to mention the food you serve. And, let's face it, not all of us have apartments big or versatile enough to really accommodate the sorts of parties we want to have (let alone the skills, time, or energy to cook something really fabulous). That's why we've put together a list of the top five private dining rooms in the city. Whether you're trying to go extravagant or intimate, you're bound to find what you need at one of these hot spots.
This brand new bar and restaurant in the Peninsula Hotel is the perfect place to host an elegant private dinner party for twelve. The private dining room (designed by Yabu Pushelberg) is graceful and modern without losing any of its creative artistry, and the pre-fixe menu offers the seasonal flavors of the Northeast in Chef de Cuisine Brandon Kida's New American dishes.
700 5th Ave
Michelin-rated restaurant Hakkasan offers a spacious yet intimate private dining room in the heart of midtown, where parties of 12 can enjoy a seated meal of Chef Ho Chee Boon's modern, seasonally Cantonese fair. If you'd prefer to just do drinks, parties of 20 can be accommodated for passed cocktails.
SoHo rustic Italian eatery Charlie Bird may seem cramped and noisy on the average evening, but it happens to have a beautiful private room available on request that makes for a lovely holiday celebration space. Converted from a studio apartment, the room has it's own entrance, as well as a private bathroom and a sound system (so you can choose your own tunes). In terms of food, you can work out all sorts of on and off-menu delights with Chef Ryan Hardy.
5 King St.
Paul Liebrandt's North Williamsburg spot The Elm (located in the basement floor of The King & Grove Hotel) features a gorgeous private area off the main dining room, divided by a glass door. Anything from Liebrandt's Four Star menu is available a-la-carte for private parties (which is a rarity, generally), as are any drinks on his expertly crafted cocktail list.
160 N. 12th St., Brooklyn
This classic Manhattan institution has a private room with a history. The Club, which used to be an actual speakeasy during Prohibition, has a Wine Cellar Room that's only accessible down a long flight of stairs and through a fake wall with a secret key hole (disguised to look like a crack in the cement.) On the other side, guests can enjoy a VIP dining room beside the bar's historical hooch cellar.