Q: Our daughter turns 16 later this month and wants to invite her friends to help her celebrate. There could be as many as 10 friends plus 4-5 family members, and there will only be one check. We eat out a lot, but we are having a difficult time coming up with a location where we could all sit together, have a variety of food choices, and be fun and “cool” for 16-year-olds.
A: What a fun question! A few thoughts:
My first experience at a Japanese steakhouse was in conjunction with a Sweet Sixteen, and I still swear by the genre without irony. It depends on your daughter’s definition of fun, but you can’t beat it for festive.
Among the “cooler” choices, I wonder if the dining room upstairs at Parcel 32 could work. The Parlour is very pretty in pink, and the kitchen does an equally good job with ceviche and burgers. If I were turning 16, I’d find it all very sophisticated. Heck, I still find it sophisticated: The adults in your group are likely to be impressed by the cocktails.
Another slightly more affordable option downtown is Stella’s, which is Greek, but the menu’s massive. That offers more upbeat energy, as opposed to elegance; Prohibition is another choice in that category.
Both of the above have private dining rooms, but you might be able to fit into the main seating area at Edmund’s Oast, which is both fun and cool (but also noisy, so its suitability probably rides on how well your relatives hear.) Happy birthday to your daughter!