NYC: Small birthday dinner, garden or nice outdoor area

Hi all

Looking for some ideas for a small group birthday dinner (probably 6ppl) - Manhattan.

Ideally outdoors in a pretty garden (or a nice sidewalk/terrace setup though back gardens are nicer), not insanely expensive (<100 incl 1-2 drinks each), and central-ish to subways.

Cuisine flexible - Italian is easy, Asian of any sort usually works too. Not super excited about mediterranean / middle eastern or general american, but a pretty venue could change that.

Places that are t impossible reservations please! Doesn’t have to be new, just a nice setting, pleasant service, and tasty food!

Thanks for any ideas!



I don’t normally answer NYC questions, because as only a fractional New Yorker, what do I know? But I’ve had several nice experiences sitting outside at Santina, nice enough that I once hosted a party for 16 there. (But I haven’t been since 2017.)


I’ve eaten there more recently, and while the space is pretty, the food is not very good.

Not that I doubt you, but as a curiosity, what did you eat?

Palma - Italian

Popular (inside the PUBLIC Hotel) - Peruvian inspired

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Goodness it’s been a while since I’ve been there and I had totally forgotten about it!

But last I was there I did have a very pleasant meal, and the place was certainly buzzing.
I remember the cecina being quite good (and a surprise for those of us familiar with the chickpea pancake format). I think there was also a tasty pasta. Don’t remember much else.

Thanks for piping in, given the crickets!


I did love Palma, but it’s been more than a decade since I was last there! Worth a revisit soon.

I haven’t tried that iteration of the Public restaurant yet… but it’s a beautiful space.

Anyone been to Pinto Garden? It’s on the shortlist at the moment. Also Wayla (but I’ve eaten there before, just that it was pre-pandemic).

A group makes reservations tricky, so that’s the main issue at this point.

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Pizza and salad. It was a special dinner of some kind. The pizza was just bad (and $21 for a 12" pie, which I will only put up with at Una Pizza Napoletana). And the salad was…salad.

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Yes, I’ve enjoyed the cecina in the past, and preferred it to the differently-named (but, I think the same dish) socca at Nizza on 9th. I also liked the shrimp zingara, a couple of their pastas, and, particularly, their spicy potatoes side.

And one can walk the High Line after.

@small_h : there was no pizza on offer when I ate there between 2014ish and 2017.

Then you probably ate better than I did.

Edit: budget doesn’t work with drinks, nvm.

Bottino or Serra by Birreria

The Infatuation has some lists of patios and gardens:

Via Carota has a nice patio. I think they may take reservations for groups of 6.

It’s in Brooklyn, but…I had a lovely birthday celebration in the back patio of the Oaxacan Claro during the pandemic. We were only four, but if you like mezcal (I do!), I’d definitely consider it. I think the four of us shared one “flight” of mezcal taster and a glass or two of the ones we especially liked. The $75 four course menu (you choose each course) offered interesting choices that were all delicious to the four of us who were eating, and it was really fun and celebratory, at a time when not much was!


P.S. Near the R train.