Welcome to Ask Eater, a column from Eater New York where the site’s editors, reporters, and critics answer specific or baffling restaurant requests from readers and friends. A new question and answer will run every Thursday. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form.
I’m looking to take employees (four of us total) to a restaurant to celebrate completing a large project. I want to take them somewhere fun and celebratory where we can be comfortable, too (so, like, no stuffy expensive places or dives), preferably anywhere below 23rd Street, in Manhattan only. Two diners are vegetarian and two aren’t, but everyone’s relaxed about it. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
Pizza is always a safe bet when dining with a group of vegetarians and non-vegetarians, and Speedy Romeo doubled the size of its Lower East Side location last year, making it a better place for groups. I used to go to the original LES space a lot, but it often got too crowded and loud.
The new space is a lot more comfortable, and I also think it fits your fun/celebratory requirements: There are classic pizzas but also more creative ones, like a speck and pineapple take on Hawaiian pizza. The pizzas have plenty of vegetarian options and even a new vegan pizza, made with smoked eggplant, summer squash, tomato concentrate, onion, basil, and mint. And it has more than pizza, too. The shareable apps are all delicious and a little more involved than what you’d find at your typical pizza joint (like the kale apple salad with goat cheese vin, walnuts, and freekeh).
It’s a great place to drink, too. As far as cocktails go, the “Bandito No. 1” (tequila blanco, beet, lime, habanero bitters) is spicy and delicious.