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. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form.
Hi Stephanie, [sic]
I just read your piece sticking up for the Smith, as I received a recommendation from a colleague in NY as a spot to host a group dinner in September. We’ll have 35 employees in town on a Monday night for a casual, but fun experience.
Does anything spring to mind from Chelsea to Koreatown and down to the bottom of Madison Square Park that’s a bit more of an experience? It really doesn’t have to be fancy; I mean, I was considering a fun pizza or taco spot … basically we’re not looking for a $6k minimum spend!
Thanks for any thoughts you have, and if you think the Smith is the perfect spot for a group of out-of-towners I’ll take it!
Potential Smith acolyte
Despite now forever being known as the president of the Smith’s fan club, I actually don’t think the American brasserie chain is the right venue for a party of 35. Especially if you want more of an experience — while the Smith is very hospitable, it’s pretty whitewashed.
Instead, what immediately springs to mind here is Tacombi. Fun, casual, and affordable all definitely apply to this New York City-based taco chain that evokes breezy Baja vibes. Plus, the Flatiron location is plenty big for a party of 35. Order a spread of tacos, served in housemade corn tortillas, quesadillas, and don’t skimp on the street corn with cotija cheese, smoky mayo, and dried chile pepper.