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Cheap rehearsal dinner ideas (40-50 people)?

Hello!
I've been researching restaurants with a private room/area for a rehearsal dinner of 40-50 people (since half the guests at my tiny wedding are from out of town) in Brooklyn (DUMBO, downtown, Cobble Hill/CG or Park Slope areas) or, if necessary, Manhattan from 14th street down (preference on Brooklyn).  My issue is, this is one part of the wedding we aren't paying for (thank god).  My mom has graciously offered to pay for the RH, but she really doesn't have much money, so I know even the $750-$1000 budget she's offered will be 'ouch' for her. 
Pane e Vino in Cobble Hill is my best idea so far, although I think even their cheapest prix fixe would put her over budget.  I think the only way we're going to make it work is something like a place that has a private room and serves pizza or something.
So, ladies, any brilliant ideas?  I have been googling and yelping away, and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Thanks for any ideas!
:)
ETA that wedding's in late August, in case that's helpful... cheers!

Re: Cheap rehearsal dinner ideas (40-50 people)?

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    edited December 2011
    We had a birthday party awhile back for about 35+ folks in a small restaurant, and it was still private enough that we didn't care about other diners.  If you are having a hard time finding a private room, consider dining at a small restaurant, where you'll feel as if you do have a private room.  Many of the restaurants in the Slope and Cobble/Boerum Hill would do, but you should look into it asap.  You also didn't mention cuisine.  I'd also check out citysearch, you can find a listing of restaurants that either have a party room, or can host small parties.  GL.
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    edited December 2011
    Do you have a rec for that restaurant?  Was it in my (teeny) budget?  (Hope, hope!)
    Yeah, I've been searching yelp, chowhound -- all the usual spots -- but nothing has stood out as right - Pane e Vino is the closest I've gotten -particularly for my inordinately low budget.  I'm hoping someone here maybe has a stroke of genius, or had to find something similar... 
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    edited December 2011
    What about Totonno's Pizza? It's in Manhattan but they have a private room and it's amazing pizza. It's a bit more casual but it's fun!
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    edited December 2011
    Casual's fine - thanks!  I've never been, so I'll check that out!!
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    edited December 2011
    Yes, I am also looking for a place like that but in Park Slope.  Does anyone have suggestions?

    Betsy
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    edited December 2011
    I am in Manhattan, My rehersal dinner is at a little Italian resuraunt called Bello's on St. Marks, really close to Ave. A. including Wine, Beer, Salad, bruschetta, 2 family style entree per tabel, we did one pasta one meat, and dessert. With table service ( not buffett) including tip it will be around $1000 for 30 people. I am not sure if they could fit 50 but the food is great. their phone # is 212-979-2243
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    edited December 2011
    one more thing, it doens't have a private room but we are getting the whole restraunt for 2 hours, I am sure your size group would get the whole place as well. And the owner is really really nice!
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    edited December 2011
    Annie-Thanks - I definitely will check that out!
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    edited December 2011
    Wow.  Totonnos is far more expensive than I would have expected... for sharing pizzas & salads, it's $24/person plus tax & tip.  That seems pretty steep for regular pizzas!  Plus, if you want people to be able to order beer or wine, you can't do it by consumption, but have to do an additional $15/person for open beer/wine.  Ouch.  I'm a little stunned.  Definitely will check Bello's!
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    wishuthebestwishuthebest member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011


    Hi dont feel overwhelmed I am an Event Specialist from Plan Ahead Events and I can work with your budget and take the stress off your hands:). Email me planaheadevents.ny@gmail.com
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