Where to Take Small Functions

By Anna Sekula January 22, 2009, 12:33 PM EST


Photo: Jamie Tiampo

Tighter budgets have forced some organizations to cut down on the number of guests at meetings and events. Here are some new places suited for intimate business gatherings:

1. For the smallest of parties there's L'Artusi, a seasonal Italian restaurant that opened in the West Village in December. The eatery, which offers a menu of contemporary dishes and artisanal wines, has a private room on its upper level. The 16-seat space is surrounded by the glass-enclosed wine cellar and is separated from the main room by sliding doors.

2. At the Artist's Room on the Lower East Side, large glass windows overlook the bustling street and prevent the space from feeling cramped. Catering firm Raging Skillet runs this venue, which happens to be adjacent to its commercial kitchen and offices. The 250-square-foot art gallery and tasting room seats 20 or holds 40 for receptions.

3. Almost hidden from the traffic of 34th Street—the entrance on 33rd Street and Eighth Avenue faces Penn Station—is Lugo Caffe, a restaurant from menswear company Lugo. Designed as an homage to Italian café culture and the movie La Dolce Vita, this pretty 4,000-square-foot spot is an option for lunchtime business entertaining as well as small cocktail events in the evening. A private area in the rear seats as many as 35 or holds 70 for receptions.

4. By spring, the Michelangelo hotel will have finished the refurbishment of its three meeting rooms. Situated on the mezzanine of the Midtown property, these stately spaces come equipped with audiovisual and presentation devices and are catered by in-house restaurant Insieme. The Florentine and Venetian boardrooms seat 20 and 14, respectively, while the largest section, the Roman room and the adjacent lobby—known as the Roman Mezzanine—can be used for 250-person events.

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