[Illustration: Robyn Lee]

Editor's note: Here to answer your questions is senior managing editor, former SENY editor, and frequent author of our NYC restaurant reviews Carey Jones. We'll take a few of your questions each week and give you the New York restaurant advice you're looking for. Email carey@seriouseats.com with the subject line Ask the Critic to submit your question!

Where Should I Throw a Baby Shower Lunch?

I need to plan a baby shower lunch, ideally below 14th St. Not so worried about price, but would like some non-stuffy place where we can hang out for a while, eat something decent, and have some cocktails (I mean, not the mom to be, but you get the idea) while we open presents, etc. Any recommendations for good places that might have a private space or that might be generally inclined to accommodate something like this?

It's not below 14th Street, but just above—Montemartre could be an excellent choice. The Chelsea restaurant is light-filled and elegant, with a lunch menu of French classics, pâtés and steak tartare if you're feeling decant, a ham-and-cheese baguette if not. The cocktails are fabulous, and include equally thoughtful non-alcoholic options; no reason the guest of honor shouldn't be sipping something special, too!

Or perhaps Osteria Morini, a Serious Eats lunch favorite. The attractive, rustic space is never too busy during the day; the menu ranges from salads to grilled skirt steak, with plenty of sharable cheeses and crostini; and the cocktails are excellent, with housemade sodas for the nondrinkers.

And in terms of accommodating a large party; it's always good to give the restaurant a heads-up, but I wouldn't worry too much. Restaurants are more inclined to be accommodating at lunch, when they're far less likely to be busy or need to turn over your table; the general pace is slower, which makes accommodating groups far easier.

Any suggestions for group-friendly restaurants? Let us know, in the comment thread!

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Email carey@seriouseats.com with the subject line Ask the Critic to submit your question. All questions will be read, though unfortunately not all can be answered.

About the author: Carey Jones is the former managing editor of Serious Eats. Follow her on Twitter (@careyjones).


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