Private dinner/party rooms in DC
Could someone please recommend good (and reasonably priced) restaurants with a fun atmosphere in NW DC that would accomodate a private party of about 25 people for drinks/appetizers and/or sit-down dinner? My wife and I are interested in throwing a joint birthday party in the near future, but have no idea where we could do it. Also, we are clueless as to prices or quantities for planning purposes(rental rates, dinner prices per person, variety or amount of beverages, etc.) Any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
There are lots of places in Washington DC that have private rooms, but your request beckons a few additional questions. What's your budget? Is this going to be a formal or informal birthday gathering? What types of food are you interested in eating? Are you willing to rent a room and have an outside caterer?
Remember, the food is likely to cost more than the room. Also remember that you will likely have a tough time convincing an establishment to rent a room and purchase food just for drinks/appetizers (you are better off reserving a large portion of a restaurant in such a case).
Good points! It would be an informal gathering for a bunch of couples in their late 20s and early 30s. We are open to any type of food, but for our guests' sake, it should probably be something not too exotic. We are pretty open on the budget, too.
Also, considering your comments, we would probably have the establishment provide the room and the dinner.
Any other ideas?
Virtually all of Washington DC's top brass have private dining areas. Here are some possible places, most of which feature non-exotic cuisine and most of which will set you back a fine sum of money:
Chef Geoff's [my favourite]
Oceanaire Seafood Room
Old Ebbitt Grill
Hilton Embassy Row's Private Reserve
My personal favorite is Chef Geoff's [with the amount I talk about this place, one would think I work for them] backroom because Geoff Tracy has a variety of offerings [wine tastings, oysters, sushi] and the location is further away from the hustle/bustle of downtown and Georgetown. His food being delicious is also another added bonus ;) See http://www.chefgeoff.com/backroom.html for more details.
My husband and I just got married last September, and went through a similar search for our rehearsel dinner. With a budget of about $30 per person, and about 40 people, I don't have to tell you how hard it was in the expensive DC area. We ended up at the Riverside Grill on the waterfront in Georgetown. They're owned by Tony & Joe's, and while the food wasn't necessarily outstanding, the atmosphere more than made up for it. We had the front circular dining room all to ourselves, which is right next to the bar. A three course sit-down dinner with salad, entree, and dessert was around $27 per person, and included all non-alcoholic beverages, tax, and gratuity. The entrees were a choice of steak, chicken, or fish, and as I said, not outstanding, but much better than expected for that price (and better than most meals I've had at Tony & Joes!) They even pre-printed menus for us, which I thought was a nice touch.
Otherwise we looked at Maggianos (upwards of $40 per person) and Red, Hot, & Blue (cheap - like $15 per person). The RH&B in Rosslyn VA has a private dining room that was a bit too casual for our needs, but I think would be great for a laid back get-together. And ya gotta love BBQ!!
Thanks, that's a great suggestions. I'll look into it. I have looked at another couple of places like 1789, Equinox, Goergia Browns, Galileo and Cafe Atlantico, but it looks like those would be upward of $60 per person. The most important aspect for us, however, would be the atmosphere, which you seem to have enjoyed at the Riverside Grill. By the way, was it in a private or semi-private room, or just a section of the main dining room? Thanks again.
We had the whole dining room to ourselves (for 40+ people), but it was open to the bar area. They sectioned us off with some room dividers.
They also had two smaller rooms available, but they were too small for our needs so I never took a look at them.
BTW - I believe both Tony & Joe's and Sequoia (all owned by the same people) have private rooms as well. They were all booked when we called, but if you're looking primarily for atmosphere, they're closer to the water and may have better views than the Riverside Grille. Again, food won't be outstanding at any of them, but what a great area!!
Childe Harold in Dupont Circle has a room that can be used for private parties. I have seen it used just for drinks so the drinks/appetizers thing might work there. I believe they have just a minimum that has to be met but don't recall how much it is. It's a nice enough room with its own bar.