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Dinner for 150?

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My brother-in-law is getting married in December and wants to hold the reception at a restaurant in SF that can accomodate 150 at large round tables. Western Food preferred, not super expensive.

Any ideas much appreciated

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  1. The Carnelian Room can accomodate that many people. I'll actually be going to a wedding reception there tomorrow. As far as I know, the prices aren't cheap, though I'm not sure if it's any more expensive than having a reception at a hotel. The food, from my experience of having dinner there once many years ago, was good. But I didn't feel that the quality was worth the price we paid. I'll be able to elaborate more on the food when I get back from the reception tomorrow. I'm a little put off already since I was told that I can't have my filet mignon medium-rare, only medium or more well done.
    Would your brother consider a reception at a hotel? I had mine at the Downtown Marriott 7 years ago and it was great. The food was wonderful and the service impeccable (both were better than my friend's reception at the Half Moon Bay Ritz). The prices weren't bad either.

    3 Replies
    1. re: anna

      I had my rehersal there and LOVED it. Great food and nice views. I was very pleased. Pricy though...

      1. re: abe1329

        Which place - Carnelian Room, Downtown Marriott or Ritz HMB?

      2. re: anna

        Alright, just got back from the reception at the Carnelian Room and here's my report:
        Seafood chowder: tomato based "chowder" with bay shrimp, crab meat and some unidentifiable ingredients. Very average, nothing I'll order at a restaurant.
        Endive salad: The salad was not very fresh. Many pieces of endive have brown edges and there was a small pool of liquid (either dressing or water from the endive) left on the plate.
        Filet Mignon: It came medium-well, on the dry, chewy side. Had trouble cutting it with the knife provided. Didn't have much beef taste to it. It's about Black Angus quality. Came with roasted potato (very mediocre), baby carrots and asparagus. It was the same vegetables as the chicken except that the chicken had mashed potatoes.

        If I have to plan another wedding, I would not choose the Carnelian Room UNLESS I really wanted the view. The view up there is amazing, at least on a nice day. The food however, is below the quality of many restaurants of the same price.

        One more thing about having receptions at a restaurant or at an event venue such as the zoo (I love that idea, by the way....) in general: make sure you have a "clean up" crew. The florist can set up your flowers, but it'll be up to you to pack them up if you wish to keep them. That's also the case with any extra favors, cake serving utensils and caketop.
        At a hotel, on the other hand, the staff can do all of that for you. No one at the wedding had to worry about clean up. My cake top, serving utensils and the decorations were all collected, cleaned, organized, and brought to my suite (hotels often give the bride and groom a free room at the hotel when the reception is held there).

      3. This may sound crazy, but I went to a pretty good wedding reception at the S.F. Zoo. They have a nice reception hall and their own catering facilities. It was actually some of the best catered food (not saying much) I've had at a wedding. It's definately worth checking out. No idea about the pricing but here's a link...

        http://www.sfzoo.org/events/rental.htm

        3 Replies
        1. re: bdl

          Glad you mentioned the zoo. I haven't been, but one of my friends had a family reunion there for 120 people and said it was one of the most popular of the four or so venues they used for their weekend.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            As I now recall, the best thing about the food is that it was served family style. They would bring a big platter of food to the table, pass it around, and then leave it there for those who wanted seconds. The food was hotter and fresher than had it been plated individually or sitting on a buffet table. What I remember is good, moist, chicken breast in a white wine sauce and butternut squash ravioli in sage butter that was excellent.

          2. re: bdl

            I planned one of our company's holiday party at the SF Zoo. It was FANTASTIC! We had buffet style food. But it was more the general atmosphere. You can also rent out the carousal and have a meet and greet with some of the animals. It was so much food. And the food was pretty good too.

          3. BF-is a restaurant buyout an option (expensive on a friday or saturday night in dec but would give u more options)

            1. have them check out www.herecomestheguide.com

              it is a local bridal magazine that lists locations for receptions with price ranges, indoor/outdoor etc.... i recently had mine at Marines' Memorial Club on sutter and it can very easily accomodate that many and the food was wonderful. they provide a free tasting for all booked parties there so you can taste the numerous options. They were also wonderful to work with and allowed me to bring in special port wine to drink as well at no extra cost.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Mel

                Mel --

                My fiancee and I are seriously considering Marines for our wedding/reception. Could you tell me a little about your experience? We've got a wonderful feeling about the place so far, but we haven't had a chance to talk to anyone who also had a wedding/reception there.

                Thank you!

                1. re: Jewbacca

                  Mel, Jewbacca --

                  How'd it all turn out? I'm thinking of Marines for my wedding. If you didn't go there, where did you go?

                  1. re: SarahKC

                    Sarah -- Jewbacca hasn't posted in a year, but Mel is still active on this board. If you don't get a response to this post, you might try to post it as a new topic to catch his/her attention.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Oops, looks like you already did that!

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Still, thanks for the suggestion

              2. Patio Espanol in the Excelsior has banquet rooms that can easily accomodate a group of 150, serves Spanish tapas and entrees and definitely fits the not-expensive profile. Plenty of free parking and easy access from either direction of 280 is an added bonus. I've been there on evenings when there were wedding receptions and family celebrations going on, and the food has always been fine when I've dined there (do a board search and the reviews are generally positive).

                Go to www.patioespanol.com and click on the catering link.

                1. Additional suggestions for large groups.
                  http://www.sfpdv.com/upto76_plus.html