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Table for six - four different Penn Quarter Restaurants

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I need to pick the brains of those who have experience dining (dinner, specifically)in Penn Quarter. This would be for a "dine-around" of people attending a meeting in DC in December. We'll split 'em into four groups of six to ten people each.
They hail from all around the US, and based on my experience with them in other cities, are a fun bunch who appreciate good food. We'd require a table at each establishment to seat six comfortably. Price is not a restriction. Something unique is good, but not too casual. Something for the seafood lovers could be one of the choices. Decent wine list and a good bartender is appreciated. Good service will be rewarded.
What say you, O sages of the sauces?

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  1. I would say Cafe Atlantico, (Minibar seats 6 although they only do 2 seatings and take reservations exactly one month out) Poste, Zola, and Oya . Le Paradou, which is close, is another option.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JPinDC

      Oh, good suggestions! Many thanks. I wasn't going to consider Minibar, as fun as it could be for certain members of this group.

    2. Two of Esquire's "Best New Restaurants for 2006" are Acadiana (Cajun/Creole inspired) and Rasika (Indian)
      Oceanaire( 12th and F) has seafood and a good-time atmosphere.
      Capital Grille (6th and Penn) is very Washington with a great bar, lobbyist crowd, media and political celebrities.
      AV Restaurant at 607 NY - love it or hate it - has been around forever and will probably close within the year. Devotees swear by its white pizzas an other specialties. Lots of fun.
      Minibar in Cafe Atlantico only seats 6 but it's a knockout! Reserve Minibar far ahead since you'll need the whole thing. But Cafe Atlantico is a good choice, too.
      Tosca (1112 F) and Butterfield 9 (14th and F) are excellent.

      Zaytinya and Jaleo are terrific and highly rated but they get the tapas/mezze crowd and you may want more of a leisurely dinner scene. There are several other fun places with great food in Penn Quarter, but they may not be what you want for a semi-business function.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MakingSense

        Thanks, definitely some here that are in the running too!

      2. Skip Acadiana, definitely try Rasika. Jaleo or Zyatinya (both are Jose Andres restaurants, as is Cafe Atlantico) are both good for tapas/meze thought Jaleo has a much better list of sherrys while Zyatinya has more obscure Greek wines.

        701 has been around for a long time and has a good wine list. LaParadou is expensive, but had a great list if you are into Burgandy. Indeblu (kind of French/Indian fusion) is good too. Fogo de Chao is one of those Brazilian churrascarias where they come by with huge skewers of meat and carve it onto your plate. Just the place for the carnivores in your group. But be prepared to gorge yourself.