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Wedding-worthy Chinese in Northern Virginia?

My sister is planning a wedding, and I'm looking for a Chinese restaurant where we can hold the reception. Hoping for Chinese food good enough to please the parents, with a nice ambiance (sunlight, a nice view would be pluses) for my sister and her guests.

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    1. The usual suspects which typically are mentioned relative to Chinese wedding banquets are China Garden in Roslyn (seemingly the 800 lb. gorilla of the genre), Fortune on Rt. 50 near Seven Corners, and to a lesser extent Lucky Three on Rt 7 between Seven Corners and Bailey's Xroads. I would say there may well be "better" Chinese restaurants than these, but these, especially the first two, are known as banquet venues. I can't comment on the views--I doubt you'll get much sunlight in any of them, tho China Garden is on the mezzanine level.

      If you have a smaller group (don't need a huge space), and/or are willing to include Maryland in your criteria, there are other possibilities.

      3 Replies
      1. re: johnb

        Thank you for all of your suggestions!

        Yes, I'm not sure of exact location yet, so Maryland may also be in play. What would you suggest there?

        1. re: yayness

          There's a wedding reception pretty much every week at NEW FORTUNE in Gaithersburg. Monstrous space, and seems to be one of the focused social areas of the local Chinese community.

          1. re: DanielK

            I agree--New Fortune is the most obvious choice in Maryland, certainly for a large group. It is also easy to get to via I-270/370. BTW the family that owns it also owns Lucky 3, but NF is clearly the flagship. Another good choice in MD would be Hollywood East Cafe on the Boulevard in Wheaton. Smaller, but excellent food.

            A lot depends on how large your party is, as well as how your guests feel about having upscale surroundings. Smaller and less fancy would open more food possibilities.

      2. Their is a place called szechuan star in annandale that has wonderful food. My sister had her rehersal dinner from there. The food is great but the location so-so. Would reccomend only for catering.

        1. Are you new to this area? If not, which restaurants have you tried yourself? None of the restaurants in this area have anything with regard to "ambiance, sunlight, a nice view,) etc.

          In NoVA, the top three for banquets are China Garden, Fortune, and Lucky 3, not necessarily in that order. In Maryland, the largest is New Fortune, but this restaurant may swallow you up if your wedding party is not that big. I've thrown major parties in Wheaton, specifically at China Chef and Good Fortune. They did a pretty good job, with CC offering larger dishes and Good Fortune being really professional. Nothing else in that area is worth considering.

          Also, keep in mind your budget. If you want top shelf ingredients, it will cost you about $650/table of 10 not including liquor or tip. If you want bottom shelf stuff, it will cost you about $300. You'll need to plan about 6 months in advance notice if you want a specific day, as most wedding parties will zero in on a chinese "lucky day."

          1. What about catering? My fiancee and I were thinking about have the traditional chinese banquet but at less traditional location - maybe a renovated mansion. Does anyone have some suggestions?

            3 Replies
            1. re: missmartha

              This can probably be done by any restaurant in this area, as they all do catering, but it depends moreso on what type of food you want. If you just want something as simple as fried rice, pork lo mein, general tso's chicken, sweet and sour pork, dim sum, maybe even stir fried lobster, etc., on chafing dishes and sternos for a buffet line, then it should work.

              If you want more high end options with presentation in mind, then the food will need to be cooked on the spot. I doubt if a restaurant will send their kitchen and serving staff to a mansion to fire up the grub, nevermind whether or not the mansion itself has the facilities up to snuff to what a chinese kitchen usually has set up.

              This area is not like NYC. I actually went to a wedding where a restaurant in a nice hotel was a full fledged chinese restaurant offering top shelf stuff. Around here, not that I know of.

              1. re: Chownut

                In the "hotel" vein, you might try the Mandarin Oriental. If any hotel could do it they could. Of course, if you are trying to keep the budget in check, this is not the way to go about it.

                Here is a link to their special occasions page

                http://www.mandarinoriental.com/hotel...

                Click on the downloadable dinner menu to get 14 pages of sample menus. None are specific to a Chinese wedding, but you'll get the idea. The Thai menu looks interesting.

              2. re: missmartha

                I love the idea. I think it would be hard to transport and maintain quality, and I'm wondering if a renovated mansion would have the type of stove needed to do wok cooking. I'm going to ask my FIL how/if it's done.