Center City - Announcing engagement over good food?
My sweet girlfriend proposed a few days before the New Year, but her family is from Sao Paulo, Brasil, so we decided to wait to make the announcement public until her family could come to the states. Despite the fact that we've been together 4 years, our respective parents have not yet met, so the occasion of the announcement will also be the first time that they meet in person (although they've spoken on the phone). We live in Center City and were hoping that the combined brains of the chowhound crowd could help us come up with a place that we can fill our parents with delicious food before telling them the good news. We tend to eat in little BYOs/Reading Terminal or cook at home so were feeling stumped as to where might be good for the occasion.
-Great food (duh).
-Able to accommodate a group of 7-8 on a Sat/Sun.
-Several in the party are vegetarian/fish eaters; others are seriously carne-craving Brasilians.
-In Center City (defined pretty broadly - don't make us cross any rivers or get too close to Temple or the Airport and we're pretty happy).
Not mandatory, but would be great if:
-Open on either a Saturday or Sunday afternoon - my family will likely be driving back to DC that night.
-Not SUPER swank, as my parents are financially strapped artist types and will likely be overwhelmed by the pomp & circumstances of somewhere like, say, Le Bec Fin or even Buddakan.
Tangerine came to my mind too, since you can have a semi-private table. I have only been to Branzino once and while the food and service was excellent, I found it to be very, very loud. Overtures might be a better option, and their prixe fixe menu is fairly easy to swallow.
Pasion might be a nice choice, given the theme. I also like Alma de Cuba for a nice balance of good meat and good fish dishes.
Haven't been recently, but the Rose Tattoo Cafe has also been a favorite of ours for cozy low-key special occasions. They have a pretty well-rounded menu too.
Wait a second ... isn't she your fiance now?! =)
I have a couple friends who have been raving about a recent dinner they had with a group at Branzino. I think it could easily accommodate the cuisine restrictions you have with lots of pasta as well as veal/steak/lamb options. Apparently they have a room in the back of the restaurant that handles groups quite well.
Another suggestion is Tangerine, though it might be too swank for your folks. I had a great meal there recently with a large group, which the carnivores, pescetarians, and flexetarians all enjoyed immensely. However, if there are strict veggies in your party it might be tougher.
Positano Coast gets a lot of great reviews on this board, though I haven't been there myself. There are a couple veggie entrees there, or one could easily make a meal out of a couple non-meat small plates.
Fork could work, too.
What a fun and exciting event to plan!