Dinner for 12 -- would any of these work?
Planning a dinner for a bunch of couples out without the kids. Lots of places we've been dying to try in the interim, would any of these work?
Zuni (the upstairs mezzanine?)
Incanto (back room?)
Other suggestions? We're probably not that interested in anything out in the Avenues or in the Marina/Cow Hollow area, as travel time just adds more to the babysitter bill.
Think those are all excellent places, with the exception to Mexico DF which I cannot comment on, read susancinsf report- makes me not want to run off the there just yet, like she said might be good for bar bites and drinks.
NOPA might be hard for your size of group, but I like it there very much. Great cocktails, good food and lively room.
Also, another option might be the new Cali/ Peruvian Restaurant, Essencia on Gough at Hayes, there has been some good reports. Not sure if they have a full bar or not.
The communal table at Mexico DF could handle you, and there are some good items to share on the menu (whole fish, carnitas). Probably a lot easier to get into than Zuni, though I have to admit, I recently had a late lunch that I really enjoyed at Zuni.
I'd also strongly consider the communal/family style table at Piperade. One of the best group dinners I ever hosted was at Piperade, and if memory serves correctly, their big table will seat 12. Also, it is square, not oblong (the Mexico DF table is oblong, and actually has a big column down the middle) so it is very conducive to conversation for a group.
The one group dinner I did at Kokkari was not as succesful, but then, I like the food at Piperade much better than at Kokkari.
IIRC, we used a pre-set menu with several choices from each category on the menu. It wasn't served family style, but there was a lot of sharing going on. Piperade was easy to work with, and we went that route because it was a business dinner and we had fairly strict limits on what we could spend per person.
Incanto would work very well, and it's my favorite restaurant from your list (haven't tried Mexico DF).
My biggest concern with NOPA is that it is really loud. If you're looking to get a little peace, quiet and catch-up time away from the kids, NOPA wont work.