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Jul 5, 2007 08:43 AM

Need group dinner upscale NoVa suggestions near Metro

We're a book club of 40-something NoVa women who usually do home meetings/dinners but do restaurants twice a year. A couple of people need Metro access but we can arrange rides if needed. Our favorite has been Willow (Ballston/Arlington) but we don't want to get in a rut. We want great food and great service (and we need easy parking). We liked Haandi in Falls Church but it's hard to please a group when you go ethnic.

I'm considering Portabello's in Cherrydale/Arlington. Any suggestions for our next group dinner for 8? Thanks.

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  1. 8 of you, hrmm and clearly you're willing to do high end food.

    That makes me think Tallula which I've been loving lately and is also just a short walk from the metro (walk about 1/4 mile from the clarendon metro).

    Restaurant Eve could be a great option for you as it's a walk from the King Street metro.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jpschust

      And Tallula has large round booth tables that are very conducive to conversation. I would call and reserve one. I have seen womens night (wedding shower/bachelor party who knows but groups of women) out there a couple times when I have been and they seemed to have a great time.

      1. re: ktmoomau

        Oh and the food isn't bad either, it is fun to order a lot of the one/two bite plates and share or just oogle what else was ordered, with some drinks then get down to business. Plus they have great wine selection and prices.

    2. If it's hard to please a group when you go ethnic, maybe your'e not ordering right!

      Hong Kong Palace is superb for group eating. Many of their offerings are spicy but there are plenty of incredibly delicious items there that are not. Tiger Skin peppers, corn and egg, dried tofu with ground pork, eggplant in garlic sauce, stir fried greens, twice cooked pork, scallion pancakes, cucumber salad, kung pao chicken, there is already a feast right there. And that's with playing it safe. So far superior to Portabello's it's not funny. Reserve a large table, order for the group, and share everything.

      1. Haha! Only women would enjoy the food at Willow! Sorry, but it happens to be a chic place. If you like Willow, you will like 2941 at Fairview Park.

        Similarly mediocre food can be found at a variety of places....but not to be chauvinist, go to Rosslyn and enjoy Tivoli.

        2 Replies
        1. re: BigEats

          Wow, I used to think women had diverse and distinct palates, but I guess we all love Willow, vanilla and romantic comedies. Thanks for the insight. I think Willow has some very good food including their steak dish which has fantastically well prepared mushrooms. But I am a chic so what do I know...

          Sorry I really tried just to ignore this comment, and I just couldn't do it...

          1. re: BigEats

            Not liking willow has nothing to do with being a woman, it has to do with respecting well seasoned, well prepared food with solid wine lists.

            2941 is a very different place doing much higher quality food.

          2. Del Merei Grille in Alexandria - near Del Ray - has great food, a nice atmosphere, and parking. It's not too Metro friendly, though. I'm fairly certain I've seen a book club meeting there, too. Fried pickles please every palate, right?

            Here's the contact info: 3106 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 703-739-4335

            I've been there three times in the last year.