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Elkridge Furnace Inn -VS- Kings Contrivance for small group business dinner?

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I need to set up dinner for a small (8-10) group that will be visiting our office located in Columbia, MD. I have been doing this for several years in this same area and find myself having trouble coming up with new ideas. We send groups to Clydes on occassion (but want something different), have given up on Rams Head Savage and are trying to avoid going into the city if possible. This is sort of a "special event" meeting so we are trying to find something interesting. I recommended Baldwin Station but the boss said he didn't care for it (I personally really like the place).
So these are the 2 places I am thinking of this time - but I haven't been to either in years myself and have not sent any groups to either at all.
Any thoughts, experiences or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  1. Have you been to Cafe de Paris or Tersiguels? I've not been to the Furnace Inn, but have heard good things. I've been to King's Contrivance on several business occasion's and can honestly say that I detest the place. I guess the setting is more or less nice for Columbia, but the food is terrible and overpriced. I'd really recommend avoiding it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jason1

      I'll second both of those recommendations. I have not been the EFI for 10 years or so, but the service there was awful at the time. Food was good, but not stellar by any stretch -- and overpriced IMO. Kings Contrivance...it's been even longer since I have been there, and it was decent, but again, nothing to write home about at high prices. And while I am glad there are some options for folks in the greater Columbia/Ellicott City area other than chain restaurants, I think Cafe de Paris and Tersiguel's offer up better fare at better prices. Eric at Cafe de Paris is particularly nice to interact with.

      www.roguefood.com

    2. Thanks for the feedback so far - I just found this board (not really a "message board" person) and I must say it is awesome!
      One other place I just came across that looks like a possible option is Greystone Grill. I was there once for a family dinner - service was kind of slow (but we were with my restless baby at the time so that may have been a bit subjective :-). Any feedback on that place is welcome as well... thanks again.

      1 Reply
      1. re: reserve_me

        I have not been to Greystone, but reaction on the message board has been mixed. You can search for previous threads on the subject for first-hand accounts.

        Let me make another vote for Cafe de Paris. The owner is a great guy and the food is very good, with menu selections that should appeal to a diverse group. It's bistro food in a charming space.

      2. Aida Bistro in Columbia might also work - family run but very nice Italian. It's fairly small, but 8-10 seems like something they'd be able to handle.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pagoda girl

          Good call on Aida, too.

        2. Cafe de Paris (Eric Rochard - owner) is a fantastic gentleman as is Tersiguel's (Michel & Fernand Tersiguel)... Both restaurants are exceptional in food, atmosphere, and service alike! Tersiguel's provides a few priviate/semi-private rooms for small businees parties... I've been to the Elkridge Furnace Inn (brunch, dinner, & wedding event)... very good food, service has been excellent, very good and ok... (but that can happen anywhere)... I'm currently putting together a group for one of their upcoming Murder Mystery Dinners @ $55 inclusive! I know you stated that you would like to stay out of the city but you MUST TRY Fogo De Chao - Brazilian Steakhouse on Pratt Steet!!! (also smaller dining areas provided) Hope this helps.

          1. I've hosted a business dinner for app. the same size party at Elkridge Furnace Inn. I highly recommend it for both business and personal meals.

            2 Replies
            1. re: SGI

              I second the Elkridge Furnace Inn. I had my rehersal dinner there and it was quite lovely. The food and service are exemplary.

              1. re: diablo

                Greystone Grill is pleasant... but uninspired. If your group is more mainstream, they may prefer EFI; if they are more sophisticated, Cafe De Paris is a better bet.