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Business Dinner in Columbia

Can anyone help w/ a recommendation for a business dinner in Columbia next Tuesday? These are potential new clients and I am not sure where their tastes lie, so was thinking of giving them a couple of options to choose between. I'd prefer to stay away from the chains and anywhere that is too expensive. Personally, I'm all about Pho Dhat Than but wonder if that might be too informal/scary for a business dinner (my boss and i go there and tend to take Client whose eating habits we know).
Any help would be greatly appreciated,

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  1. I haven't been to either of these, but search the board for Tersiguel's in Ellicot City and Cafe de Paris in Columbia

    1. Iron Bridge on Rte 108. The food is great (and it is not a chain, praise be). The tables are sort of on top of each other, and it tends to get a bit loud, but the food and the wine are terrific.

      Also, you might consider Cocao Lane in historic Ellicott City, or Jordan's Steakhouse in the same location. Jordan's is pretty upscale/pricey.

      1. Tersiguel's in Ellicott City would be an excellent choice, IMO.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Denise

          Tersiguel's would be excellent. Cafe de Paris would be excellent as well. Either of these is going to suit.

          Iron Bridge is completely unsuitable for a busniess dinner. Jordan's has gotten slammed here a lot lately, but i can't speak from personal experience.

        2. I'd consider Aida - an Italian family run place with a good wine selection and homemade Italian with some upscale entrees. It is hidden in a business park in Columbia, but seems like it would fit the bill

          1. Depends on how you define " too expensive". Tersiguel's is wonderful- but cheap it is not..it will run you a pretty penny ( albeit worth it). Jordan's which I can no longer recommend is also expensive. Cocoa Lane is cheaper- I haven't been there in quite awhile but the meals I have had there have been very good. I would recommend Cafe De Paris. Wonderful food and service and not as expensive as Tersiguel's.

            1. Much depends on the type of business, and the formality/luxury that is expected. In a field like law, I'd stick to something like Cafe de Paris, or a good steakhouse (don't personally know what's good in the area in that genre) - but if you go the steakhouse route, shoot for a tier above Outback, Lone Star, etc. Ruth's Chris, Morton's and the like is more the league you want to be in for first impressions, though such places they may stretch your "not too expensive" rule.

              In a field that trends younger, more informal, and more accepting of "ethnic", you might consider someplace like Donna's (good food, not too high on the price tag, informal atmosphere), or perhaps Bombay Peacock Grill.

              I'd definitely pass on Iron Bridge - too tightly packed and too high of decibel level to talk business, even with known clients.

              1. Jesse Wong's Asean Bistro or Greystone Grill (haven't eaten there, maybe someone can comment on how it is)

                4 Replies
                1. re: hon

                  I recommend Cafe de Paris. We ate there this past weekend (thanks for the memory jog, Jon!) It was really nice - the food is good basic French bistro, it's nice without being stuffy, and at least in the evening, the owner greets you at the door and makes you feel like a regular. Everything was really yummy - some very yummy. Quite frankly, it is VERY hard to believe that the place is located in non-descript Columbia office park!!

                  1. re: hon

                    I have not eaten at Greystone either, but it's basically designed for corporate types. They have a wine program where your company can keep its own wine vault on the premises.

                    That said, those at my company who have gone to the Hunt Valley location have been seriously unimpressed. From what I hear from them, the food ranks about with Clyde's -- not downright horrible, but not impressive either.

                    Jesse Wong's AB is ok, but when I've gone they've had a piano player or a three piece combo playing at dinner time. Given how small the place is, it would make any business discussion difficult. The music is really too much for the space even for socializing, IMO.

                    And to also respond to Warthog's post above, I don't think there is another steakhouse in the area except for Jordan's that's not a Lone Star/Outback type.

                    1. re: JonParker

                      Isn't there some sort of steakhous (oz I think is the name) in the Maple Lawn(?) area near Columbia?

                      1. re: Hue

                        Yes oZ the Chophouse is in Maple Lawn. I actually went there for the 1rst time last night. It was pretty empty so it was nice and quiet but if it was filled up I can see that it could be loud as they also have a bar that is off to the backside but opens to the dining room. The food was good, not mind blowing but good. The steaks were delicious but the veggies were overcooked. The dessert was very good ( we had fresh berries w/ cream and the blackberries were the biggest blackberries I have ever laid eyes on).

                        As far as pricing we had dinner for 2 - Steak Oscar ( great) for both which came w/ asparagus ( overcooked), 1 glass of Syrah, tuna tartar appetizer ( good), 1 side of garlic mashed potatoes ( very good), 1 side of sweet potato brulee( undercooked and hard), and 1 dessert( very good) was $114 before tip.