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Place for a small wedding with unworldly food?

I'm a Los Angeles native. However, I grew up in Washington DC and am now faced with planning my wedding there. I would love some advice.

I am a passionate foodie and am going to have a small wedding around 50 - 60 people. I'd love to have it at a restaurant with unbelievably great food. Usually, decor isn't an issue when I go out (my own favorite restaurants are dive authentic Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese places with horrid, if any, decorations) but for a wedding, I'd like a place that is modern and beautiful.

Cynthia's Restaurant seemed like it had the kind of food I was looking for, but the setting is pretty wrong, although I haven't seen any picutres. 2941 is looking pretty nice, and does have events.

Any advice on other places? I haven't been to Washington in several years, as I usually meet my family elsewhere, so I'm pretty lost. It doesn't have to have the best absolute food, but delicious and special are important.

Money isn't a tight constraint, but we're not talking no object. Sadly, even if they would do weddings, The Inn at Little Washington is probably out.

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Hi there... I would suggest one of the kimpton properties in the area- Poste at the Hotel Monaco (in DC- there is a HM in old town now as well but I havent seen it) has very good food and an amazing outdooor patio that could easily hold 50-60 people... I would have had my reception there in a heartbeat. (married in mexico instead!) There is also Helix hotel, which does not have the BEST food but is super cool and trendy and FUN...

    2 Replies
    1. re: tiaracara

      Congratulations ladilettante!
      Depending on the size of your party, my recommendation would be The Tasting Room at Restaurant Eve. It can accommodate 34 guests, and the adjoining Sunflower room seats 20 more. Some of the finest cuisine and service in the region, romantic and comfortable rooms, and you can't beat the location in picturesque Old Town with a public parking garage across the street, hotel next door, and easy access from Metro.

      I've also been to a lovely and elegant wedding at the Lafayette Room at the Hay Adams hotel. They are experienced with weddings and can put the whole package together for you.



      1. re: tiaracara

        Hi. The Four Season's Hotel has a small room - Dumbarton Room which opens out to a terrace over the C & O Canal. It is just gorgeous! Food can't be beat!!!

      2. 2941 is a really good choice.

        I would also look into Le Paradou.

        1. I'd consider Proof -- the street-facing windows look out on the Portrait Gallery... The interior is modern yet warm, very cool features like special wine dispensers at the bar (and of course a wonderful wine list), great cheese/charcuterie station (which could be fun for pre-dinner or something).

          The best part is that they have a rolling champagne cart service, which also could be lots of fun for your guests.

          The food is very good -- though I wouldn't say it's unbelievably good. It's more about the experience overall.

          It's not a huge space, so perhaps you could reserve the restaurant as a whole. The problem with a lot of the formal restaurants here is that they stick you in a room apart from the restaurant, so you don't benefit from the ambience the restaurant sets to begin with.

          Here's the site... There's a photo gallery to give you a little idea of the feel.


          1. City Zen at Mandarin Oriental. May be a little pricey...

            1. This issue was recently discussed in another thread. Check it out: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/512321 (In case you have trouble linking to it, the thread is entitled "Please HELP!!" and started on April 23rd.)

              1. The Mansion on O Street http://www.omansion.com/weddings/ I went there for a Christmas party a couple years ago and it was really cool. I think it would be a neat place for a wedding.

                1. I second 2941, where I had my wedding reception. We had an afternoon ceremony (sadly not onsite because at the time they really hadn't started catering to the wedding market). followed by a cocktail hour with live music around the bar area before the restaurant opened for dinner service then moved into a private room for dinner. The grounds are lovely, with your numbers you might be able to get them to open up the patio for a ceremony. There are numerous photo opps with the lake and woods. Also convenient were the valet parking and the hotel 1/2 mile down the road in the business park for out-of-towners.

                  1. My wife and I were married in the garden at L'Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls and had the reception/lunch there. After the ceremony, there was a fantastic champagne and Hors d'erves for about 45 minutes. The lunch was the 5 course dinner menu (chosen by us). The staff was exceptional, service was impeccable and the food was excellent. The restaurant limits weddings to 50-60 people, and the event must be a lunch; we had the place from 11:00 - 4:00. The price was cheap, compared to may other venues. There was no separate charge for the use of the garden or for booking the entire restaurant. Finally, almost everyone speaks about the event 4 years later, stating that it was the most elegant wedding they have attended. I can't think of a better place to get married and celebrate with a 4 hour meal.

                    1. Thank you so much for all of the great suggestions! I hadn't looked into small hotels and mansions and those suggested sound great (in addition to the good restaurant ideas). I'm going to DC at the end of the month and I look forward to checking a bunch of these places out: the Dumbarton Room, 2941, Poste, Proof and City Zen. L'Auberge Chez Francois is actually lovely but I sadly have a bad memory of going to dinner with my two divorced parents there. But I am so glad your wedding was lovely there and I can well imagine it would be!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ladilettante

                        In terms of a memorable wedding and overall convenience, 2941 easily trumps the others on the list. Not even close.

                      2. Marcel's defintely meets your unworldy food criteria, however the decor is not modern, but classic and beautiful. I'm pretty sure that they have a private room. If you're not familiar with Marcel's you can search the Board for insight. I can't think of a better place for someone who's passionate about food, and presumably service.

                        1. Since you mentioned the IALW, sounds like you might consider driving outside the city. If so I highly recommend the Ashby Inn in Paris, VA. It's a top notch B&B with a terrific restaurant in a gorgeous setting just outside of Upperville/Middleburg. My brother was married there. They were married on the grounds with the mountains as a backdrop, and then had a sit-down dinner for 60. They also have an excellent wine cellar and take great pride in pairings with each course.