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Jul 26, 2008 04:17 PM

Help: Need FUN Rehearsal Dinner in NoVa

Hi there Hounds!

One of your fellow foodies is getting married in NoVa in Gallows/Rte 50 area. Our wedding reception will be nice and kinda costly. So we want to have a a fun, totally casual rehearsal dinner.

Am looking for a smallish place like a good pasta/pizza joint, or someplace like that. (Not Maggiano's). Ethnic food is ok but it should be good food in a really casual atmosphere.

We don't need private space, but it has to hold 50 people.
And it will be on a Saturday evening this September.

Thanking you in advance for all your ideas.


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  1. I was thinking Dolce Vita out 29 between Chain Bridge and 50, but I don't know if their private room holds that many.

    1. If you'd like Chinese, Miu Kee is down 50 towards Falls Church. They have the best dumplings and won ton soup (far better than any won tons you'll get at most Chinese restaurants--large shrimp and pork, skin that melts in your mouth). You could do a fun, casual inexpensive dinner w/ an assortment of soup dumplings, won ton, hong kong style noodle soup.

      If you want pizza, you could try Pan Am family restaurant in the Pan Am Center off Nutley Road. It looks like a place where you could have a small room. Pizza is pretty good. It's a greek place.

      If you want to spend a little more, I'd recommend Sweet Water Tavern, part of the Great American Restaurant group. They can accomodate larger groups:


      It would be a really fun restaurant with a big group and has a full bar.

      1. Some options:

        Eleventh St. Lounge- not pizza but more casual food, they have a super cheap minimum (like $500-$1,000 on a Sat. night depending on time), and with that you get quite a lot, and you get their whole downstairs space. I really like their food and drinks too. They have a website if you want more info. Def can do 50 people.

        Sette Bello does private events I think? It is pizza and pasta, would be able to fit 50 probably. Don't know about their minimum, never got that far with them, they are not good with email fyi.

        You could check with Rustico too. I don't know if they do private events.

        But you should really check out Eleventh St. Lounge- I think it might really fit the bill. They don't mind if you just walk in when they are open and ask either, really nice and laid back.

        1. The Esposito's (not far from Docle Vita) has delicious home made pizza and is just an all around good neighborhood Italian joint with authentic Italian staff. Artie's, also very near Rt. 50/Gallows, is part of the Great American Restaurant chain, and I think much better than Sweetwater's. Argia's is another option, delicious homestlye Italian in Falls Church, just up the road from where you'll be. Though I don't know that any of these recs have a private room. Dolce Vita (previously recommended) has not just a private room, but a private building, and I think holds around 40ish. That might be your safest bet, but maybe a bit more upscale than what you're describing. Though if you've got the place all to yourselves, you can create whatever atmosphere and menu you'd like.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Meg

            Do any of the GAR's do private events? I didn't think they did for some reason.

            1. re: ktmoomau

              They say they'll do private events, but they only mean they'll reserve a group of tables/booths near one another for you. They don't have private rooms and can't push tables together for large parties (I think the max at one table is 8 people). But, if being at a bunch of tables near each other is fine, you could look into it.

          2. I think Clare and Don's Beach Shack in Falls Church could be a super fun casual place. Check it out:

            1 Reply
            1. re: m25111

              Velocity Five is a Sports Bar at the corner of Gallows and Lee Highway. They have private party areas too. I think they have a DJ so I'm not sure how rawdie you want to get! We had a work happy hour there and it really was a nice venue for it.