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Jun 22, 2009 04:29 AM

Help for Group Dinner this weekend!

Hi! I have friends coming in from out of town this weekend and I have been assigned the task of setting up dinner for about 6 people on Saturday night. The only criteria are fun and good food, but for some reason I'm drawing a blank! I think we want to avoid the Penn Qtr area just for ease of going out afterwards.

My usual go-to is Cork, for I'm thinking with 6 could be difficult, plus they don't take reservations. Is Marvin really good for dinner? What about Commonwealth or somewhere else in Columbia Heights?

We are open to any kind of food, but I'd like to keep it affordable and not ethiopian.

Thanks so much!

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  1. Marvin is very good...although from what I can tell reservations are a must. If you want to stick in the U St. area you can tryCreme for Southern influenced home cooking, St. Ex (they have nice outdoor eating), or Ulah (really affordable and their turkey burger is great).

    Or you can head to Dupont--maybe Bistro Du Coin or Sette Osteria (again outdoor seating...added bonus!).

    I also think Grill from Impanema in Adams Morgan is fun with a group. Or Regent Thai for great thai food in the Upper Dupont/Adams Morgan area.

    1. My last trip to Marvin might have been my last trip to Marvin. Burger was not cooked as ordered, the tables were unbearably close together and the noise was deafening. If you want Columbus Heights, Red Rocks is fun for pizza, especially outside on the patio.

      1. What about the new Eatonville across from Busboys and Poets on 14th. It looks like it has a fantastic menu and a fairly big space.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jodik

          Eatonville has a great space and the service is friendly. I found the food heavy, not in a good way, even for southern food, and lacking in finesse. I had the Cajun Mushroom Loaf which was bland. However, the desserts are OUTSTANDING. I agree that it would be good for groups.

        2. Yeah, based on my drinking experiences at Marvin, I'm not sure that I believed the hype about the food.

          Has anyone been to Eatonville? What about 1905?

          We are flexible on location...does anyone know if Granville Moore's takes reservations for large groups?

          1 Reply
          1. re: caphill2320

            I so love Granville Moore's for mussels & frites! Do not know about the reservations. Worth calling to find out. How about Proof, Zengo, Cafe Atlantico?

          2. If you want to stay around U street/Columbia Heights, I do like Marvin...but I haven't been in a while so maybe it's gone downhill?

            I love Eatonville and think it would be great for a large group. It's a huge space that's very fun...we thought the food was really good.

            Another option to consider on U would be Tabaq. They have a fabulous roof top with a great view. We've been there in the summer with a big group of friends and it was a lot of fun.
            I haven't been to Commonwealth.

            1 Reply
            1. re: joann.hill12

              Not sure how or Tabaq is still around.

              Ate brunch there once a few years ago. Usually not inclined to let one bad visit keep me away forever. Brunch was some sort of seafood soup. I think it was meant to have a curried base. I don't see it on the current menu. Anyhow...the soup was, hands down, the worst dish I've ever had at any restaurant. No joke. It sticks out in my brain that way.

              The liquid tasted like heavy cream, curry powder, and several large cups of salt. The liquid was so salty, it burned my tongue. Very strange (and uncomfortable). Truly vile.

              Also, the photos of that roof space appear deceptive. When we were there, the place looked really rough around the edges...not nearly as polished as those photos represent. The glass was hard to see through (scummy) and the furniture appeared dirty and out of order. Maybe they've turned it around lately, but, based on that one experience, the place seemed overrated.