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Old school DC restaurant for parents' 50th Anniversary? 15-20people

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I haven't lived in DC in over 20 years so I'm rusty. I need to figure out a place for my parents' 50th Anniversary dinner. Is there anything remotely similar to the old Maison Blanche? I know they mourned its passing. Citronelle is not their style - they've been (with me) but I think it's too adventurous for them. And thus I'd rule out City Zen as well. Nothing nouveau/nuevo/fusiony. I'd consider l'Auberge Chez Francois but we recently did another family gathering there. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance!

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Citronelle
3000 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

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  1. Other than L'Auberge, I like to take visiting family to 1789 in Georgetown (the Middleburg Room upstairs is especially nice for private dining, but there is no elevator, unfortunately, if you've got older people in your party.) The Willard can be lovely as well. Finally, there's the Inn at Little Washington, if you are willing to drive for a bit.

    1. I've eaten meals at private events at Citronelle that had none of the adventurousness for which the restaurant is famous. My husband and I were quite ambivalent about these meals. We understood the need to serve classic non-demanding dishes and the food certainly was delicious. However, we were disappointed by the lost opportunity to eat some of Richard's more innovative dishes.

      If the name Citronelle won't scare your parents after their uncomfortable experience there, I suggest you consider this restaurant. As a start, go to the web site and follow the links for private dining. You'll find Citronelle's private event menus to be far more conservative than the food currently being served in the dining room. Even if nothing appeals to you on the posted menu, you could contact the private events planner at Citronelle to see what she proposes.

      1. 1789 is perfect for this type of event.

        1. The Prime Rib screams old school, but you'll be so happy with the namesake dish or crab cakes, that you won't care.

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          Prime Rib
          2020 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006

          1 Reply
          1. re: DanielK

            2nd Prime Rib
            also could do The Palm

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            Prime Rib
            2020 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006

          2. La Chaumiere in Georgetown is old school and still very good. They have a private room upstairs.

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            La Chaumiere
            2813 M Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20007

            2 Replies
            1. re: MSommelier

              Depending on how many people you are thinking of having at dinner, I'd suggest you look at Palena (the back room, not the Cafe) inovative cooking but not too playful. Great and discrete service, very much an old school dining room type feel.

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              Palena
              3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008