Very casual 50th birthday spot for 20 people?
I would really appreciate any suggestions for a very casual spot (preferably with outdoor seating) in Northern VA to celebrate a 50th birthday with 20 people. The guest of honor really wants low key - as it will be at the end of August in DC - and no one is in the mood to dress up or be very formal. Also hoping to spend under $50 a person. Am I dreaming? Any and all ideas much appreciated!
I might suggest making arrangements with Willow Restaurant in Ballston. See if you can reserve an outdoor spot for your 20 people and use the Bar Menu. The Bar Menu features gourmet appetizers at $5 each. Some people, myself included, will use the Bar Menu to create a tapas style dinner for $10-15; I think it would be nearly impossible to finish more than 3. If your guests eat 2-3 each, that gives you room for 2-3 cocktails/glasses of wine per person. You may even consider getting a few bottles of wine and making the event a wine tasting of sorts. There is also a lot that you can do with the gourmet flatbreads ($17-20) and cakes ($10 per slice).
As a non-chain, neighborhood place, I think this is within reason for Willow. Give them a call (ask for Brian or Kevin) and see what type of arrangements they could make.
Looks like they have not updated the online Bar Menu.