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Aug 26, 2010 08:42 AM

Large parties - specifically Zaytinya

Question - a friend of mine just called Zaytinya to book a large birthday party reservation, and was told that she had to commit to a set menu that was $50 something a person, which, IMO, would result in everyone getting the same thing. Also, everyone had to commit to the regular or vegetarian menu.

I have never heard of enforced menus for large groups before - has anyone else heard of this? Apparently they say it's mandatory for groups of 12 or more.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's because of the way they serve it. I've done it before and loved it. Basically we ended up with four or five courses with platters of two or three mezze with each one. It included dessert and dips. It was really quite wonderful, and we had a gorgeous view of the restaurant from the second floor.

    9 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      Thanks for the feedback! Did you have any vegetarians in your group, and if so, how did that work out?

      1. re: Raids

        Each course had at least one vegetarian option. Some, like the hummus, baba ghanoush, and fattoush, were all vegetarian. There was no shortage of food, and I ended up trying much more food there than ordering a la carte. In fact, some people who were with us had never liked Zaytinya, and often went back afterward.

        701 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

      2. re: katecm

        I would double check which table it is, however. The "view of the restaurant table" is big, but not HUGE, while there's a large table on the main floor that runs almost the length of the restaurant. The former is barely visible on the left and the latter is in the middle of the pic I'm attempting to attach:

        1. re: kukubura

          Good clarification, thanks. While the main floor one gets you in the thick of thing, the privacy provided by the upstairs one makes it very luxurious.

          1. re: katecm

            The upstairs table is on its own weird little private landing. Very unusual. When we were there there were large parties at both of those tables. That place is doing hella business. Even though the head chef just changed a personal chef we know just reported having the best meal of her life there (with the new chef)

            1. re: kukubura

              Prices have gone up too (although I'm sure this is not unusual around DC). I ate there at the end of June and checked the latest menus: a lot of the popular items are $1.50-$2 more -- which adds up quickly with tapas.

              They also took off the octopus santorini.

              1. re: will_5198

                Well, that's probably temporary and is only fair considering the incredible performance of the octopus in the field of World Cup prognosticating.

                Anyway, I was there mid-June for our anniversary and the prices may have been higher, I don't know, but it was reasonable for how wonderful it was.

          2. re: kukubura

            Thanks for finding and attaching the photo! I think the intended party size is 12-15, which is probably the "view of the restaurant" table, yeah?

            1. re: Raids

              I didn't have to look far for the photo since I took it. Hehe. It's from my wife's recap of the meal we had there:

              As for the number of seats at the table, I'm not sure. I can vaguely imagine that it would fit around a dozen but you might as well call and ask.

        2. Most restaurants do this once you get past 12-15 people. Otherwise, it's nearly impossible for them to serve the whole table quality food at the same time if they have the run of the menu.

          I've done large group dinners at different Andres joints, and they've all gone quite well. I can't remember if we ever had vegetarians in the group.

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