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Team Dinner Recommendation? Rockville, Bethesda

We're looking for recommendations for Thursday (11/4) and/or Friday (11/5) for dinner for a college field hockey team, Italian Food, entrees under $15. Group size 22.

Bethesda, Rockville, or nearby.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Maggianno's in Friendship Heights, Bucca de Beppa in Kentlands Rockville, That's Amore
    on Shady Grove Road in Rockville are all family style italian restaurants

    That's Amore Restaurant
    10400 Little Patuxent Pkwy Ste G5, Columbia, MD 21044

    1 Reply
    1. re: dining with doc

      Kentlands is in Gaithersburg, not Rockville, and I wouldn't recommend it.

      That's Amore is ok; of the three it's the one I would personally choose.

    2. You could do worse than Mama Lucia's. Across from shady grove hospital. Fontina grille isn't bad either. Close to the shady grove metro in the king farm area of N. Potomac (used to be south gaithersburg).

      1. Amalfi Ristorante Italiano on Wilkens Avenue in Rockville has a private room for gatherings up to 35 and has group menus of all price points. Don't be fooled by appearances - it's in a warehouse district but has had consistently good Italian food for many decades now. Family-owned and operated since 1977.


        Amalfi Ristorante Italiano
        12307 Wilkins Ave, Rockville, MD 20852

        1. That's Amore has a separate party room if necessary and the family style portions are a good bet for you. Food is decent, much better than Buca, and a nicer atmosphere than Amalfi's, which I think has gone down hill in recent years.

          That's Amore Restaurant
          10400 Little Patuxent Pkwy Ste G5, Columbia, MD 21044

          1 Reply
          1. re: nickdanger

            Thanks for the recommendations. I've forwarded them on to the coach. I'll report back!

          2. That's Amore is one step up from Olive Garden, and not a very big step, either. Cheap and plentiful is their mantra. Unless you're carbo loading for the big game, I'd stick with Amalfi's. If they've slipped in recent years it's from a four and a half star rating to a four. That's Amore has been consistent, but consistently boring.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jumpsteady

              The grilled calamari at That's Amore is excellent. Nothing like it at Olive Garden. I would say TA is miles ahead of OG. They used to have two locations, one in VIenna, VA - but now Rockville is their only place. For teams watching their budget, it's a nice suggestion.

              1. re: Steve

                I've had widely varied experiences at That's Amore.
                My first two visits, both a fairly large business group, were quite good.
                The next 3 or 4 visits, just myself & wife, only included one positive experience.
                Another large group visit I'd rate mediocre.
                A Christmas Eve family dinner in 2009 was horrible. I'd made reservations for a group of 12 to 14 a good month in advance. For 5:00 pm. They seated us in the bar area, and refused to offer a better table on the dining room side, even though the place was still basically empty.
                The food was mediocre at best. The service left a lot to be desired.
                Needless to say, I've not been back since.

                Edit This was the Research Blvd location, Rockville

                1. re: mdfoodlover

                  Of the six That's Amore restaurants that opened in the Washington/Baltimore area, only one remains. That should tell you something.

            2. all 3 of my recomendations are national chains with family style good but not great italian, and as long as your expectations are realistic then you would do fine at any of those 3 with a group of 35 college female field hockey players. I dont believe Amalfi's will work for entrees under $15.

              6 Replies
              1. re: dining with doc

                According to the menus on their websites, Amalfi has more entrees under $15 (28 of 47) than either Maggianos (24 of 49) or That's Amore (17 of 35). Just goes to show you that the small family-owned restaurant can still beat out the chains when it comes to price.

                1. re: treetop tom

                  Not that I'm advocating a chain restaurant over a local, because I never would, but those entrees at Maggiano's and That's Amore are HUGE. You get a LOT of crappy food for that $15.

                  Don't go to Amalfi's because you want a better value for your $15. Go there because you want better food for your $15.

                  1. re: DanielK

                    I've never been to Amalfi's in the all the years I've lived in the area, (double nickle).
                    You second paragraph makes me think I should indeed pay them a visit.

                    1. re: mdfoodlover

                      I don't think it's spectacular, but it's certainly better than the chains.

                      My favorite local place for red-sauce NY-style Italian is Mamma Lucia's, but ONLY the Federal Plaza location. The other locations are all horrible. But it's a small place - couldn't handle a 22-person reservation - so I didn't mention it in this thread.

                      1. re: DanielK

                        Reporting back -- the team plus families had dinner at That's Amore (Shady Grove Road) on Friday night and they did a super job accomodating a group of 60. (I think the reservation was made/confirmed about 4 pm for a 7 pm dinner). They gave us the back of a room and three long tables of 20. The team members had one table and were all on one bill. The families split the bills at the other tables. We were very pleased and would return or recommend them for another event like this. Thanks for the recommendations!

                        1. re: O22039

                          your welcome. I knew what you were looking for and Thats Amore as well as Bucca Di Beppa and Maggianno's all fit the bill for your needs. Glad it worked

                          Amore Cafe
                          3815 S George Mason Dr, Falls Church, VA 22041

              2. Macaroni Grill in Gaithersburg...near Rockville

                1 Reply
                1. re: dsmchefgm

                  Read the previous posting which is a report on the dinner which took place last week.

                2. I recommend BlackFinn Bethesda.

                  BlackFinn has quite the Burger Menu and Specialty Menu, which includes several burger options, sandwiches and wraps to choose from. Then there's the Flatbread Pizza Menu; simple, without being too boring or ordinary. The toppings are pilled pretty high on these flatbreads.

                  If the dining area is too loud/crowded to host your meeting, you have the option to dine either upstairs or downstairs. Call ahead to make reservations, so they can better prepare for your arrival.

                  Blackfinn Bethesda
                  4901 Fairmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814