Restaurant for group lunch in DF
I will be having a pre-wedding lunch with visiting family, 15-20 people. I am looking for a lively place that can accommodate a large group with diverse tastes (most are visiting from US and Canada) and not too expensive...under MXN$150 for a main, preferably even cheaper (because my father is footing the bill!)
I was originally thinking El Lago because of the location but now I'm thinking it's too stuffy. My family is fairly casual and not upscale at all. I was recommended El Cardenal, Café Tacuba, and the terrace at the Holiday Inn-Zocalo. Does anyone else have any other suggestions? Thanks!
2da Seccion de Bosque Chapultepec Lago Mayor, Mexico City, DF 11320, MX
You know, El Bajio in Polanco is nice but casual and has lots of "nooks and crannies" rooms that can accommodate 15-20 people (I was there with a group of 25 once). The food is decent and not too pricey. http://www.carnitaselbajio.com.mx/enIndex.html
I think this is probably too far south for you to go but the Antigua Hacienda de Tlalpan is romantic, intimate (for being a big place) and a nice wedding venue - http://www.antiguahaciendatlalpan.com.mx/ It's wonderful at night when they've got the twinkle lights on in the trees. To be fair, I haven't eaten there in several years, but the last time I did it was actually quite good.
This might be a bit too far south too, but the San Angel Inn - http://www.sanangelinn.com/# - could also be an option. It's an old monestary (very close to Frida Kahlo's Blue House), very romantic, very "old world". They definitely have a private dining room that could accommodate 15-20 people. Margarita service is elegant with iced silver buckets and the maggies themselves are pretty decent. They bill their food as "continental" and if you're thinking D.F. in the mid-50s when you hear the term continental, you'd be right :-). There's nothing wrong with it, it's just not terribly inspired. I had a quite good caesar salad made tableside there a couple of years ago. Service is attentive, the aim is to make you feel special and for the most part, they do achieve that. The setting is beautiful, the food is acceptable, the service is usually pretty good, it's classic Mexico from a by-gone era and can create an ambiance and feeling that will be memorable.
Good luck, in a city that size I'm sure you'll find exactly what you need :-)
re: Ruth in Condechi
I absolutely second the motion for Fonda San Angel, especially if you can take your group to brunch there on a Saturday. The brunch buffet is terrific for the kind of group you mention, and there is no possible way to beat the 'local color' of the Bazar Sábado--San Angel's every-Saturday artisans' market, in the square directly in front of you as you brunch at the Fonda San Angel. Your group will think they have died and gone to heaven.
Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I've gone for Café Tacuba. I like the food, my family will like the ambiance, and they have private salons upstairs. My wedding is on Saturday so that wouldn't be a good day for our meal. Since the wedding is in Coyoácan, I don't want to have to take my family south twice...I want them to also see Centro Historico, which they can do on Friday before we go to Café Tacuba. I will keep the Fonda San Angel in mind for another time and another Saturday!