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Wonderful dining experience for 30 wonderful clients- Suggestions?

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Greetings, foodies! I am doing an annual 'Big Deal' dinner for about 30 of our best clients for a meeting held (this year) in Philadelphia in about 2 months, and I am unfamiliar with the better dining establishments in town there. I am not a local, but have had wonderful success, year after year, in inquiring from all of you fabulous Chowhounders in helping me make perfect choice.

For traveling foodies, in recent years, we have done the following (to give an idea of what we are looking for-

New Orleans- Restaurant August
Portland- The Carlyle
St. Louis- Araka
Denver- Restaurant Kevin Taylor
Wash DC- 1789

All magical experiences, and I would love to maintain/beat that high bar that has been set for our best clients.

So, where can I take them for an utterly unreal experience, and that can handle a group of this size? If it has a 'Philly Phlair' to it, great. If not, just as good. I am just looking to provide them with my usual annual amazing taste journey.

So, what are some good ones? : -)

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  1. I'm not familiar with those restaurants, but I would suggest renting out one of the good small restaurants and having the chef create a tasting menu.

    I would do that at Vetri or Bibou. The former can offer wine pairings along with the menu, the latter is BYOB but I'm sure they could help you pick the wine.

    Renting out either of those places are probably the most baller foodie things you can do in Philly right now.

    3 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      Look at this recommendation:

      http://www.midatlanticrestaurant.com/

      1. re: Quine

        or:

        http://www.r2lrestaurant.com/

        1. re: Quine

          Hi! Thank you for the suggestions here. I looked at the menu's though, and they aren't really what my guests are expecting. They are looking for a bit more of a 'food adventure'. The dishes sound wonderful, but pretty tried and true classics. Nothing wrong with those by any means.

    2. Amada (a Spanish tapas restaurant) can handle a group of that size. Contact them and see if they can do their roasted suckling pig. Before the pig comes out, see if you can arrange for an assortment of tapas to be served.

      http://www.amadarestaurant.com/

      1. These are great ideas! Thank you! I already called Amada (Garces' whole chain, actually- they were highly recommended), but they are either booked, or can't accommodate- Except for is newest one, JG Domestic. Thoughts on them?

        I have thought about renting out a place, but it is for a Saturday night, and most places aren't going to want to give up a whole sat for 30 people. I'd love to be wrong though!

        Keep 'em coming, or vote for the ones here if you agree! I've never let these folks down, and don't want to start now, haha!

        15 Replies
        1. re: larspeart

          Did you call Zahav? They have a room they can seal off.

          1. re: barryg

            Thanks. They looked great, but were unable to accomodate a group of our size. Good suggestion though!

          2. re: larspeart

            JG Domestic is pretty good, not fantastic but your options are kinda limited with a group that size on a big restaurant night.

            Osteria has a big room they use for private parties and *is* fantastic, I'd call them next, I'm not sure they can fit 30 back there.

            http://site.osteriaphilly.com/
            215-763-0920

            1. re: Buckethead

              Osteria can definitely give your clients a food adventure: http://www.foodistfiles.com/2011/05/h...

              1. re: barryg

                I put a call into their event coordinator, and am (eagerly) awaiting her call. Looks perfect.

              2. re: Buckethead

                Osteria is not able to accomodate us that night, so i am back to the drwing board.

                Other suggestions? Starting to 'sniff' at a time crunch for reservations now, haha!

                1. re: larspeart

                  Running out of the grade A options... maybe you can get Shola to cater somewhere for you? He normally does smaller groups though.

                  http://studiokitchen.com/

                  1. re: barryg

                    Have you tried any of the Starr restaurants? http://www.starr-restaurant.com/

                    1. re: DaisyM

                      I would consider JG Domestic .. a Jose Garces restaurant located in thirtieth street station. They have private rooms and have a nice catering menu. Lately they have been doing snout to tail.. whole animals. That might be something fun for the group.

                      They have a private dining room that accomodates 36.. and they have menus that range from 55-75 per person not including beverage or gratuity.

                      http://www.jgdomestic.com/events2.html

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        Lacroix

                        1. re: DaisyM

                          The LaCroix semi private dining room Lily's Cafe has a great view... and LaCroix remains one of the gems of the city.. if not a bit staid. Elegant and refined food is how I would describe it,. The cafe holds 30 people.

                      2. re: DaisyM

                        Just put an RFP out to their event coordinators. Fingers crossed! and thanks!

                        1. re: larspeart

                          We did a party of about 14 at Lacroix and it was wonderful. They were very accommodating and included some 'special' dishes just for our group. I'm not sure, though, how they would do that for a group of 30. The entire meal was fantastic. For those who are foodies, they could try something more adventurous. For the less daring, there were several 'normal' dishes.

                    2. re: larspeart

                      Could Supper fit your group upstairs?

                      1. re: urbanfabric

                        I was at Supper a few weeks and peeked into the room upstairs. It's definitely a cool place for a small party. The food is also quite good and interesting.