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Rehearsal Dinner Atlanta

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glecroy Aug 17, 2011 08:00 PM

Son is getting married in Atlanta in February. Bride grew up there, though now they both live in DC. Any recommendations for the rehearsal dinner? Small wedding party, so maybe 40-50 at rehearsal dinner. Wedding is downtown, I think out of towners like us will be staying in Buckhead. Reception at Greystone. Bride has shellfish and nut allergies. Thanks for any advice!! Gail

  1. g
    glecroy Aug 18, 2011 09:22 AM

    Bride and groom want rehearsal dinner near church, St. Jude, 7171 Glenridge Dr NE, Atlanta, close to Dunwoody/Sandy Springs, in order to try avoid some of the traffic, and maybe around 30 people is all for dinner. Then they want to go downtown to a bar to meet up with others not in the wedding party, maybe with a reserved room. Any thoughts?
    Gail

    4 Replies
    1. re: glecroy
      k
      krwolffman Aug 18, 2011 12:38 PM

      You haven't said how fancy you want this to be, and that might help narrow the choices. The bride and groom are right to be concerned about the traffic issue if you're talking about a Friday night rehearsal dinner. Here are some choices in the area of restaurants I can personally recommend that also have private rooms:

      -Brio Tuscan Grille (Perimeter) - another chain choice, but worthwhile

      -Chequers Seafood Grill (I'm sure they have non-shellfish options)

      -Eclipse de Luna (Park Place location) - food is great...tapas menu and different from every other choice on this list...but, I have been to this private room and it's nothing special ambiance-wise

      -Fleming's Prime Steakhouse - chain steak restaurant, but pretty good

      -Food 101 - only one on here I have not experienced personally, but it's on my list of places to go...Chowhounders like this place.

      -Goldfish - might be your best SECOND CHOICE if Ray's is too far away

      -LaGrotta Ravinia - we had a private dining event here for about 80 people and could not have been more pleased with the entire experience. It's not a private room, but they gave us a section of the restaurant that made it private enough. Food is quite good. BTW, our group's size ruled out many of the choices here but your smaller group has more options than we had.

      -Maggiano's (Perimeter) - A good choice if budget is an issue. You've probably been to a Maggiano's somewhere. The private dining rooms and the service at this location are excellent. But eyeball the rooms because some are better than others.

      -Ray's on the River - in Sandy Springs but just inconvenient enough from St. Jude's that it might not work traffic-wise. Otherwise my FIRST CHOICE as food and ambiance are excellent! On the upper end price-wise of the choices here.

      -Ruth's Chris Steak House - surely you've been to one of these somewhere...this one is the same...good location from St. Jude's though

      -Seasons 52 (Perimeter location) - another chain, with a hip and healthy menu

      -Wildfire - not quite a chain, several other locations, mainly Chicago. An excellent choice.

      -5 Seasons Brewing - something completely different from every other choice here

      1. re: glecroy
        b
        bobstripower Aug 18, 2011 06:47 PM

        my daughter had her wedding reception at La Grottta at Ravinia--they did an incredibel job--the place is just gorgeous and has a terrific outdoor setting that hosts weddings etc--we had ours inside and took over half the restaurant--they usually have music on the weeknds,so you may get some free music.Food selection is terrific,servicewas great--id hughly recommend it. Its a really nice htoel too,so the guests could stay there and dring to their hearts content not worrying about driving

        1. re: bobstripower
          g
          glecroy Aug 18, 2011 08:34 PM

          Thanks to you both! We're from Huntsville, AL, so we have been to Atlanta many times. I think we had a terrific lunch at La Grotta several years ago. It's in a hotel across the street from a mall? I think it must be the place because it had gorgeous outdoor decks and gardens. I was looking at their menu last night and emailed them asking about private rooms. In February we will probably be inside. I think we have also eaten at Chequers, Do they have an awesome happy hour with cheap lobster? Or maybe that was someplace else, or maybe we went to Sunday brunch there. We have not been to Ruth's Chris there, but I guess they are all good. We've been to Flemings in Nashville, about the same as Ruth's Chris. Is Maggiano's actually in the mall? Across from the W Hotel? I think we arrived late one night and ate there. I wasn't blown away by it. Bride doesn't want brewery, we had that for other son's rehearsal dinner last month in Massachusetts with southern style BBQ catered in, and banana pudding for dessert. The caterer didn't make sweet tea though. Thank goodness we are only the groom for both weddings :) I'll check these out - I appreciate your input!!

          1. re: glecroy
            b
            bobstripower Aug 19, 2011 05:30 AM

            LaGrotta has several private rooms, one is just off the restaurnt and opens into a deck outside where folks could have a drink pre-dinner.Feb can have some nicer days.It is near the Mall. Chequers has a good barscene,and a nice restaurnt--i dont recall private rooms, and the way its built i dont think you coild cardon off a part of the place for an event.
            BTW, my daughter aslo got married at St Judes--we had alot of out of town guests,and were afraid theyd get terminally lost in Atlanta, so we hired a bus for the out of towners and took them to and from the wedding to the hotel by a private coach that seats over 40 prople as i recall. Magianos is at the mall--its OK, but being from NYC i expecct more from an Italian place

      2. jboeke Aug 19, 2011 11:00 AM

        What about La Petite Maison? I haven't eaten there (DH doesn't like French) but it gets great reviews on CH, and it looks like it could be cozy and keep you out of the Perimeter Mall area to avoid the Friday night traffic. Then it's also easy access to 285 to 400 for those that want to head downtown afterward. But wow, this wedding is all over the city! Only other option I thought to add is not really in the aread of St. Judes, but I had my wedding reception at 103 West in Buckhead. They did an amazing job because they only do private events.

        -----
        La Petite Maison
        6510 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30328

        103 West
        103 West Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, GA 30305

        4 Replies
        1. re: jboeke
          k
          krwolffman Aug 19, 2011 12:02 PM

          +1 on 103 West. And truth be told, Sandy Springs INTO Buckhead on a Friday evening is not as bad as the other direction. But it's still a dicey proposition. And if you're opening up to Buckhead as an option, you probably add at least another twenty or so possibilities.

          Glecroy, if you decide you're open to areas outside Dunwoody/Sandy Springs, let us know.

          -----
          103 West
          103 West Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta, GA 30305

          1. re: jboeke
            b
            bobstripower Aug 19, 2011 02:08 PM

            agrre Petite maison is very good as well--we had a 60th Bday party there last year--they have a very nice room in the back that holds maybe 60 ppeople--room for a band and dancing--food is very good we eat there once a month--fav is beef bougeron (sp)

            1. re: bobstripower
              g
              glecroy Aug 19, 2011 08:29 PM

              Will have to check with bride regarding other areas. With Massachusetts wedding last month it seems like we did lots of driving on the turnpike going to bride's home to hotel to rehearsal to dinner to wedding to reception, all in different places. And Massachusetts is a small state. With the various locations I would think we might prefer something between St. Jude and downtown, on the way if you will, to a bar downtown (I guess the bride may know about those, since she went to GA Tech). Do any of the recommendations fit that description? I'm good with either Italian or French but. I think Italian may be a little more mainstream and I'm not familiar with the wedding party's palates. Would 103 West do a group that small? Thanks again for the input. I've emailed the bride and groom to check out this thread out so we'll see what they think.

              1. re: glecroy
                g
                glecroy Aug 20, 2011 07:14 AM

                BTW, rehearsal is at 4 PM on Friday. Does that alter any of the recs? Looks like it makes sense to have it north of town like La Grotto or La Petite Maison rather than on the way downtown to let the traffic die down - will it? Would the traffic be bad around perimeter mall by 5 -5:30? For either La Grotto or La Petite Maison, did they have the group order in advance or did everyone order off the menu? Maybe we have drinks at 5:30 and dinner at 6:00. Thanks y'all!

          2. k
            krwolffman Aug 20, 2011 07:00 AM

            Ray's on the River still fits the bill of between St. Jude's and downtown, without having to deal with the mess of Buckhead. Recall it was my first choice recommendation above.

            But...if you're willing to go just a bit farther...and still on the way downtown...highly recommend you check out Canoe. They have a special event tent directly on the river...it is a beautiful setting.

            Both Ray's and Canoe will give you the river. But with Canoe you're "outside." I put that in quotes because it is February and the tent is warm enough.

            -----
            Ray's on the River
            6700 Powers Ferry Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30339

            12 Replies
            1. re: krwolffman
              b
              bobstripower Aug 20, 2011 09:28 AM

              not to be disagreeable here but St Judes is in the heart of Decatur, a
              long way especually on a friday from Rays and Canoe--they are both great places,but the drive doesnt seem to meet the OPs needs

              1. re: bobstripower
                k
                krwolffman Aug 20, 2011 11:46 AM

                OP stated that the church in question is on Glenridge Drive in Sandy Springs (see second post above). If we find out she's looking at a Decatur church, I agree that's a whole different ball game.

                1. re: krwolffman
                  g
                  glecroy Aug 20, 2011 08:49 PM

                  Never been to the church and don't know about Decatur, other than the one that's 30 minutes from Huntsville AL and home to Big Bob Gibson's BBQ (you should try if you ever get to Huntsville), but on Mapquest the church is only 3 miles from La Petite Maison, looks very convenient. Also convenient to La Grotto Ravinia although I suppose traffic will be worse around Perimeter Mall. I spoke with them both today. La Grotto already faxed the banquet menu with several price points, depending on the selections we want to offer. La Petite Maison will have the owner call me back to discuss around the end of the month after they get the new menu done I think. Haven't heard back from bride or groom about their thoughts yet. Rehearsal dinner probably not her most pressing item and she's been traveling for work. She may have something else entirely in mind. I just don't want to worry about finding a place for a group that big at the last minute, not being that familiar with Atlanta. We probably average going to Atlanta once or twice a year, but not with a big group.

                  1. re: glecroy
                    b
                    bobstripower Aug 22, 2011 06:48 AM

                    from a traffic viewpoint, petite maison would be easier--the traffic around perimeter mall is pretty heavy till around 6.although the hotel is right at 285.Maison exit is way befroe traffic backs up on 85,and you can easily get there using back roads at tha time of day

                    1. re: bobstripower
                      b
                      bobstripower Aug 23, 2011 04:34 PM

                      OOPS MY BAD--- i been suggesting peteite maison,which is an excellent place, but thinkng Violettes on Clairmont--thats where the Bday party was , and it has a nice large back room--i dont think Maison does,although it has a large tenetd area out front. Violetees may be a little cheaper,my recollection it was 25/head plus drinks sorry

                    2. re: glecroy
                      ted Aug 22, 2011 09:07 AM

                      I tend to eschew formality, and one of my favorite rehearsal dinners was at the Eclipse di Luna on Miami Circle. The food was as good when set up for a group as it is in individually-prepared plates.

                      I like Chequers for more formal. Feels like you're in an upscale TGIFridays, but the food's very good. I'd bet they could cordon off part of the place for you. Might be slightly out there, but Rumi's is near the church and does great food. You could take over the whole place with the rehearsal crowd.

                      Oh, and you should check out Decatur, GA, too, it's a happening place.

                      -----
                      Eclipse di Luna
                      764 Miami Circle, Suite 138, Atlanta, GA 30324

                      1. re: ted
                        b
                        bobstripower Aug 22, 2011 11:20 AM

                        agree Rumis is a reall good spot dont know if theyd close for you

                        1. re: bobstripower
                          jboeke Aug 23, 2011 05:54 AM

                          I think Rumi's is a risk with a big crowd. I think you'd be better off playing it safe if the bride/groom don't have a strong preference for Persian food. Stick with Italien, American or French to feed the masses. However, Eclipse di Luna is very food-friendly for the masses (despite being "tapas") and could be fun, if the bride/groom want a more casual atmosphere (and sangria!). There's both the Miami Circle location and the Perimeter Mall, so you have 2 options to consider for traffic purposes.

                          -----
                          Eclipse di Luna
                          764 Miami Circle, Suite 138, Atlanta, GA 30324

                          1. re: jboeke
                            g
                            glecroy Aug 30, 2011 06:57 PM

                            Thanks to all of you for the comments and recommendations! Now we just have to wait for the bride and groom for some feedback. I agree that we should probably play it safe, not knowing the preferences of wedding party and their dates. I think I'm leaning towards either La Grotta or Eclipse, depending on how formal they want to be. They are going to Atlanta in November so maybe can check them out. Hopefully that won't be too late to reserve!!
                            Gail

                            1. re: glecroy
                              g
                              glecroy Sep 23, 2011 07:05 PM

                              Sent deposit to reserve room at La Grotta today. Thanks for all the help!
                              Gail

                              1. re: glecroy
                                g
                                glecroy May 8, 2012 11:24 AM

                                Report on rehearsal dinner - Service was very good, didn't rush us when one guest was running late, everyone loved the food they ordered. We didn't go outside for drinks though we might could have. I asked if we could take the opened bottles of wine with us for the party after wedding and Michael said yes, but we forgot until our car was brought around, so we left them. I couldn't have asked for a better experience, thanks for all your help!! We did have flowers delivered from a florist Michael recommended. He was very helpful and easy to work with. Thanks again!! Gail

                                1. re: glecroy
                                  b
                                  bobstripower May 9, 2012 10:06 AM

                                  thanks for report--they contine to do a good job there

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