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Bethesda: venue for food-focused wedding reception?

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turkoftheplains Oct 3, 2011 06:23 PM

I just got engaged, and now that the immediate (and all-too-brief) celebratory period is over my fiancée and I are left with the ugly realities of planning a wedding.

We want to actually enjoy this wedding, and what we enjoy is eating and drinking well. We've decided to skip the dancing (which neither of us care much about) in favor of getting a venue where we can have the best damn wedding dinner ever.

Our only constraint is location: we've decided for a variety of reasons to have the ceremony in Bethesda, so we'd like the reception to be there as well. We're looking for a place that does fine dining that would be appropriate for a wedding reception of ~50 people and is Chowhound-approved.

We're willing to expand our search out a few miles (e.g., Rockville, DC Palisades) but we'd have to think long and hard about anyplace in Downtown DC.

So where are we going to have our wedding?

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  1. DanielK RE: turkoftheplains Oct 4, 2011 08:17 AM

    In Bethesda proper, I would look at, in this order, Grapeseed, Black's, Tragara.

    I don't think there's anything in Rockville that's wedding-appropriate.

    If you want to consider Palisades, also look at BlackSalt.

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    Grapeseed
    4865 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

    Tragara
    4935 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

    BlackSalt
    4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

    2 Replies
    1. re: DanielK
      t
      turkoftheplains RE: DanielK Oct 4, 2011 07:18 PM

      Lots of great recommendations! How's the food at Grapeseed? I seem to see the word "staid" thrown around a lot in reviews-- of course, the right kind of staid (food that's interesting enough for you but won't scare the more provinicial palates on your guest list) can be perfect for a wedding.

      Interesting how the Black restaurants keep coming up. Anything to recommend one over the others?

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      Grapeseed
      4865 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

      1. re: turkoftheplains
        DanielK RE: turkoftheplains Oct 4, 2011 10:52 PM

        I'm fond of the food at Grapeseed. And I think Jeff Heineman would knock the ball out of the park for a wedding event.

        I think of Black's as more of an all-purpose restaurant, while BlackSalt focuses on seafood. But Black's has an extensive seafood menu as well. Either would be good. His other places, Addie's and Black Market Bistro, I don't think are appropriate for a wedding.

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        Grapeseed
        4865 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

        Black Market Bistro
        4600 Waverly Ave, Garrett Park, MD 20896

        BlackSalt
        4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

    2. d
      Doh RE: turkoftheplains Oct 4, 2011 08:53 AM

      What about Black Market Bistro? I don't know if they do events, and you might need to be in multiple rooms, but I think it would be a nice place to be.

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      Black Market Bistro
      4600 Waverly Ave, Garrett Park, MD 20896

      3 Replies
      1. re: Doh
        e
        elegantelliot RE: Doh Oct 4, 2011 10:19 AM

        Mattisse doesnt get much love on this board, but its on Wisconsion Ave right in DC and it is very good. its only a few miles from bethesda. The food is always consistent and it has a nice atmosphere. There arenty many "fine dining" places in Bethesda unfortuntely. Other than that the other recomendations are good options as well.

        1. re: elegantelliot
          p
          Pappy RE: elegantelliot Oct 5, 2011 05:34 AM

          Elliott is (again) spot on with this recommendation. Matisse is excellent. Fritz does a wonderful job with food and wine. He also has an upstairs dining room, which is ideal for private parties.

        2. re: Doh
          DanielK RE: Doh Oct 4, 2011 10:47 PM

          I consider BMB to be a bit too casual for a wedding.

        3. s
          skipper RE: turkoftheplains Oct 4, 2011 12:56 PM

          About 10 years ago, we attended a wedding at Tragaras (it has space upstairs) and it was lovely. The food was very good, etc.

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          Tragara
          4935 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

          1. n
            nickdanger RE: turkoftheplains Oct 5, 2011 09:08 AM

            Tragara has a nice upstairs room, but food is ordinary. Was not impressed by food at Grapeseed for Restaurant Week. I love the Chat Noir in Tenley; I believe they have a party room. I seem to recall that the former McCormick and Schmicks near the metro closed and that Cesco's owners were going to open there?

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            Grapeseed
            4865 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

            Tragara
            4935 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814

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