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ISO great Seattle restaurant for rehearsal dinner

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Hello 'hounders,

As the family foodie, I have been asked to help plan my brother's rehearsal dinner in Seattle over Labor Day weekend. Ideally, a restaurant with a private space for 30-40 people. I was hoping for Canlis but they are booked. Basically, I'm looking for a kind of 'quintessential Seattle' experience (views would be great), with price not so much of an issue. Something a little nicer than the Crab Pot; Matt's in the Market is possibly an option (would love your take on that). Any others I am missing?

Many thanks!

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  1. I would check out Palisade.

    1. Have you tried Pallisades? They have a couple of private rooms with nice views to Elliot Bay, and the marina just below the resto, and alternatively, just down the path is a little Yacht Club building that rents out; not sure if Pallisades cater's it, or if they have a seperate list. I went to a corp. holiday party there last year and it was charming with a very "Seattle' setting being right on the Marina, with the city view in the background.

      Ponti in Fremont would be another option, tho not sure if they have a private room per se; in the same area, perhaps the Book Bindery would book out the greenhouse room for a private party?
      Please elevate your base line WAY above the Crab Pot:), for all your brother's guests sake....

      4 Replies
      1. re: gingershelley

        I have to say, having been to a rehersal dinner at Ponti, that I wouldn't recommend it. They do have a private room, and the setting was lovely--we started with drinks and snacks on the patio on a beautiful late summer evening.

        However, they really didn't seem to understand how to do a private room dinner. There were about 30 guests, but by the 4th or 5th order of the two non-fish items (one meat, one vegetarian) they had run out. There were only, I believe about 5 choices entirely. Additionally, and I'm not sure how they managed this, they somehow forgot the sauce for the grooms entree and his dessert. Everyone else's arrived with sauce, just not his.

        My friend's now husband was pretty irked at the service and menu issues, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone else, so while I don't usually tell one-off mishap stories, I feel it's pertinent here.

        1. re: dagoose

          Dagoose, there was a time in the mid 00's when Alvin Binuya had left the resto, and the food service certainly suffered during that time. He has returned - I think just early last year, and have heard many reports of improvements across the board.

          I have only dined in a group of about a dozen as the largest I have ever been in there for a food company holiday dinner, and that was before he left; since his return, I have only been a duece dining, or for happy hour.

          Your comments are appreciated I am sure for some caution here... when was your experience there?

        2. re: gingershelley

          I had a private party for my partner's birthday at Palisade and I would highly recommend it. The food is not in the Canlis category (IMHO) but it was very good and the service was impeccable. They have 3 private rooms. We had the smaller one for about 25 people and it was the perfect size. It was a spectacular evening and the views of Mt. Rainer and Elliott Bay Marina there are lovely. The staff was easy to work with and enormous help in choosing menu items. You can rely on them for help in picking things that will satisfy a diverse group of people.

        3. Both Rays and Saltys have private event spaces. You might also check out the McCormicks on Lake Union - I read that they just renovated and Chef Birk (formerly of Rays) joined them. I have not dined there since the changes. No view, but you could check with Blueacre - their food is good and they have a private room in the back.

          1. Thank you, Hounds! The hunt continues....will keep you all posted.

            1. I don't know if they have a large enough room for 40, but I have been at private parties at Icon Grill and El Gaucho. Both were excellent. Tom Douglas certainly has private group space at a number of his places. Always good food.