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quiet, quality business lunch?

I have a standing lunch meeting with a group of 6-8 people, and we've been meeting at a range of places in DC - trying to balance a desire for good quality food with a relatively quiet location that allows for everyone in the group to hear the conversation. We've tried places in Georgetown (Cafe Divan), Cleveland Park (Bistro Lepic), downtown (Zaytinya - too loud) - all of which are general locations that work for the group. Any recommendations for good but quiet and intimate lunch places would be most appreciated!

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  1. What about Equinox? The food is excellent and the location is easy to get to. As well, I believe they let you reserve their "wine room" which accomodates about 8 people at no cost. Although a quick look at their website makes me think they might charge for the room now. Could be an option regardless. Also, Blue Duck Tavern is generally a very nice space, and not too loud. The food is always top-notch, although in full disclosure I have not been since the new chef arrived...

    1. In Georgetown I think that Peacock Cafe would work for this type of meeting. In Cleveland Park maybe Ardeo (are they open for lunch) or Palena's Cafe. Downtown there are a bunch of choices---Bibiana, The Hamilton, Againn and Bistro D'Oc would all work.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Elyssa

        thanks - these are great recommendations - and the challenge of course with the Cleveland Park area is many places are closed for lunch. But Equinox, Bibiana, Bistro D'Oc all sound great. I really appreciate the ideas. And welcome others...

      2. how's the food at Poste these days? I had a business lunch there once in a back room, East of the main room IIRC (ask when reserving) with a group of maybe 6-8 and the terrace is always nice.

        god I can't even imagine eating at Zaytinya with more than 3 others and having anything resembling a conversation.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hill food

          yes - Zaytinya was a low point in terms of audibility, and part of why I am seeking better advice from folks on places to go! I will definitely look into Poste - thank you!

        2. In addition to those already mentioned, I would recommend The Oval Room, The Bombay Club, and 701. All have very good to excellent food and the type of ambiance you are looking for. All are downtown and all are part of the Ashok Bajaj restaurant group.

          1. Heritage India in Glover Park is good and quiet for lunch.

            1. Tucked away down a short flight of stairs on Jefferson Street is Giovanni's Trattu. Jefferson is a one block side street cutting through the middle of the square created by M, N, 18th and 19th NW. It is a small space with solid Italian food and efficient, professional service. The osso buco, saltimbocca, buccatini and linguine with clams have always been excellent.

              1. In downtown, how about Makoto, Tosca or 1789?

                1 Reply
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  1789 is not open for lunch.
                  Makoto is not downtown, it is in the Palisades.
                  Tosca is a good downtown choice.

                2. RIS hasn't been generating much excitement lately but it is good food in a calm and conversation friendly room.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hill food

                    Good call! Ris is actually great during lunch hours. They also have outdoor seating if it's nice out.