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Mar 4, 2013 05:08 PM

Hound-Family Graduation Weekend: Suggestions Needed!

Hi there!

So I'm graduating college in May and my family will be coming down for the weekend, meaning meals of varying size/time/purpose will be eaten. Planning must commence now because two major universities in D.C. have graduation that weekend -- meaning thousands of family members will be heading to the District (locals, beware!) -- and reservations will be filling up soon.

Right now the agenda includes Friday dinner for 5, Saturday brunch/lunch for 5, Saturday dinner for 9-10 and Sunday brunch/lunch for 12-15.

Cost isn't really an issue and I've taken my parents to Oyamel, Jaleo, Blue Duck Tavern, Founding Farmers, Firefly, District Commons, and Old Ebbitt (or, well, they've taken me!) in the past. The Sunday lunch includes a few children so I mostly need some help thinking of a place that can accommodate a large group (including kids) or has a smallish private room.

The Oval Room and Equinox have been on my to-try-when-the-parents-are-in-town list, so those are possibilities for the smaller meals. But suggestions for those are welcome too! We're an adventurous-eating bunch. Everyone will be staying in the downtown/Foggy Bottom area, for neighborhood context, though traveling for good eats is not a problem.

I've done research on the board archives but would love to supplement with suggestions and any newer places I wouldn't have come across yet.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Brunch- The Source- Saturday, Dino (could be good for a dinner too). Mintwood Place or Ripple might be good for the smaller dinner. The Mansion on O is kinda fun for brunch because then you can see the place, could be fun with the kiddos.

    Bigger dinner- what about Central? They have semi-private table and the food is pretty accommodating.

    1. My husband and I had The Oval Room's delicious tasting menu recently and we were reminded how stellar this restaurant can be. Recently, we've been eating their pre-theater menu before Arena performances. While the pre-theater food is excellent, for obvious reasons of price, the food doesn't exhibit the imagination or demanding technique of full-priced menu items. (The one big exception is the apple pie. The flaky crust is the stuff of dreams.)

      Oval Room chef Tony Conte is the executive chef of the restaurant group that also includes places like Bibiana, 701, and Rasika, all of which are good options for you. Our waiter at Oval Room was touting the recently revised menu at 701, explaining that Conte supervised the introduction of the new dishes.

      My best recommendation for Sunday lunch would be RIS. This place has a private room, a wide ranging menu, and a very accommodating tone. Perhaps most significantly, it is open on Sunday.

      If the children are adventuresome eaters, Zaytinya and Oyamel are open on Sunday for lunch. I don't know about private rooms in those places.

      1. First off Congrats on the graduation!

        Here is what I would do (and YES make reservations soon):

        Friday dinner: Equinox

        Saturday brunch/lunch: Mintwood Place

        Saturday dinner: Acadiana, Central, Hank's Oyster Bar (they have a private room upstairs now), or Bibianna.

        Sunday brunch/lunch: The Hamilton (can walk around the White House afterward) or District Commons (in Foggy Bottom--good choices, also might have a private room for you)