Great group dinner at Tabule
Tabule does get some love here, but tends to fly under the radar because it's been around for a while. I just had a dinner for 14 there last night and wanted to report back on what a great experience it was.
For large parties, they ask that you pick a set menu. I normally don't like set menus, but in this case, the options are what I would have picked anyway. There are 8 options, that range in price from $25 - $39/person (this was for Sun - Thur, not sure what the prices are like for a Friday or Saturday). All of them are variations on a theme: platters of their apps and dips and pitas, followed by family-style servings of their kebabs, rice and salad, then some baklava for dessert.
Corkage is only $15, though they do have some nice cocktails on the menu, as well as great fresh juices for the non-drinkers.
Service was great -- our server handled our large group of exuberant diners with equanimity and aplomb. She was there when we had a request. She didn't blink at dealing with our bottles of champagne or the cake and candles the group brought in. She was wonderfully gracious about packing up the leftover desserts, even though the cake wasn't from the restaurant.
The food was, as always, delicious. I could happily make a meal out of the appetizers. In this case we had: tabule, hummus, babaganouj, fried cauliflower, falafel, grilled eggplant, and garlic tomatoes. For the mains, we had their tasty rice, salad and grilled chicken, beef, kefta and lamb. Everything was cooked well (beef was medium rare and juicy -- a feat when grilling kebabs) and really tasty.
So many restaurants struggle with large groups, but Tabule seems to have it mastered. It probably helps that the style of food lends itself to family-style eating. So if you're looking for a good venue for a casual dinner with a large group of friends or family, Tabule is a good choice.