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Group dinner restaurants for mid-September

Hi all, seeking current opinions on D.C. restaurants that would be worth looking into to reserve a Friday dinner, party of 14.

Here's where I've looked so far:
Restaurant Nora (not available)
Blue Duck Tavern (awaiting response)
Zaytinya (available)
Farmers Fishers Bakers (not available... no parties >8 on weekends?!?)

The guests of honor have well-rounded appetites. The dinner is in celebration of a significant anniversary, so I'm looking for a place that would be able to host that (i.e. has great food & environment -- does not have to be a culinary or trendy experience).

Thank you all in advance for your advice.

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  1. Try L'Auberge Chez Francois, it is pretty with great service. We have had pat as a server and he was good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pat12

      Thank you for this rec; unfortunately L'Auberge is in Great Falls, which is outside of the travel range for some of our guests.

    2. Does price matter because you have quite the range above? Are you looking for a private room?

      Equinox has a great wine room that would be perfect for a celebration like this. I'm fairly sure it can fit a group your size. This will be on the pricier end of course.

      Other options to look into: Ris, The Source, Rasika (in the private room in the West End location), and Acadiana. All have wonderful food, good service and should be able to fit a group your size.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Elyssa

        Thanks Elyssa, this is a helpful list; I will look them up.

        Right now we are casting a wide net just to see what's actually available on the date we have. We're asking our guests (aside from the guests of honor) to contribute a small per person amount, and we will cover the rest -- so price is sort of negotiable... TBD by what restaurants can host us.

        A private room is not necessary, provided that the main dining area of the restaurant is quiet enough for conversation. We'd prefer to reserve a time at the earlier end of the night, which should help with that.

        1. re: insectazoids

          All the places I mentioned above should be large enough to accomodate your group regardless of private room or not (Equinox would likely be able to fit you in the front area with the windows), with the exception possibly being Rasika---but you would want a private room there in order to avoid noise.

        2. re: Elyssa

          I just hosted a smaller group at Ris and it was a big success. Great food and service. We were there earlyish on a weeknight and it was not at all crowded. I've been there when it is busier and didn't find the noise to be a problem.

          1. re: tcamp

            Thanks for this good feeback -- I contacted Ris yesterday and hope to hear from them sometime in the next few days.

            1. re: insectazoids

              Ris is fantastic and a good choice for your group- not too noisy, interesting food and not terrible parking...always good in DC :)

            2. re: tcamp

              THis is another really good recommendation. Great food and service!

          2. Zaytinya is very noisy. I am not sure if the noise problem continues up to the balcony where there is a table for groups.

            FFB, food is corporate casual, not particulalry good. A safe choice if you don't care about eating particularly well.

            Alba Osteria has an interesting private room that would fit with your size. Outstanding creative pasta dishes prepared with serious skill.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Steve

              Thanks Steve. Zaytinya is one of the few places we've contacted that is available, so your observation re: noise is very helpful in terms of helping us decide if we actually want to book there or not.

              1. re: insectazoids

                The noisiest dinner I've ever suffered through was at Zaytinya. It's always very loud, but on this particular evening a group on a bachelorette party literally screamed their way through dinner and the restaurant did nothing to calm them down.

            2. It depends a lot on what you are looking for price wise. Some places to consider:

              Contemporary American

              Cedar - 822 E Street, NW
              Finn & Porter - 900 10th St NW

              Greek

              Kellari Taverna - 1700 K Street NW

              Steakhouses/Seafood -

              McCormick & Schmick's Seafood - 1652 K Street, NW and 901 F St, NW
              The Capital Grille - 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
              Palm Restaurant - 1225 19th Street N.W.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dinwiddie

                Thanks for all these recommendations! I'll look into them. Also -- I'm intrigued by your screen name; it is a family name of mine! Small world here on Chowhound.

                1. re: insectazoids

                  It is a nickname I got in college because I spent my senior year in high school in Dinwiddie VA. When I went to LA nobody believed that there could be a town of only 200 people. What they did not know was that I had grown up all over the world and prior to being in Dinwiddie was in Washington DC

              2. How about The Palm in Tyson's corner. They have a room that is perfect size for 14. The Steaks and lobster are great as is almost anything you get there. The servers are so professional. Not sure why it doesn't get more love on this blog.