Friday Question of the Day – What Restaurant Can Take Care of 60 People on Little Notice?

“Dear PoP,

I’m in a bit of a bind and figured PoP readers may have some suggestions. I had a rehearsal dinner scheduled for next Friday at one the Georgetown Waterfront restaurants. Needless to say, since it was inundated with about 4-5 feet of water Monday, we are in desperate need of an alternative location.

I’ve found some options, but they all fall outside our desired geographical area (Dupont, U st, Woodley Park). Any suggestions for a place that can put together a diner for 60 on short notice?”

Hmm what about Cassa Nonna located at 1250 Connecticut Ave, NW? Where would you guys recommend?

And for the Friday Question of the Day – where are the best restaurants in DC that can take care of a big group?

And on a side note: I’ve been meaning to share some good news of my own. So a month from today I’m getting married! I am beyond happy and promise to share a photo from the wedding (Pablo.Raw and Kay Campbell will be taking some shots). I know I don’t talk about personal things too much but I’m gonna be out of the loop a bit for a week at the end of May and for a week in the beginning of Sept. My fiancee is the greatest and doesn’t mind my insane blogging hours but I promised that I’ll be completely offline for our wedding and honeymoon. I hope to have the LoP, Eric Nuzum, fill in a bit while I’m gone. Thanks in advance for understanding!

83 Comment

  • Whoa, congratulations! This calls for a special commemorative “royal wedding” tee shirt, for sure!

  • Totally agree with Mr. T. I haven’t claimed my prize for last week’s caption, and now I think I’ll hold off til the special princely wedding version is available.

    Mazel tov!

  • How about Otello off Dupont Circle? Friends of mine had their engagement party there and they were easy to work with.

  • Wow. So many royal weddings this spring…Kate and William and now the Prince and Princess of Petworth! I assume our local royals will wed at the National Cathedral with Muriel Bowser officiating? Will the reception be held at The Hitching Post? Will the newest PoP be wearing Vera Wang? Are your colors yellow and green? Is Greater Greater Washington the guest book attendant, with DCist serving as ring bearer. It sounds like a perfect day!

  • I would suggest a Farragut restaurant — many of them are dead on days when there is no work the next day.

  • Congrats PoP!

    PoPville can survive without you while you take time for your wedding and honeymoon 🙂

  • I’m so happy for you PoP! Congratulations!

  • Super congratulations! And I agree with other comments -this is definitely THE royal wedding this spring.

    Have a joyful, wonderful celebration.

  • Congrats on the hitching!

    Answer: Clyde’s. Used to rampaging tourists and sports fans, plenty of space to accommodate, reasonable middle of the road taste-wise and price-wise. Clean.

  • The thing is, PoP goes on honeymoon, and that’s the damn week when PoPnet becomes self-aware. Hello blogagedon.

  • Sweet news! Mozel Tov.

    If only the Miss Ann were in town, they could easily handle 60! (darned CG inspections).

  • Mazel Tov, Pop! How wonderful.

  • Congratulations, PoP!

  • with a group that big, you’ll probably want a private room and it doesn’t sound like money’s an object if you were originally planning on gtown. still, this is actually tough given your geographic requirements (U Street is small).

    Grill from Ipanema has a private room and is slightly more upscale and could probably accommodate (but limited menu))?
    Cashion’s or Regent Thai (shut down half the restaurant)?
    Rosemary’s Thyme (private room)?

    I bet Lauriol would even allow for a reservation maybe the entire second floor and tourists always dig that.

    • meant to say most of the u street restaurants are tight fits

    • and of course penn quarter has mega restaurants e.g. fogo, carmines, tenpenh, that might be able to help

      • Second Carmines (call Rose) … not in DuPont, but a great place. We had our reception lunch there after we got hitched at the JoP last month! Welcome to the club PoP!!! Congratulations!!!!

    • last middle of the night post: one week’s notice isn’t really that last minute. tomorrow would be pushing it!

  • Might want to check out the Lincoln Cottage. It isn’t near Dupont, there’s no mass transit, but it would be memorable. Not sure if they have the capacity to do 60 seated (they can do 40 seated for certain), but wouldn’t hurt to ask. I’m sure it’s quite pricey, but what isn’t.

    Congrats, PoP. It was bound to happen that you’d catch someone’s eye whilst looking at all those transoms.

  • Mazel tov, PoP!

  • congrats, PoP!!! wishing everything runs smoothly (and hopefully you didn’t plan any part of your big day/weekend in the georgetown waterfront area…yikes!), and can’t wait to see the pics!

    as to the OP: i too am in a similar situation, having planned a rehearsal dinner for 60 at farmers & fishers, but i’ve got a little more time to find a fallback venue. the poor F&F event planner suggested westwood country club out in vienna as a fallback…she’s probably so inundated with relocating everyone’s events, that vienna is the closest she can do.

    i will say in my research, these were my runner-ups: in georgetown, ristorante piccolo (they were going to give us the entire room past the bar…they claimed to be able to fit 60 seated, but it seems like a tight squeeze); in u street area, local 16 (rooftop); in downtown, equinox; if money were no object, blue duck tavern or city tavern club (something pricey about putting “tavern” in your title. hmmm. although i would definitely assume they’ve both been booked for next weekend).

    also, you can go to opentable and put in the search box for # of people “larger party,” and it will list all DC spots in a very organized fashion that are registered with them that seat, umm, larger parties 😀

    hope that helps! good luck (to us both) 🙂

  • If your looking for something a little less formal but fun you could always give Buca Di Beppo in Dupont a try.

    • ew gross. do not eat at buca di beppo. ever. in life.

      • I disagree. I’m an Italian-American, from NJ, and I can vouch that Buca does decent Italian. Nothing mind-blowing, but I would go there if I had a big crowd.

    • Similarly, I would recommend Carmine’s. They are decent and can definitely handle large parties.

  • Congrats and best wishes!

  • You could try Al Crostino on U Street (between 13th and 14th), which has very solid Italian food and an upstairs seating area that might fit 60. The last few times I’ve been there, the upstairs has been empty, even on a weekend. Worth a call. (202) 797-0523.

  • Congratulations – a royal wedding indeed!

    As far as restaurants go, maybe something closer to downtown area that is used to handling work events during the day but doesn’t have much on the books at night? I’m not sure what that would be offhand, but I’m guessing there are a number of restaurants in the area that fit the bill.

    Good luck (to the OP and PoP)


  • Paparazzi’s in Georgetown did an AMAZING job for our rehearsal dinner. Plenty of parking in the Shops @ Georgetown lot (not cheap, but literally next to the restaurant), good service and the ability to make gluten free dishes was what really made Paparazzi’s a great choice.

  • PoP, what wonderful news! All the best to you and your intended.

    To the OP – try Eatonville at 14th and V! They have an upstairs that they use for private parties, and the food is delicious.

  • Congrats Dan! Wishing you and your lovely lady all the best 🙂

  • mtpgal


  • I went to a wedding at The Saloon on U Street a couple weeks ago that was very nice. You can rent out the whole second floor and have it catered. Might be a better option than a restaurant.

  • You’re such a slacker PoP. A week off for both a wedding and a honeymoon?

    I kid! Congratulations!

  • Try the Tabard Inn–fantastic food and they have several medium-sized function rooms–or Hotel Helix.

    • good suggestion, but I looked into the Tabard Inn for a rehearsal dinner and I think the most they sat comfortably was 45 or so.

  • Congrats PoP that’s great news!!!!! Will be excited to see photos from Pablo Raw of the royal wedding.

    • Get the duck and substitute in the jalapeño cheese grits… One of the most delicious meals in DC!

    • I will second the Passion Food group restaurants (e.g., Acadiana, Ceiba, Tenpenh, etc.). They’re not quite as trendy as they used to be (which means you’ll be able to get in and not fight for attention), but the service is is still stellar and food top notch. When you’re dealing with a group that big, I can’t overestimate how important good service will be. You don’t want people waiting an hour for their food.

  • Acadiana.

  • Hooray! A Princess of Petworth! Congratulations!

  • Chef Geoff’s has a nice private dining room that would work well for a group that size.

  • Congrats on your wedding!!

  • Bear

    Try Rosemary’s Thyme, at 18th & S near Dupont. It’s not as fancy as some Georgetown places, but the food is good, they have a private dining room that will hold 60 people, and they’re easy to work with.

  • Your mother must be ecstatic!

  • Congrats, PoP!

  • What about Guapo’s in Tenleytown?

    They have a huge room upstairs that is rarely used once the patio gets going.

  • Congrats, Pop!

  • Buca di Beppo. Sure, it’s a chair, and it’s loud, but it’s delicious and super fun!!

  • Maybe Carmine’s. It’s a pretty big restaurant and they probably have some private dining rooms. Just don’t expect great food or great service.

  • Mazel tov PoP. May your royal blogginess rule. Just tell us where you’re registered.

  • congrats, PoP!

    how about buca di beppo or carmine’s (not dupont, but on the red line)? we ended up having to move our rehearsal dinner on the day-of due to some sort of broken pipe flooding issues at our original location, so i feel the OP’s pain. we only had 15-20 people, though, and busboys and poets was able to accomodate us.

  • Congrats POP! All the best!

  • second for tabard inn

  • Congrats PoP! To the OP, I don’t know if Heritage India in Glover Park would be willing to give you the entire front or back dining room, but they also have the seating space in the Heritage Thai section downstairs and for me personally I would love a good Indian buffet for a rehearsal dinner! Good luck!

  • Taberna del Alabadero (18th and I) has an upstairs room that is rarely used on the weekends. Heritage India accommodates large groups – I had my rehearsal dinner there with not a lot of advance notice.

  • PoP — I like that you told us how great your fiance is. That is so beautiful. Best wishes! How lucky you both are!

  • Also, has this couple found a restaurant yet? I mean it’s dinner tonight, right?

  • Maggianos

  • I am astonished at the multiple recommendations for buca di beppo. seriously, people. this has got to be the trashiest, worst restaurant in all of dc. the food is totally gross and the atmosphere is 1/2 a notch above chuck e cheese. their business model is to feed hoards of overweight suburbanites that arrive on tour buses, for chrissake!

    • Have you ever been there? I’ll concede that the decor is cheesy as hell (that’s sort of the point) but the food’s good. Though I’ve never tried the ones in DC…

    • it’s less that it’s great food and more that they handle tour buses, thus, a 60 person group is no big deal.

  • Congratulations Dan! Mazel tov.

  • Congratulations, Prince! Who cares about William and Kate’s wedding?? The news of yours is much more important!

  • Drat, I missed my chance 🙂

    Seriously, congratulations on getting married! Can’t wait to see the pablo.raw photos!

  • Mazel tov, PoP!

  • saf

    Congrats Dan!

    And as for the question – does the questioner have a preferred price range?

    (Sadly, the place we had our rehearsal dinner is long closed (Petito’s Restaurant in Woodley Park))

    I’d be calling Equinox, as well as their new restaurant that I suddenly can’t remember the name of. And New Heights. And Petit Plats. Dino too. Ardeo/Bardeo. Corduroy.

  • notlawd

    Congrats to PoP and the OP! Cant wait for the picts. I had my rehersal dinner at B. Smith’s in Union Station and the back room was definately large enough for 60.

  • Congrats PoP!!!

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Thanks for all the warm wishes everybody!

  • I would try Darlington House to see if their top floor is available. We had a pre-wedding rehearsal dinner there (as in the night before our rehearsal dinner, I had family in town and we went there) – they were very helpful and the food was way better than I thought it would be. It was very good!

    Also, Rosemary’s Thyme is a great option – I also considered them for our rehearsal dinner. Granted, we had half as many people and I’m anti-rehearsal dinner, but give those a try.

  • Try Nora, you can see their banquet rooms and menus on line and it is surprisingly affordable because the ‘minimums’ are low.

  • Call and see if Cantina Marina is booked. Hop on the green line– we did our “dinner” there–actually just a taco bar, margaritas and beer and folks loved loved loved it. They can do tons of that kind of food on short notice if one of the private areas is open.

  • holy shit 60 for the rehearsal dinner!!!!

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