Dear PoPville – Restaurant Recommendations for Large Parties

Photo by PoPville flickr user Nivad

“Dear PoPville,

A friend recently asked me to help plan a dinner as a surprise for her significant other’s birthday in a few months. They live outside the beltway, as do most of their friends who will be joining us, but they would like to do a casual dinner in DC, and then head out to a few local bars afterwards.

As a resident of the District who has family visit semi-frequently, I know it can be very stressful to find a place for a large group to dine. I’ve had hosts/hostesses literally laugh in my face when I ask if they could seat 10 folks at my regular neighborhood hangouts.

Are there any restaurants that you would recommend that could seat a large group (15-20 in this particular case) on a Saturday night?”

27 Comment

  • Boqueria in Dupont was really accomidating to out party of 15 (turned into 19 while we were there) for a Saturday brunch. I can’t say how they would be on a night, but with reservations I’m sure it would be great.

    Zengo has also been very accomidating to large (12-15) reservations, but they make you go through their event planner. It really wasn’t too much trouble though because he was also very responsive.

  • I think OpenTable has a search option for this.

  • Lauriol Plaza always works well for us. They’ve helped us with a number of large parties, very easy, nice, fun, great atmosphere, etc.

  • Commissary in Logan Circle has been very accommodating for me with large groups on multiple occasions. They’re also great about accommodating dietary restrictions and food allergies.

    • Too bad the food sucks. Places that do a lot of groups tend to be mediocre at best.

      • The food most certainly does not suck there. You’ll get a solid meal at a reasonable price there. What restaurants in DC, in Commissary’s price range, do you think don’t suck?

  • You might try Thai X-ing. I don’t know if they can accommodate a party quite that large, but I hosted a Meetup event there with something like 12 people once. They gave us the whole top floor. Founding Farmers may do it too, though on a prime weekend night, who knows.

  • I’ve done larger groups at Zaytinya, which has worked really well if you’ve got a group that’s into the tapas/sharing-style dinner.

  • I’ve been at Bistro du Coin in Dupont with a group of 15 before. We had a reservation and they handled a group that size with no problem.

  • Blue Duck Tavern has a private room. Seats up to about 20 I believe.

  • Cava Mezze in Barracks Row – I did a dinner for 18 on a Saturday night with no problem. Plus there are good bar options close by for festivities afterwards.

  • I’ve been to large parties at Lavagna in Barracks Row, and I’ve seen a large party in the glassed-off room at Zengo in Chinatown. Both have bangin’ food, too!

  • I was able to have a good table for 10 at the Matchbox location in Chinatown; I gave them two weeks’ notice.

  • Carmine’s in penn qtr.

  • Clyde’s is pretty good at accommodating large groups, and their menu is easy on the unadventurous.

  • If you can all embrace the corniness, Buca di Beppo can definitely accommodate you seating-wise, then you’re in Dupont for bars. You could also try the Hamilton or Old Ebbitt Grill, both are fairly large restaurants that regularly do private parties. I’ve also had luck with DC Coast, and Ardeo/Bardeo in Cleveland Park accommodated a large party I attended in their upstairs room.

  • I did a large party at Farmers and Fishers (before it closed/reopened). It was wonderful!

  • Ted & the Bully Bar has a good sized room in the back, this would be great for large groups.

  • Since they’re the headliner photo, I’ll say The Big Board was happy to seat my party of 11 on fifteen minute’s notice. That was for a 2 p.m. lunch, though.

  • Hill County is another option, if everyone in the group is a carnivore. If no one in your group as mobility issues, I’d suggest requesting the “loft” area. It’s part of a regular restaurant, but up a short flight of stairs, so people won’t be walking though your party all night. Even if that’s not available, they have a couple tables that can seat 20, or you can request enough smaller tables next to each other.

  • Little Ricky’s on 12 ST NE is great! They are very accommodating and have great (Cuban) food. The only problem would be there aren’t many places in that area to bar hop after dinner.

    • Little Ricky’s is in the middle of nowhere, in terms of after dinner nightlife.
      Whatever you do, make sure your friend books at least two weeks in advance. With that type of lead time, you can probably get reservations for 99% of the places in DC. If she wanted to do a hot restaurant, like Le Diplomat, probably do three weeks.
      I’d recommend a place off 14th Street NW (Le Diplomat, Matchbox, Ghibbelina, etc), since there’s lots of bars in the area and yuppie well-off suburban folks tend to like the scene around there.

      • Le Diplomate won’t take reservations for parties larger than 8. I know, I tried and they flat out told me they wouldn’t do a party of 10. We made a reservation for 8 and showed up with ten people and after some back and forth they let us crowd in. I don’t think they’d do a party 15, though.

  • Rosemary’s Thyme Bistro at 18th & S. Good, reasonably priced mediterranean food and they have a back room that can easily accommodate large parties. It’s between Dupont and Adams Morgan, so there are lots of options for after dinner.

    • There’s one of those here is the suburban boonies and it is terrible. So I’m surprised it’s any good at another location.

  • RedRocks on H St, huge restaurant, private dining room on 2nd floor. 1348 H St NE

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