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Group of 20-30 near Metro Center, First Week in February, Moderate Price-Point


dgreen
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The first week of February, I'm looking for a place within walking distance of Metro Center (1/2 mile max) for a group of about 20-30 people. A couple weeks ago, the group went to Old Ebbitt Grill and everyone seemed to enjoy that. But now it's my turn to pick a place and, of course, I want to set the bar higher :).

I'd like to stick to the Old Ebbitt Grill price point. I'm looking to present about 3 choices to a small group of people to help decide. While I'm guessing safe cuisine will win out, I'd like to present at least one place that could be different for most people. I considered making Rasika a suggestion, but it's about 3/4th a mile from our building so a bit too far.

A focus on handling large groups would be ideal.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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Duck fat fries? I'm in!

One more qualification, though: We're going to dinner, not lunch. Lunch menu looks perfect price-wise since it has several sandwiches, but dinner menu looks a bit on the pricey side and not many choices under $20.

And I guess I should add another qualification: some vegetarian/vegan dishes need to be available (which is probably true for just about any group of 20+ people now).

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Unfortunately, Bombay Club says we'd have to go with the prix fixe menu, which was either $55, $65, or $75 for a large group. Casa Luca also wants a group that large to go the private room route with a minimum food and drink purchase. Woodward Table looks like the winner for now. Any thoughts on Zaytinya for something like this?

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Unfortunately, Bombay Club says we'd have to go with the prix fixe menu, which was either $55, $65, or $75 for a large group. Casa Luca also wants a group that large to go the private room route with a minimum food and drink purchase. Woodward Table looks like the winner for now. Any thoughts on Zaytinya for something like this?

Zaytinya might give you more dietary-needs options if they allow you to order off the menu, but where would you sit? I think a private room is what you want, no? It would allow people more freedom to talk, circulate, etc. Woodward Table sounds like a really good venue, given your requirements, if it's not too pricey. You definitely want somewhere that's used to handling high-volume meals (if you go the private-room route, don't forget Acadiana). And The Hamilton is definitely Old-Ebbitish.

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My husband threw a surprise birthday party for me at Zaytinya, and I think once the group got over a certain size he also had to go the private room with minimum purchase route. (They do have a private room, or at least semi-private.) I think we ended up with just under 20 people. This was in 2013, so I don't know if their policies have changed.

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Argh! Woodward wants the minimum purchase and private room, too!!! I even said it's ok if we're not all at the same table and they said "We don't do that." I'm not even sure what that means. I guess I could have two or three people call in separate reservations to get us as separate tables, but then we could be at opposite ends of the restaurant (which may not be a big deal, but preferable if the tables are near each other).

This is frustrating.

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Went to Chef Geoff's with a group of 16 following the Nutcracker and they let us do it as a regular reservation. We were split into two tables, adults and kids but basically occupied a full section. Also did Boss Shepherds with a similar group last year for Nutcracker (they are closed Sundays so couldn't do it this year) and they put us in the private room upstairs with no minimum charges or anything and full menu available. That was probably a group of just over 20.

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Zaytinya wants a contract up front.

Boss Shepherds menu looks rough for vegetarians. Basically limited to a salad and some sides?

Chef Geoff's looks promising. Web site allows for reservations up to 20 people, but doesn't include the downtown location for some reason. I called the downtown location and nobody answered. I'll try back later.

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