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Where To Have A Casual Sunday Dinner?


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To the trusty members of DR.com, I pose the following challenge, for which I am sure you can handle:

I want to host a dinner on a Sunday evening after all of the tourist activities in DC are done for the day. There will be 14 full grown people and 6 not so full grown people attending. Some of the full grown people with the wee ones live in Maryland, others in NoVA. For a variety of reasons, I cannot host the evening at home.

So, I need to find a place to gather this random group. A casual place would be best (kids range from new born to 7). Anything but sushi would be appropriate for this group because I am sure that I could work something out for the picky kids just about anywhere. A "typical" DC place would be great too because 4 of the group are visiting.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.


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Bacchus in Dupont Circle. We hosted our rehearsal dinner of approximately 50 people there 2 years ago; virtually all were out of towners and generally not adventurous diners (approx. 1/2 Midwesterners and 1/2 Taiwanese-Americans, including 2 children, one of whom typically won't eat anything other than chicken fingers). It was a big hit. Very pretty but casual setting, plus with the proximity to Dupont, you can walk around the neighborhood afterwords. And, if your guests are not used to "ethnic" food (like our guests), they will think it's pretty cool without it being too "strange."

I second the 2 Amys suggestion. I always see families there, especially on Sundays. The only downside is the no-reservations policy...I wouldn't want to have 14 out-of-towners glaring at me while we waited.

Spices is another possibility with its long tables, something for everyone pan-asian cuisine, and also seems kid-friendly. Not necessarily traditionally "DC," but you could hit the zoo before or after (or drive by the National Cathedral).

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I've always had good luck at the Clyde's at Mark Center in Alexandria. I know it's kind of 'suburban' but it's been an option that pleases a wide variety of tastes in my family. They always have local and seasonal items on the menu and a good range of salads, sandwiches, entrees, meat, seafood, etc. so there is usually something to appeal to everyone. It's part of a local chain so that sort of meets the "typical" DC place. *and they take reservations*

The Mark Center location has several different 'themed' rooms so they should be able to accomodate your group. I don't know about the other Clyde's locations, but this one is convenient to 395 - not much to see in the area, but if they've done the sightseeing that might not be an issue. Maybe others have had experience with other locations.

Union Street Public House or Southside 815 in Old Town Alexandria are also casual places that would put you somewhere where you could take a walk around after dinner.

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