So you’re looking to celebrate with friends in DC? Uh-huh. And you want to have a nice meal with more than 5 other people? Riiight. Oh, and you’d like this to be a dining experience more unique than four tables pushed together at your favorite restaurant? Buckle up my friend, it’s going to be a hell of a search. Large group dining in DC can be an unrewarding challenge. Factory-stamped chains are often the restaurants most readily equipped for a party of 6 or more while other places that can handle the size include an insurmountable upcharge.

To soothe the pain, here are three of our favorite group dining set ups in DC:

Poste Market-to-Market 
A summer-only dining event, Poste’s Market-to-Market dinner is, hands down, one of my favorite special meals in DC. Every Thursday night in the summertime Chef Robert Weland takes a group of diners to the Penn Quarter market where he walks from stall to stall inspecting and selecting goods, chatting with proprietors, and discussing the bounty of the local countryside. Diners are then seated in a private nook in the Poste courtyard where the VIP treatment continues through the multi-course, seasonal meal. You can check out our in-depth review from last summer here. We’re hoping to make a return visit this August to take full advantage of the summer’s produce.

— UPDATE —-

We heard from Poste today that they’ve also launched a family-style Poste Roast available for reservations Friday – Wednesday nights in the courtyard. Dinners feature local meats spit-fired over their new grill and served up along side herbs from the countyard garden.  The dinner can host 6-12 people and costs under $30. Not a bad deal at all.

 Poste
555 8th St NW
Washington, DC 22204 

Two more unique group dining experiences after the jump!
The Farm Table at Planet Wine
IMG_7678Evening Star Cafe, a neighborhood favorite in Del Ray, recently expanded their dining options to include a private dining experience at Planet Wine with The Farm Table. For special occasions, the staff will set you up with a fantastic exclusive dining experience in the back of the store, amid stacks of wine bottles and lit candles. Starting with a long wooden farm table smack in the middle of Planet Wine,  you and your guests will be treated to a private evening of wining and dining in the shop – patrons are welcome to peruse the shelves for anything they might like to drink that evening. Mike and I visited for a recent blogger dinner and enjoyed a seasonal menu of all the latest goods the nearby farms had to offer courtesy of Chef Artley, including what might be the best deviled eggs I have ever tasted (sorry Mom).  One small note of warning: Seating around the farm table is a pair of long benches on each side. Cozy, yes, but ladies may want to rethink that cute summer dress.

The Farm Table at Planet Wine
2004 Mt Vernon Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301
The Farm Table at Planet Wine on Urbanspoon 

Filomena’s Kitchen Table
Filomena’s Italian restaurant must be an Ikea designer’s worst nightmare. Every inch of the space is decked out to celebrate the next holiday in queue, no wall or column is spared. For some, this overload of kitsch is too much but for others it feels homey and juuust right. The Kitchen Table at the back of the restaurant is even cozier. The golden-lit space is set up to replicate an Italian Nana’s capable kitchen, right down to the pots hanging from the ceiling. The menu for the table is the same as the rest of the space, but diners are shielded somewhat from the hubbub around them and the space feels undeniably familial. Our food tips: Throw caution to the wind, order your own plate of pasta, don’t skip dessert and definitely enjoy the complimentary sambucca and amaretto after the meal. 

Filomena’s
1063 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007