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! (more…)

I don’t think we could have hand-picked a better night to try Evening Star Cafe for the first time than Monday. The img_7536air was warm with a cool breeze, the Del Ray residents and their dogs were in full neighborly force on the sidewalk and there was a two-seater actually available on the patio when we arrived. We’d put our dinner fate in the hands of the Twitterverse that afternoon when trying to settle on a Del Ray dinner location, and it was paying off in spades. 

The Evening Star Cafe has been a low key Del Ray favorite since 1997, praised for its wholesome American dishes and relaxed atmosphere. It’s no mystery why: Evening Star Cafe is part of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, a restuarant organization that has cracked the code on homey places where everyone can feel like a regular. Their roster also includes Tallula, Vermillion, Buzz Bakery, and Rustico.

Food experiences and a top contender for the world’s best comfort dish after the jump. (more…)