We need to eat and drink after our wedding rehearsal!
January 18, 2007 11:22 AM   Subscribe

What would be a good restaurant for a rehearsal dinner in Portland, OR?

Me and the future mrs. pdb's wedding is fast approaching, and we need to find a place for a rehearsal dinner. We both seem to be working a lot of long hours lately, and sadly, neither of us have the time to devote to going to a restaurant a couple times a week to check out potential venues.

I'm hoping to kick-start the process a bit by asking for help - what are some of your favorite Portland places for a fun get-together? Some criteria:

- Should be reasonably kid-friendly (but not Chuck E. Cheese-level kid friendly)
- Should (okay, must) serve alcohol
- Should not be hyper-formal
- Should not be a McMenamins (we're getting married at Edgefield)

Cuisine is almost secondary, but probably not as "adventurous" as a place like Marrakesh. The one place we've found that we liked pretty well is Salvador Molly's, and we were wondering if there are places with a similar feel to them (we're a boisterous group) that we just don't know about. Anybody got any ideas?
posted by pdb to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Old Spaghetti Factory? Cheap, very loud (i.e. good for kids!). I know it has its haters, but I like their food. Full bar. Several locations in the PDX metro area. If you have 30+, I think you can reserve their banquet room.
posted by peep at 11:29 AM on January 18, 2007

The Lucky Lab on Hawthorne has a nice sized room that can be rented pretty economically, and I believe it can be optionally staffed with a bartender. A private room is a pretty good idea, methinks.

Pazzo Ristorante has a private room downstairs if you're looking for something a little more upscale.

Also, many Chinese food restaurants have private/banquet rooms that can be had for little cost.

I've also heard of a fun couple who had their rehearsal dinner at a bowling alley, reserving the "birthday" room for the dinner and two lanes for the rehearsal itself, since their actual wedding venue wasn't available.
posted by terpia at 11:44 AM on January 18, 2007

Roux on N Killingsworth just opened a private room. We love the food there!
posted by trixie_bee at 12:27 PM on January 18, 2007

I was gonna say -- Lucky Lab on Hawthorne is wonderfully kid friendly (peanuts!), and the party room is cozy and much warmer/nicer than the big main area.

In the same brewpub vein, if you don't mind a downtown destination, Rock Bottom rents out their upstairs.

Gustav's/Rhinelander on Sandy would be good if you're more in the "slab of meeeat" crowd.

I suppose it depends on where you're having the rehearsal, because you don't want everyone to have to drive 30-45 minutes for dinner afterwards, and I could think of some places that could easily be that far from Edgefield.
posted by SpecialK at 1:04 PM on January 18, 2007

I second the Rhinelander.
posted by unclejeffy at 1:12 PM on January 18, 2007

Spaghetti Factory worked extremely well for a rehearsal dinner last September. They gave the rehearsal party a private room (with the caveat if the place filled up they might have to seat other patron in the room, didn't happen). Service was great.
posted by KneeDeep at 1:24 PM on January 18, 2007

If people are near downtown, some options include:

Macaroni Grill: a very noisy chain Italian restaurant with food that is superior to Old Spaghetti Factory

Rock Bottom Brewery: a noisy chain brewpub; smoked salmon fish and chips are awesome (this is where the Wine's had rehearsal lunch)

Huber's: Portland's oldest restaurant; famous for roast turkey and Spanish coffee; it has a banquet room that usually is pretty empty so a boisterous group can be, well, boisterous

If people are going to be closer to the Edgefield, then:

Tad's Chicken & Dumplings: a beautiful location along the Sandy River; food is great, atmosphere is noisy, kid friendly but not kid catering.
posted by GarageWine at 1:51 PM on January 18, 2007

Response by poster: I suppose it depends on where you're having the rehearsal

That's still TBD, but most people that are coming to the wedding are either staying at Edgefield or downtown. These are all good suggestions, thanks and keep 'em coming!
posted by pdb at 2:00 PM on January 18, 2007

How many people are going to the rehearsal dinner? I have a couple of thoughts, but they probably wouldn't work for a big crowd.

Also, I'd like to veto Roux. It's over-priced and has almost no options for vegetarians.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 2:31 PM on January 18, 2007

Response by poster: There will be somewhere between 20 and 23 people, and it's good to know that Roux doesn't have veggie options - there's a few vegetarians sprinkled in the mix.
posted by pdb at 3:04 PM on January 18, 2007

My sister had hers at Newport Bay. We had a private room that seemed to fit all of your criteria.
posted by concrete at 3:07 PM on January 18, 2007

We reserved the (private) back room at Sammy's on NW 23rd. Any private room is basically going to be pretty kid-friendly, I would guess. They have a full bar. Parking could be an issue, but it was also a cool way for out-of-towners to see a cliched slice of Portland life (the 23rd scene).
posted by misterbrandt at 4:59 PM on January 18, 2007

Laurelwood Public House. There is one downtown in a nice big old house and one in SE. I prefer the NW one- they have private rooms, there are always kids running around, and the food is everything from hamburgers to pasta. It is also accessible via the street car.

Closer out to Edgefield, you might consider Guiseppies (sp?) or the Truffle Hunter.
posted by haplesschild at 7:56 PM on January 18, 2007

argh - I was just searching for the Laurelwood link and haplesschild beat me to it..
They have a kids play area and it's casual and friendly.
posted by j at 8:11 PM on January 18, 2007

Eight years ago I went to a Pacific NW place on the northeast side of town, but I can't remember the name of it. I found it in the 97 or 98 Portland/ Seattle Zagat, but I don't have access to it at the moment.
posted by brujita at 9:49 PM on January 18, 2007

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