Sometimes people email me for restaurant recommendations. I always answer, and Slog commenters always have good suggestions too. Look—Jennifer's getting hitched!

Hi Bethany,

Love your restaurant articles and recommendations!

My fiancee and I just booked the Pan Pacific Hotel for our October 4th wedding, and we're looking for a few restaurant recommendations for the rehearsal dinner. The dinner would have approximately 40 guests, so we'd need a place big enough to accommodate our group. If it's somewhat close to Pan Pacific, all the better! Some of our favorite restaurants include Machiavelli, Tango, and Ma'ono. We're looking for something nice, a little unique, not too fancy (Canlis would definitely be breaking our bank!). We love all kinds of food, but want to try to keep it crowd-friendly.

Appreciate your help!


  • Re:public

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks so much! And congratulations heaped upon you both! Yay for LOVE!

One place that immediately springs to mind for your rehearsal dinner: the restaurant known as Re:public. It's very good, with local/organic-oriented New American food that's interesting but not so interesting that it'll scare your more timid relatives (the menu is making me hungry), and it’s in a pleasantly cavernous, old-timbered, not-too-fancy/not-too-plain space (here are some more photos) that also happens to have a back area that might fit your group perfectly, and it's three and a half blocks from the Pan Pacific. My one qualm might be the noise level, as it seems like it could get pretty loud; you should ask them about it and also go visit at the time you're thinking about having the dinner to hear for yourself.

Or how about Black Bottle? Another handsome/not-boring space with good middlingly-fancy-but-not-frightening food (wow, the menu right now looks great), and they have a private room that might be just the right size, and it's a 15 minute walk or a quick cab ride from the Pan Pacific.

This is kind of an oddball idea, but the Innkeeper (same owners as Black Bottle, a block away) might also be really fun—it's more low key, with really tasty Latin American food, and would feel like more of a party than the two above... I think you could take over the whole space, or enough of it that it'd feel like it was all yours.

Oh! Another place to think about: Tilikum Place Cafe. It's cute and everybody loves it—look at the food—and it's just seven blocks down Denny from the Pan Pacific.

And for your info/investigation, here's our full list of recommended restaurants in Belltown, and here's downtown, and here's South Lake Union.

And wait, here's a bunch of excellent wedding advice in the form of The Stranger's No-Goddamn-Bullshit Wedding Guide! And here's some more excellent wedding advice from Stranger Wedding Crasher Sarah Galvin, with even more excellent wedding advice listed down the side of the article... The only thing I can think of that is not covered there is this: If you and your betrothed are lucky/unfortunate enough to be torn between two sets of parents for your first winter holidays as a brand-new familial unit, spend them by yourselves, doing whatever you like best (beach vacation! Camping! S&M!). In fact, do this even if you're not torn between two sets of parents. You'll be happy you did.