My company is a sponsor at a trade show at the Renaissance DC (on 9th by Mt Vernon Sq) in mid June and we are hosting a dinner one night for a small group of key clients and prospective clients. Group is likely to be between 12 and 18 people - travel budgets are tight so a lot of potential attendees who have registered to attend the trade show are actually unlikely to fly in this year. Its the first year in DC and so I am looking for some help in selecting the venue. Key criteria - trendy(ish), superior service and food, somewhere they will be impressed but is not too stuffy. Also think it preferable that it be reasonable walking distance from the hotel so that transportation is not an issue. Not looking for inexpensive, but also not looking to break the bank. I have been reading up on here and have short listed some places that I think will give some insight into what I am thinking of:
Proof - easy walking distance, seems to have good food and vibe and reasonably priced (altho probably would need to select wine before getting there because that list is so darn long!) - but no private dining space. Is that going to be a problem - is it loud in there?
Central - private dining room for up to 18 and they do set-menus for private dining that is reasonably priced
The Source - from initial research this would be my fave but seems a bit too far to walk.
Not necessarily looking for a private room especially if it would mean losing the ambiance of the place, but think it might be preferable.
Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I have a bit of a reputation as a foodie so I am feeling the pressure to select somewhere good!