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Restaurants & Bars 3

Successful Group Dinner at Pan d'Olive -- StL

nosh | Apr 13, 201508:09 PM

Evited to a tribute to my high school debate coach and English teacher, now 76, who was important and influential for me. When more than a couple former teammates planned to attend, I began organizing a dinner for Saturday night. Started around a dozen and ended up twice that. Decided on Pan d'Olive, which is a Mediterranean restaurant on the west side of McCausland about three major blocks south of highway 40, next to Olympia, the Greek place. Pan d'Olive has a downstairs area for groups, accessible by wheelchair from the parking lot. They (mostly Sam, the owner) were flexible about numbers, offered the entire menu, and did not demand a minimum or deposit. I'd eaten there before (and reported on this board) and have found the food very good, the prices more than fair, and the service and layout of their main dining room to be interesting and upscale.

Well, our evening was a spectacular success. We talked and mingled for a long time, they set up a U-shaped configuration that made speaking and sharing with the guest-of-honor easy. We split the food equally, with the alcoholic drinks on a separate check arrangement. With 20 people also paying for three guests, and including a 20% tip (which was well-deserved) the bill came to $37 pp, a bargain. My chicken soup with rice was delicious, especially with a touch of lemon. My salmon was a nice filet and well-prepared to medium. We started at 5:30, sat down more than an hour later, broke up after 9, and 8 of us were still drinking at the bar well after 10.

Obviously food wasn't the focus. But dishes (starters, entrees, then coffee and some desserts) came out in good order and everyone seemed to enjoy theirs. Our waiter, who was assisted by a busser and others to serve courses, kept a nice rein on things without being intrusive.

Great job, thus I am recommending them.

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