My BF and I are getting married next spring. We are currently shopping for ceremony/reception sites. We have decided that our reception will be all about the food. To do this we will only inviting about 25 people. We would like to have a sit down meal in a nice looking place with cooking somewhere on the level of Tosca/Kinkeads/Mannequin Pis. We would like the site to be relatively close to Silver Spring (where we think we are having the ceremony) but are willing to go a short distance around the Beltway to Virginia. Because of elderly relatives, out of town guests and parking issues we are thinking we want to avoid coming in to the District. Some restaurants that we are considering for the reception are La Ferme and L'Auberge Chez Francois. Which others can you recommend? I would particularly like to hear from people who have attended weddings at these places. (I attended a wedding at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons and was not so impressed with the food even though their restaurant gets lots of praise on this board.)
And secondly, in my BF's opinion caterers working in a warming kitchen cannot provide the kind of fine dining we are looking for so a few historical sites I considered would seem to be out. Do you agree? Is it possible to find a really fine meal this way? Any specific recommendations?
Thanks so much,