Although it may be difficult to believe, the holidays are quickly approaching. Restaurants are accepting reservations for holiday parties. If you’re considering hosting a soiree for an upcoming business or social event, now is the time to secure a date. Here are some private dining options to help you plan those festivities.
The formal affair
If you plan to host a formal business or social function that’s fit for foodies, Rathbun’s Restaurant has your bases covered. Menus start at $50 per person for three courses and range up to $80 for five. They include some of the restaurant’s signature dishes such as the mock turtle soup with Dry Sack sherry, Maine lobster and roasted green chile taco with Cascabel cream, and the ever-popular banana peanut butter cream pie.
Wine, beer and spirits are charged based on consumption. The restaurant will guide you through its formula for pricing estimates based on beverage selection.
Rathbun’s has several private spaces available. The Wine Room, which will seat 40 and accommodate 75 people for a cocktail-style event, is gorgeously appointed with a floor-to-ceiling windowed wine display and French doors overlooking the patio. The covered and heated patio also can be reserved for groups of up to 65 people.
112 Krog St., Atlanta. 404-524-8280.
For a more casual vibe where kids can join the party, try the Barn at the Fickle Pickle. This Roswell space can accommodate up to 40 people inside with the option to expand to 75 with the rental of the patio, which can be heated or tented for an extra charge. White linens, votives in glass domes and china dress up this rustic spot.
Menus start at $22 per person for a buffet sandwich meal incorporating many of the Fickle Pickle’s classic menu items including fried pickle and hot potato chip appetizers. The restaurant also offers a selection of its hot entrees ($35 per person), a fried chicken buffet ($27), barbecue buffet ($25) and an hors d’oeuvres menu ($25).
While no outside alcohol is permitted, the Fickle Pickle can provide an assortment of bottled beers, mimosas and a small selection of wine priced by the bottle.
1085 Canton St., Roswell. 770-650-9838.
Fun and games
For a more low-key affair, try Ormsby’s private bocce room, which can seat up to 70 or host up to 125 cocktail-style. The space comes with private access to one bocce court, skeeball machine and shuffleboard table during the three-hour rental period. A customizable bar also is available in this room.
Ormsby’s offers a variety of menu options to meet your budget. If you want to keep it casual, try the you-build-it slider ($13 per person) or hot dog ($10) bar (minimums apply). Or you can make it a more formal affair with the top-tier catering menu ($18-$24) with appetizers, entrees and pasta or carving stations (additional fee).
1170 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-968-2033.
Treat your guests to an escape from the hustle and bustle at the Farmhouse at Serenbe, just outside Atlanta in Palmetto’s scenic Serenbe community. The Farmhouse is a true farm-to-table restaurant, sourcing ingredients from its own garden and from Serenbe farms. The space can accommodate from six to 75 guests. Menus are seasonal and range from $30 per person for the weekly Farmhouse menu up to $75 for customized options.
The restaurant offers a full bar with holiday cocktail specials and wines ranging from $30-$120 a bottle. Specific wines can be ordered upon advance request. Wine flights and tastings also are available for parties.
Guests can remain on the property for an overnight stay complete with a bonfire and marshmallow roasting (included if staying over; $5 per person otherwise) and a hayride ($100 per group).
10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road, Palmetto. 770-463-2622.
For the Classic Atlanta experience, it doesn’t get much more iconic than Mary Mac’s Tea Room. Since it opened in 1945, the restaurant has expanded from one dining room to six, which can now accommodate from 20-200 people for events.
At Mary Mac’s, you have the option to host a breakfast event with menus ranging from $18-$22 per person. Lunch and dinner menus include the restaurant’s well-known Southern favorites such as fried chicken, pan-fried cube steak, meatloaf and chicken and dumplings. These can be served family-style or as a buffet with pricing from $18-$29 per person.
If you’re lucky, your guests could get a visit and a back rub from the restaurant’s own “goodwill ambassador,” Jo Carter.
224 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-876-1800.
More options for this type of experience:
If you’re hoping to host a daytime event, Brick Store Pub will reserve its Belgian Bar (upstairs area) for you and up to 55 seated guests or 70 standing. The restaurant reserves this space for groups from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Mondays-Thursdays. Don’t expect any hidden fees — you’ll pay only the cost of food and beverages. 125 E. Court Square, Decatur. 404-687-0990.
The new incarnation of Watershed has a host of options for private parties. A private area can be sectioned off in the rear of the restaurant to seat up to 50 guests or divided in half for a party of 20-30. You also may choose to reserve a portion of the bar for a mixer with drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Watershed on Peachtree’s chef Joe Truex will customize foodie-friendly menus ranging from $35-$65 per person (minimums apply). Alcohol pricing is based on consumption. 1820 Peachtree Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-809-3561.
Ray’s at Killer Creek in Alpharetta has several private dining room options for holiday parties. The Cellar room, complete with a stone fireplace, will seat up to 28 people. The Wine-Jordan room accommodates 65, and the heated Creek patio will seat 70. Lunch menus range from $27-$35 per person while dinner banquet menus cost $45-$85. Beverage packages are priced per person/per time period and vary depending on the types of alcohol selected. 1700 Mansell Road, Alpharetta. 770-649-0064.
See an additional post on this topic tomorrow morning containing more options for private parties at Atlanta restaurants.
–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog