2002 - The bar Zola, which is in the International Spy Museum - photo by THEO DAMSTEIN. (Theo Adamstein)

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By Erin Hartigan Staff Writer
Thursday, June 14, 2007; 6:47 PM

Rehearsal dinners on the night before the big event are a great time to celebrate the occasion with close friends and family. Whether your close friends number less than a dozen or over 200, there are plenty of places to raise your glasses together.

Groups of 35 and Under:

The chic and somewhat new Indian restaurant Rasika can host 14 people in its private room and up to 28 people in a semi-private space set off from the main dining room. The room has a $1,000 minimum and groups over 8 must order from a three-course tasting menu at $55 per person.

Though Artie's in Fairfax does not have any private rooms, there is a semi-private area in the back of the restaurant that can allow a party of approximately 30 people to enjoy the restaurant's hearty American fare.

Ceiba's brightly colored Blue Room, which can hold up to 34 people, offers a customized three- to five-course menu for rehearsal dinners. The restaurant charges $100 for the room rental and requires a minimum of between $800 and $3,000 in food and drinks depending on the time and day of the party.

Crystal City's Jaleo has a festive private dining room that can host approximately 35 diners for affairs with a livelier flare.

Next door, Bebo Trattoria has a private room that can accommodate up to 48 people for rustic Italian flavors. The restaurant has a food and drink minimum of $3,500 Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but no minimum on other nights.

Cafe MoZU in the tranquil Mandarin Oriental hotel has private dining space to accommodate up to 12 people.

The charming Cafe de Paris in Columbia can seat up to 35 people for a meal of French bistro fare with no minimum charge.

Groups of 50 and under:

Bistro d'Oc's swanky French fare can be enjoyed in private rooms seating between 10 and 45 people. The minimum depends on the day and size of the party.

B. Smith's offers parties ranging from 12 to 40 the opportunity to eat filling Southern fare and take in the grand setting of Union Station. Minimum charges range from $200 to $2,000 depending on the choice of room and time.

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