Gourmet Live and BlogHer Road Trip: Party Restaurants

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Gourmet Live BlogHer Road Trip Party Restaurants
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Party Restaurants
As part of our monthly collaboration with Gourmet Live, we're hanging up our aprons and going cross-country -- and beyond -- to find the top restaurants to celebrate.

party table

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Bloggers' Favorite Restaurants to Throw a Party
Food Gypsy
Ottawa, Canada: Play, Food & Wine
In Ottawa's trendy Byward Market, steps from Canada's Parliament Hill, is the aptly named Play. Specializing in shared plates and Canadian product, staffed with sommeliers who have intimate knowledge of every bottle on the list; Play is the place to meet, nibble and sip. The decor is clean and modern, food from the open concept kitchen is simple, yet elegant and the flavour profile of each plate can be matched, note for note, by a deep cellar. Surprisingly casual, exceptionally affordable and my (current) favorite place to play.

-- Corinna Horton, Food Gypsy

Food Centric Life
Orange County, CA: Marche Moderne
A modern French bistro, Marche Moderne is our favorite "nice" place. Chef-owners Florent and Amelia Marneau deliver French influenced, modern American cuisine. Yet you'll still find French bistro classics like artisan-made cheese and charcuterie plates along with moules frites and steak frites. The food is marvelous, service knowledgeable and attentive, ambience warm and contemporary. Their enclosed patio is the perfect venue for a private party. It's a top spot, for good reason, in Orange County.

-- Sally Cameron, A Food Centric Life

Paris, France: J'Go
The menu at J’Go, updated at the turn of each season, focuses on the culinary—and mostly carnivorous—treasures of Gascony, a former province in the southwest of France: Quercy lamb, Bigorre black pork, or Gers poultry, served in generous, well executed rotisserie dishes. For a crowd, the best option by far is to order whole cuts (serving up to ten guests) and share them, family-style. All dishes come with sides of white beans from Tarbes, homemade fries, seasonal vegetables, and country bread, to mop up the juices.

-- Clotilde Dusoulier, Chocolate & Zucchini

My Man's Belly
Santa Monica, CA: La Cachette Bistro
I recently threw a party here as a kick-off to a conference in town. The space is large, with lots of room to move around and with a covered outdoor patio for those who want things a little quieter. The bar is centrally located in the room, so you still feel like you're part of the action even when you are waiting for a drink. The chef's delicious small-plates style translates well as hand-passed hors d'oeuvres.

-- Pamela Braun, My Man's Belly

Foodette Reviews
Shelburne Falls, MA: The Gypsy Apple Bistro
The Gypsy Apple is like having all the swankiness of a nice holiday party in a cozy, intimate home-style atmosphere. With an imaginative menu (bistro fare like duck leg confit and twists like green curried chicken) and a layout where guests can choose to watch the cooking process or mingle with friends, it's the perfect place for any party.

-- Jessica Watsky, Foodette Reviews

Family Spice
San Diego, CA: Café Sevilla
One of my favorite restaurants to party is thyis Spanish spot in San Diego's historic Gaslamp District. The authentic Spanish tapas like little bocadillo sandwiches and croquettes are fantastic, the sangria is always flowing and live flamenco dancers and musicians or a night club to choose from for entertainment. It has recently reopened after being closed a few months for remodeling, and I hear it is better than ever.

-- Laura Bashar, Family Spice

For 10 more exclusive tips, download the free
Gourmet Live iPhone and iPad app

See all the blogger-recommended places on the Gourmet Live and BlogHer Road Trip so far. And for 10 more exclusive party restaurants and recipes, download the free Gourmet Live app -- now for the iPhone! -- or visit the road trip on on Gourmet.com and on the Gourmet Live blog now.

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