The Big & Small of DC Dining: Carmine's Packs In 700 Seats

The new Carmine's in Penn Quarter.
Photo courtesy Carmine's

Touted as the largest restaurant in the District, New York-export Carmine's opens its doors today in Penn Quarter. The Italian spot is dishing out eggplant parmigiana, housemade meatballs, saltimbocca and more family-style dishes to a whopping 700 seats. That's about the population of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, to give you some perspective.

Which got me thinking about DC's biggest and smallest restaurants. In addition to Carmine's, we have quite a few eating establishments that seat more people than live in some small towns.

Clyde's of Gallery Place weighs in at 23,000-square-feet and just more than 500 seats, and their Ashburn outpost has about 800 seats. The restaurant group is planning another behemoth: a 35,000-square-foot location in the former Border's space at 14th and F streets NW.

On the other end of the scale, there are places like José Andrés' minibar (a six seat restaurant-within-a-restaurant), the tiny Japanese jewel Makoto (around 25 seats) and Komi (around 30 seats).

I'll throw this out to the most knowledgeable diners I know: Can you savvy readers help me create a list of DC's largest and smallest sit-down restaurants, by number of seats?


Thrifty DC Cook said...

Thai X-ing at 5th and Florida NW seats 10 at most.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Thai X-ing is tiny! Isn't Old Ebbitt one of the largest on the East Coast?

I'd be interested to learn the Summertime capacity of Loriel Plaza

Girl Meets Food said...

Greek Deli seats two!

Anonymous said...

Maggianos is very big
cafe Asia is also quite expansive.

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muckraker said...

I think it's weird that there will be a giant Clyde's at 14th and F, seeing as that Old Ebbitt has the same owners and is basically the same thing a few blocks away.

Anonymous said...

Plum Blossom on 18th St- just south of Florida Ave. This place is pretty small, but pretty amazing! :)

Anonymous said...

cactus cantina
lauriol plaza

are all very large.
i dont know the seating capacities though.

doesnt the Borders space at 14th and f share a courtyard with old ebbitt?

eatse said...

Can't wait to try Carmine's. I love big ol' bowls of pasta and no fuss. Seems like a fun place. Even if I eat with 699 others!

Katie said...

Obelisk! Teeny!

Ryan Anderson said...

Clyde's might be a clone of Old Ebbit, but that place is still always crowded and there's often a wait for tables, so I'm sure there's capacity. Gotta love the tourists!

Amanda said...

So let's see ... looks like our working list of ideas goes:

Thai X-ing
Greek Deli
Plum Blossom

Old Ebbitt
Cafe Asia?

dining room table said...

I got to visit that place. I have lots of friends and I am sure that we can occupy that whole place. Can't wait for that day to come.