TNT Diner

Small bites, big flavors: Three Tacoma restaurants for group dining

Shareable plates of sophisticated cocktail food with world flavors. An excellent cocktail, wine or tap list. Upscale digs. A place where grown-ups can gather comfortably without fear of being shushed.

That’s the checklist a reader handed me for a place to take out-of-town guests visiting during the final days of summer. So I went looking — and eating, and sipping.

I stuck with lounges and bars known for pairing upscale cuisine with thoughtful adult beverages, but also destinations with accoutrements necessary for gatherings: a sizable list of shareable plates, communal seating that can shrink or expand with the size of the party, a generous happy hour, and an atmosphere conducive for a group of talkers.

Finding a destination for a little grownup R&R is easier today than it’s ever been around the region.

If you’ve got friends from out of town on their way to celebrate the wind-down of summer, here are three destinations worth your time and dining dollars.