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Restaurateur Stephen Starr's fondness for themes (a giant golden Buddha in his pan-Asian restaurant, Buddakan, and a mid-country, mid-century feel at the comfort food eatery Jones) has reached perfection in this vast but meticulous stage set placed on Philadelphia's most desirable corner. Brass rails, silvered mirrors, claret-hued banquettes, and oak wainscoting reclaimed from now-shuttered Parisian restaurants, imbue patina—while small touches like newspapers on wooden poles, create extra realism. Similarly, standard menu items (roasted chicken, trout amandine) hold their own, but the little things—desserts and salads, fresh-baked goods (including housemade macaroons), and excellent onion soup—stand out. Ask for an indoor-outdoor table overlooking the park: you'll get generous views and the pleasant din of the 150 diners behind you without the deafening buzz that is the restaurant's one true downside.
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