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Eating & Drinking in Philadelphia

Old Dec 28th, 2000, 07:19 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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Eating & Drinking in Philadelphia

We'll be in Philadelphia over MLK weekend staying at the Sheraton Society Hill. Would love restaurant/bar suggestions. We prefer smaller, non-touristy restaurants which are living off the quality of their food, not their reputations. Trendy is OK. Cost not an issue, though jacket and tie places are out. French, Italian, new American preferred. Any favorite watering holes would also be appreciated.

We're considering Fork, Girasole, Pompeii and Rouge 2000 so far.

Thanks in advance.
Old Dec 28th, 2000, 08:30 AM
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living only 80 miles from philly, i spend alot of time there, your hotel is fabulous and just a short walk from all the cool stuff.
i suggest the Khyber (on 2nd), a short hop from SSH.
also the Continental (on market) for food and drink (great marini bar in back)
Sugar Moms off church street is also great. its sister bar is on south street (Tattoo Moms)
for excellent shepards pie, check out Dickens Inn at headhouse square.
all of these places are easily walkable from sheraton, and are all considered local joints. Enjoy!
Old Dec 28th, 2000, 09:13 AM
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Two (Italian) restaurant recommendations -- one upscale, one family, both on S. Broad St.
Upstairs at Varalli's(sp?) is the upscale place. Ask for a table with a view of Broad St.
Crinetti's (sp?) is on Broad near the stadium complex. It's a totally family place -- small, cheap, and good.
Bars, etc. Try Zanzibar Blue. They have jazz on Sundays, but you have to book way in advance.
One more spot: Victor Cafe. Upscale, good, plus the waiters and waitresses sing opera while serving.
Old Dec 28th, 2000, 10:08 AM
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Fork is good; Rouge 2000 is less fancy.

Recommend for Center City and Society Hill-
Upstairs at Varalli - Italian
Sotto Varalli - seafood;
Brasserie Perrier - French - more fancy;
Monte Carlo Living Room - Italian - near your hotel;
Toto - Italian;

West of Broad St.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday - good Continental; small place.
Porcini - Italian

Bookbinders - avoid;
Old Dec 28th, 2000, 10:15 AM
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The previous poster mentioned Friday, Saturday, Sunday. On the second floor
from that restaurant is the cool Tank Bar. That neighborhood has got a ton
of nice places for dinner (it is near
Rittenhouse square) but it is not within
a walking distance from your hotel. The cab ride should be pretty cheap though (about 5 dollars).
Old Dec 28th, 2000, 11:19 AM
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I also like Upstares at Varalli and Porcini. Would also recommend Circa. In Old City I like the Plough and the Stars for good Irish food and nice atmoshere and Cafe Spice for Indian. I was at Cuba Libre also in Old City for a Xmas party and thought the atmospere was kind of cool but didn't get to sample much of the food. I also like Fork. As far as Sugar Mom's goes, good for hanging out with friends for pitchers of PBR and Yuengling Lager and playing pool, but the food is pretty much bar food. Enjoy.
Old Dec 28th, 2000, 03:19 PM
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Your restaurant list is good.

As a Phila. native, here is my subjective short list, based on your requirements:

Io E Tu Ristorante (a 'gem')
1514 S. Ninth St.
(between Tasker & Dickenson Sts.)
tel.: (215) 271-3906
(owner/chef born in Italy - not fancy)

La Familglia (Old City area)
8 S. Front St.
(215) 922-2803
(fantastic Northern Italian)

Le Bar Lyonnnaise
(downstairs at Le Bec Fin - not fancy)
1523 Walnut St.
(215) 567-1000

The Blue Angel
706 Chestnut Street
(between 7th & 8th Sts.)
(215) 925-6889

Pasion! (Nuevo Latino - fab fish)
211 S. 15th St.
(215) 875-9895

(last 4 restaurants may have website.) I would also recommend Brasserie Perrier. Had dinner there Sat. night. Excellent and usually very consistent.

All of the above are 'smartly casual' need for jacket/tie.

Am certain other locals have their favorites, too.
Old Jan 3rd, 2001, 10:07 AM
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I'm a Philly native too -- you have great watering holes in the neighborhood where you're staying:

1. Plough & Stars (gorgeous Irish bar)
2. Society Hill Hotel (tiny, cozy great little romantic bar)
3. Panorama/Il Bar (awesome wine bar -- Italian restaurant next door is great too)
4. Continental (martinis, martinis, martinis)

Suggestion for a restaurant -- Serrano, on 2nd Street, one of the old-timers, excellent food (sort of nouveau American w/influences of greek, asian, middle eastern -- the menu keeps changing) and nice atmosphere. Small music venue upstairs (Tin Angel).

Have fun!
Old Jan 3rd, 2001, 12:15 PM
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No one mentioned Suzanna Foo's restaurant - is there a reason? This used to be one of the best in Philly - in the 80's, early 90's. If it is still outstanding, do not miss this one!!! By the way, Brian, you probably know Brasserie Le Coze in Buckhead - had the pleasure of taking a small party (including my grown kids) there December 21, and it was very nice indeed. We had a ball. Food was nice. Drank some Pommard. I watched Lenox Square being built - Buckhead has changed, to say the least. Moved to DC long ago. My sister from NYC keeps the Ritz across the street in business. I can afford Houston's nearby - wonderful veggie burgers. Enjoy Philly. Ciao.
Old Jan 3rd, 2001, 12:20 PM
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Second message - You may not believe, but if the Girasole you have in mind is on Locust near 13th, my wife and I actually had lunch there last year on the Monday used for MLK's birthday - and a cold day it was, too. We'd shopped in the It. Market after coming up from DC on the train, and Girasole saved our lives with great wine and wonderful Italian pasta. Do have a good time. Ciao
Old Jan 5th, 2001, 09:59 AM
Brian in Atlanta
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Wow. Thanks everyone. We're really starting to look forward to our trip. We've got reservations at Fork and Blue Angel so far and will definitely walk by or stop in to the other suggestions. If only the weather will cooperate.

And Leone, I'm glad you enjoyed Brasserie Le Coze. It's a great place. The only thing keeping us away usually is the Buckhead traffic.
Old Jan 5th, 2001, 10:06 AM
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Blue Angel is awesome. It is a classic
Parisian bistro. Do not miss escaroles
for the appetizer. Their pan-seared tuna is delicious. Also, make sure to visit the bathroom and learn some French
while you are there...
Old Jan 5th, 2001, 11:45 AM
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Check out Site is pretty accurate.

Think you and you wife stayed at Auberge du-Vieux Port same time as my husband and I...from your post on Canada forum.

Enjoy your weekend in Philadelphia!
Old Jan 5th, 2001, 11:54 AM
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Fork AND Blue Angel?! You are one lucky guy.
One place that I didn't see mentioned (sorry if it was, I read the thread pretty quickly) is Buddakhan. This is a hip French-Asian place with some of the most interesting and delicious dishes out there. They have two terrific bars which make it a great place to drink as well as eat. In my humble opinion, this is a must-see in Philly. Of course Fork and Blue Angle are pretty damn good too!
Old Nov 12th, 2001, 09:12 AM
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philly native here - fork and blue angel are awesome, you will love your meals as well as the service - tequila's is at 16th and locust, upsclae mexican, they do not take resevrations, one of my faves - also try la boheme which is a small restaurant on 11th between spruce and locust, byob, small, french, with a tres chic owner/chef french couple
Old Nov 12th, 2001, 03:58 PM
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just returned from philly and I really like Dickens Inn. It was northern feeling, home cooking menu, decent prices and the food was very good. It's probably not a trendy place, mostly local older crowd but a great place to have a nice dinner and spend a couple of hours. Last year I went to Rouge, which was also good but wasn't comfortable like Dickens. I wish I had seen this post with all the recommendations before I went up.
Old Nov 12th, 2001, 04:21 PM
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I have to second the Buddakan vote. Very trendy, but GREAT food -- some of the best I've had in Philadelphia.

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