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Phila restaurant experts: help me find my "Frog" prince!

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May 21st, 2014, 12:01 PM
  #1
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Phila restaurant experts: help me find my "Frog" prince!

I have a night in Philadelphia coming up next month before I go visit Mom in the Dutch country. Staying in the Rittenhouse Square area and trying to find just the right spot for dinner.

La Colombe is on the list for morning coffee of course. But for dinner -- well, I admit to a longing for the old Frog restaurant -- good food, good buzz, etc. Or maybe something like the old Roller's in Chestnut Hill when Allison was the chef (before she moved to Striped Bass). So any suggestions? Anywhere between Broad St. and Fitler Square is fine. Prefer not to go below that area (too bad Deux Cheminees is gone, I would have considered them).

Suggestions? At the moment, I thinking of going back to one of my old haunts -- Friday, Saturday Sunday (can't believe they STILL have cream of mushroom soup on their menu!) or maybe Audrey Claire. But other ideas welcome...and as an alternative, a good sushi bar would be an option. We used to go to one on Sansom Street, but no idea if it's still there and if it's still any good.

Thanks, hon!
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May 21st, 2014, 01:10 PM
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What did you like about the Frog that you would like to revisit?

The popularity and buzz of the second Frog: try Vernick on Walnut

The tiny storefront atmosphere of the first Frog turning out creative blends of new flavors: a. kitchen on 18th.

A trip down memory lane: Brick in the old Astral Plane location

The French dishes the old Frog played with: Le Cheri in the Art Alliance building

A neighborhood place with good food: Twenty Manning Grill

Anytime, hon!
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May 25th, 2014, 06:02 AM
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Dear Birdie,
Thanks for all your tips. I looked at them all and decided to try something Greek, as Greek restaurants are thin on the ground where I live in Switzerland. I've got a table reserved at Estia, which is an easy walk from Rittenhouse Square.

I used to go to both the first and later Frog. Sigh.

I will get good "Americana" type food while visiting with my Mom out in the PA Dutch country. And, in exchange for your helpful Philly advice, here's a great, non-kitschy place to eat if you're in the Dutch country: Blue Bird, just outside Lebanon. http://www.bluebirdinn.com/

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restauran...a.html#REVIEWS
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May 25th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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Thank you, WeisserTee! Let me know how you like Estia. I've never been even though I've heard many good things about it. I will definitely keep the Blue Bird restaurant in mind. I'm often in Reading. Maybe, someday, our schedules will mesh and we can meet.

Have a great trip!
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May 29th, 2014, 06:39 AM
  #5
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I looked at the Manning menu and it is very tempting. Now I'm debating whether to cancel Estia and book a table at Manning instead. Manning would be cheaper, but that's not really a consideration. Which, in your opinion, would be better for a solo diner?

I used to live on the 2100 block of Spruce Street, among other places in Philly, so this really is in the heart of my old stomping grounds -- and it's a sister to Audrey Claire, one of my old hang-outs.
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Jun 18th, 2014, 09:04 AM
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A quick update: I stuck with my Estia reservation. I was going to have the pre-theater fixed price dinner (which, FYI, they serve all evening and you don't need theater tickets) but the appetizer I wanted -- tuna tartar -- wasn't on it, so I went a la carte.

The tuna tartar appetizer -- small chunks of sushi-grade tuna with avocado in a honey and herb glaze -- was very good but a little rich for one person. I couldn't finish it. A smaller portion would have been fine or it's an appetizer that two can share. The herbed pita toast points that came with it were really tasty. In addition, there was a complimentary portion of hummus with a few slices of bread.

I had the chicken main course which was good but still, basically grilled chicken; the orzo side that came with it was excellent.

I tried a glass of wine from Santorini; I previously tasted several good Greek wines at the Notos restaurant (www.notos.be) in Brussels and based on my experiences there, I prefer Peloponnese wines. As I recall, Estia didn't offer any Peloponnese whites by the glass. They did have a red but I was in the mood for white.

I skipped dessert -- the two courses were very filling.

Next morning I had breakfast at Miel, the French bakery right by the Radisson Blu where I was staying. Great place and it serves La Colombe coffee. Big thumbs up!

Overall, I recommend both places and would happily go to them again. Later this year, my husband will be stopping overnight in Phila on his way to see his Mom in WA state -- I've already suggested he dine at Estia and have morning coffee at Miel.
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Jun 18th, 2014, 10:16 AM
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I saw this thread before, but missed the reference to Estia.

My sister and I ate there before a show a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. We both chose from the per-theater menu and were very happy with our choices. Would eat there again.

Glad you enjoyed it too, WeisserTee.

~Liz
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