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Restaurant suggestions in Philly

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cdt1101

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I''m hoping the PA ladies can help me out. My aunt and uncle have been gracious enough to offer their beautiful home for our wedding in June. We will be having an outdoor tented wedding on their property. I''ll never be able to thank them enough for their generousity, but I''d like to try! Anyway, I was thinking of getting them a GC to a nice restaurant in Philly (they live in Allentown). But I live in North Jersey, so I''m not really familiar w/ Philly all that much.

I''d like to spend around $200.

They love steak and italian food. Nothing too out there food wise. I''m really looking for a place that has a nice ambiance, nice wine and great food.

Any suggestions?
 

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Madam Bijoux

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Two great places to eat are Ruth''s Chris Steakhouse, which is on south Broad Street next to the Kimmel Center and The Capital Grill, which is at Broad and Chestnut. You''ll need reservations.
 

cdt1101

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Thanks Madame!! Would $200 cover dinner for 2 at Capital Hill? Ruth Chris I know of, I''d rather choose something other than Ruth Chris. The menu at Capital Hill sound yummy
 

Independent Gal

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Well, my favourite restaurant in Philly is Afghan food, which I'm guessing is out of the question. But do they like French?

If so, I once had a spectacular meal at a place called "Deux Cheminees" 1221 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 · 215-790-0200. I think it was something like $85 for a huge set menu... oh, I see below, yeah, it's for 5 courses, and $65 for three courses which I guess is the theatre menu since you have to get there before 6pm. And it was so good. A really memorable experience.

Here's a review I pulled off the net:

"CENTER CITY. The award-winning Deux Cheminees has been a favorite for over 20 years. Housed in adjoining 19th century townhouses, the restaurant is comprised of several intimate dining rooms, each with a fireplace. Entrees may include veal loin chop with watercress and a cream-Madeira sauce, and their signature rack of lamb for two with truffle-Perigord sauce. Traditional French dining at its best. Ask for a tour of the library – the chef's collection of over 10,000 gastronomic titles. 5-course prix fixe $85, 3-course prix fixe (before 6pm) $65."
 

blushingbride

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Hi! I am originally from Allentown and worked in Philly for 2 years. Here are my suggestions:

The Continental
Tangerine
Striped Bass
Buddakan
City Tavern
Cuba Libre
Swanky Bubbles
Zanzabar Blue
Fork

Let me know if you need any other suggeestions - most of these are in the Old City area of Philly, but I''ve been to all of them and they''re great.
 

Independent Gal

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Oh, how sad! Although that article makes it sounds like Mr. Chef Dude is going to have a pretty darn nice retirement! I''ll have a helpinf of that please.
 

diamondfan

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Deux Chiminee is closed.

Mortons, Capital Grill are both fine, but for an amazing steak place try Barclay Prime on the Square in the Barclay Hotel. I do think it might be more pricey than 200.00 though. AMAZING, one of my favorites. Anything that Stephen Starr runs is pretty fabulous too!
 

Octavia

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Most steak-eaters I know love Davio''s in 17th and Chestnut. Prime Rib and Barclay Prime are great choices, too. I''ve never been to Capital Grille, but it''s definitely popular.

The Italian places we go to are much cheaper than your budget, and mainly BYOB and cash-only.

Buddakan is great, it''s the only Stephen Starr restaurant I like. If you opt for something a little different, Amada is yummy. It''s a tapas-style restaurant and it''s right near Buddakan (Chestnut around 3rd - 4th Streets), but it''s also got a new sister restaurant in 21st and Sansom. I don''t remember the name of the new one, though. I''ve also heard good things about Twenty Manning (20th and Manning Streets) but I don''t have personal experience there.

I hope this is helpful!
 

cdt1101

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thanks everyone! Buddakan would be great....for me
Unforunately, my uncle is a VERY picky eater. Steak and pasta are his thing....boring i know, but he''s pretty set in his ways. So I think something like Capital Grill will work. But I''m definitely going to look into the other suggestions....

Thanks so much!
 

blushingbride

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Date: 11/30/2007 11:15:03 AM
Author: Octavia
Most steak-eaters I know love Davio''s in 17th and Chestnut. Prime Rib and Barclay Prime are great choices, too. I''ve never been to Capital Grille, but it''s definitely popular.

The Italian places we go to are much cheaper than your budget, and mainly BYOB and cash-only.

Buddakan is great, it''s the only Stephen Starr restaurant I like. If you opt for something a little different, Amada is yummy. It''s a tapas-style restaurant and it''s right near Buddakan (Chestnut around 3rd - 4th Streets), but it''s also got a new sister restaurant in 21st and Sansom. I don''t remember the name of the new one, though. I''ve also heard good things about Twenty Manning (20th and Manning Streets) but I don''t have personal experience there.

I hope this is helpful!
I''ve eaten at Twenty Manning and thought it was great! That''s another place you could check out.
 

blushingbride

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Date: 11/30/2007 10:38:36 AM
Author: Madam Bijoux
$200 should cover a dinner for two at the Capital Grille. Blushing Bride, Zanzibar Blue has been closed for nearly a year. Here''s a link to the Capital Grille''s dinner menu:

http://www.thecapitalgrille.com/menu/dinnerAppetizers.asp


Oh really?? My DH loves jazz and took me there over Valentine''s Day weekend one year. We had a great time eating and listening to all the live jazz. Too bad...
 

cdt1101

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Octavia - i just checked out Amanda...oh man, sounds sooooooooooo good! don''t think it would work w/ my aunt and uncle. But my fiance and I may just have to take the drive to go...i''m so hungry now
 

rainbowtrout

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Django's down on South Street. Yum, yum, and YUM. Also the restaurant in the Four Seasons called Fountain ( a bit fancier).
 

Octavia

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Date: 11/30/2007 12:02:41 PM
Author: cdt1101
Octavia - i just checked out Amanda...oh man, sounds sooooooooooo good! don''t think it would work w/ my aunt and uncle. But my fiance and I may just have to take the drive to go...i''m so hungry now
This one cheese paired with honey was incredible. I''d go back just for that, if I actually needed an excuse to go
The homemade ice cream is so good, too, especially the brown butter almond.

I found the name of the chef''s other restaurant, it''s called Tinto. The idea is the same, though the menu is a little different. It''s about 1/4 the size of Amada, so it''s more intimate, which I like. The mushroom and asparagus risotto at Tinto is to die for, and the desserts...sigh...Basque cake...

I think that Capital Grille is probably a very safe choice for your aunt and uncle. I just checked out Davio''s and I think it would be tough to do dinner for two on $200 there -- possible, but not probable. Prime Rib would probably fit your budget. It has a jacket-and-tie rule, but we''ve certainly never left hungry.

Do you think your aunt and uncle will want to do something else after dinner (concert, show, etc)? If so, Capital Grille is probably the best location because it''s right down the street from the major cultural venues (Kimmel Center, Academy of Music, Merriam and Wilma Theatres). Nothing in Center City is that far away from anything else, but if they''re not overly familiar with the area, it''s probably the easiest place to find, too.
 

cdt1101

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they are very familiar w/ philly...I''m not however. I''m not sure if they would do anything afterwards....i would think so though. So maybe i should just go w/ capital hill....only because i''m not really sure if any others would work, but capital hill definitely seems like a menu they would like.

I saw the honey and cheese pairing on the Amanda menu....oh my goodness, sounds so good. I love tapas restaurants....my fiance and i will definitely ahve to make the trip...

I will take a look at the menu at Tinto as well!

Thanks so much!
 

shel

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The best restaurant in Philly is Le Bec Fin (French, prix fixe menu). If you don''t mind spending more than $200 for 2 people, that restaurant''s an awesome place for tasty food. And the dessert cart is a sight to behold. 3-5 shelves of all kinds of dessert and you can try a little piece of everything.
 

ephemery1

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Date: 11/30/2007 10:36:34 AM
Author: diamondfan
Deux Chiminee is closed.

Mortons, Capital Grill are both fine, but for an amazing steak place try Barclay Prime on the Square in the Barclay Hotel. I do think it might be more pricey than 200.00 though. AMAZING, one of my favorites. Anything that Stephen Starr runs is pretty fabulous too!
Mmmmm.... we just ate at Barclay Prime last week for my MIL''s bday..... SOOOOO yummy!! My FIL split an aged porterhouse that was $245
, but only because it was a special occasion! Otherwise I think $200 would be a lovely amount for a gift certificate there... even if it didn''t cover the whole meal, I wouldn''t mind contributing my own money to eat at such a good place.

Other favorites: Striped Bass, Alma de Cuba, Buddakan.... actually, if you get them a Stephen Starr gift certificate, it covers Alma, Buddakan, Barclay, Tangerine, Pod, etc.... so they could choose for themselves!
 

ephemery1

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Oooooh, I have to second Tinto as well.... really good, and really fun for two people!! I'd LOVE a $200 gift certificate there, to just go crazy and get a whole bunch of fun things to share.

Twenty Manning is one of our favs (and way too conveniently located to our apartment!), but definitely less pricey... we wouldn't usually spend $200 there for just the 2 of us....

Thanks everyone, now I'm STARVING!


ETA -- A lot of people highly recommend LaCroix at the Rittenhouse.... we've never been there, but we can actually see right into it from our apartment... hehe!
 

diamondfan

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Stephen Starr is a awesome but his restaurants tend to be more funky and a bit more theme-ish. Food is great and cool atmosphere is almost all of them.

La Croix I love, and I have heard good things about Tinto.
 

Octavia

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Mini-hijack...Ephemery, I used to live right around the corner from where you seem to live now! It was a couple years ago, but I''m still around that neighborhood regularly. It was such a killer to have to pass Audrey Claire on my walk home from work, it always smelled sooo good right at the time I was starving for dinner


Have you tried the new La Viola, a couple doors down from Monk''s? I like it so much better than the older side, and I definitely would have recommended it on this thread except that it didn''t seem to meet cdt''s criteria.

Ooh, maybe now that cdt has some good suggestions for her aunt and uncle, if she doesn''t mind, we can just keep talking about Philly restaurants in general...we ALWAYS seem to go to the same ones, so I could use some (reasonably priced) suggestions, too. Yum yum.
 

ephemery1

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Date: 12/1/2007 12:18:55 AM
Author: Octavia
Mini-hijack...Ephemery, I used to live right around the corner from where you seem to live now! It was a couple years ago, but I'm still around that neighborhood regularly. It was such a killer to have to pass Audrey Claire on my walk home from work, it always smelled sooo good right at the time I was starving for dinner


Have you tried the new La Viola, a couple doors down from Monk's? I like it so much better than the older side, and I definitely would have recommended it on this thread except that it didn't seem to meet cdt's criteria.

Ooh, maybe now that cdt has some good suggestions for her aunt and uncle, if she doesn't mind, we can just keep talking about Philly restaurants in general...we ALWAYS seem to go to the same ones, so I could use some (reasonably priced) suggestions, too. Yum yum.
Octavia, we are planning on Audrey Claire for dinner tonight, actually! Well, DH is voting for Lolita... which I highly recommend if you haven't been there! But there's a new La Viola?? I had no idea... I haven't walked past in a while I guess! I used to go there often with friends when I first moved to the city (gotta love the prices!), but DH isn't an Italian food fan.

Other favorites that are reasonably priced: Lolita (BYOB Mexican), Tequila's (Mexican), Vietnam (self-explanatory), Devon (seafood), Twenty Manning (Asian fusion), Friday Saturday Sunday (cozy atmosphere), Cuba Libre (Cuban)

Are you still living in the city?
 

Octavia

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Date: 12/1/2007 9:45:29 AM
Author: ephemery1

Octavia, we are planning on Audrey Claire for dinner tonight, actually! Well, DH is voting for Lolita... which I highly recommend if you haven''t been there! But there''s a new La Viola?? I had no idea... I haven''t walked past in a while I guess! I used to go there often with friends when I first moved to the city (gotta love the prices!), but DH isn''t an Italian food fan.


Other favorites that are reasonably priced: Lolita (BYOB Mexican), Tequila''s (Mexican), Vietnam (self-explanatory), Devon (seafood), Twenty Manning (Asian fusion), Friday Saturday Sunday (cozy atmosphere), Cuba Libre (Cuban)


Are you still living in the city?
Yep. Technically I live in the ''burbs now, but my BF lives in CC and I spend most of my time at his place. We love Tequila''s and Vietnam, too, I''ve actually been wanting to go to Vietnam for weeks now and BF hasn''t been in the mood for it. I''m definitely going to put Lolita on the list, I''ve been hearing such good things about it from everyone but it never comes to mind when we''re going out. What''s your vote for sushi? We always go to Genji, though it''s not the closest to our place, but BF is a creature of habit and has been going there for years.

The new La Viola is across the street and about three buildings closer to Locust than the original. The old one is still open, but the new one is larger, less noisy, and just feels fresher. Still BYOB and cash-only, though. Have you been to Astral Plane since it re-opened? I drove by it the other day and it looks so different. The menu sounds pretty good but I don''t know anyone who has been yet.

I''ve been doing a lot more cooking lately so we haven''t been eating out as much, but I''ve got the urge to try something new next time we do. It''s great to see places listed out here, gives me all sorts of ideas!
 

Odilia

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If anyone likes opera, a fun restaurant is Victor's Cafe. The wait staff are all aspiring opera singers, so they sing opera songs in between serving. Even their version of Happy Birthday is awesome. I think the menu was Italian mostly, and I liked the food although I was only there once. I'm not a big opera fan necessarily, but DH took me there when we were dating and we loved it.

http://www.victorcafe.com/
 

cdt1101

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wow thanks ladies for all of the suggestions!!! I sure have some research to do! I wish we lived closer to philly to try these places...they all sound so yummy!!!

Thanks!
 

diamondfan

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There are really some great restaurants in Philly. With rare exception, I love all of Starr''s places, the themes, the atmosphere, the cuisine are all great. I would say Buddakan and Barclay Prime are my two favorites.

Capital Grill and Mortons are also great, and there is Smith and Wollensky''s. And I had a wonderful dinner at Ruth''s Chris in King of Prussia the other night, which I was surprised by. It was a holiday weekend and the place was crowded but everything was delish.

There are a couple of great Mexican places in the city, blanking out right now, but really supposed to be good and I love good Mexican food. Italian is another favorite. I have heard Tres Scalini is nice, and there are places in South Philly that have great food and are a bit more authentic supposedly. Rouge and Bleu on Rittenhouse are both nice choices too.
 
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