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A Philly restaurant recommendation, please.
August 29, 2011 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Can you make some Philadelphia restaurant recommendations for a Baltimore-based couple based on some of our current favorites?

I've explored Chow/Chowhound, Yelp, and other googleable resources, but am hoping someone can make a dinner recommendation for us based on what we enjoy here in Baltimore/DC. Some of our favorites include: Cinghiale, Pazo, Woodberry Kitchen, and Birch & Barley.

We are planning a day trip for tomorrow, any suggestions of outstanding, interesting cuisine welcome. We are not limited by price or type of cuisine, perhaps just something that is absolutely not to be missed?

Thanks in advance!
posted by Asherah to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'd recommend Matyson, as well as Little Fish and its sister restaurant Fish. I would have also recommended Horizons for inventive vegan, but it sounds like they are now closed, sadly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:47 PM on August 29, 2011


Amada
posted by Right On Red at 5:20 PM on August 29, 2011


Monk's. Get the mussels! And the fries! And some beer!

I love the eclectic menu at the Continental Midtown, my favorite Stephen Starr offering in Philadelphia. Butcher and Singer is worth a try as well.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 5:35 PM on August 29, 2011


Distrito is exciting, and I'll second Monk's.
posted by mlle valentine at 5:41 PM on August 29, 2011


Alfred is a free iPhone app which does this -- tell it what restaurants you like in one city/neighborhood, and it will give you suggestions in another. I bet MeFi does a better job, but it will work faster if you're in a pinch....
posted by wyzewoman at 5:53 PM on August 29, 2011


For awesome Mexican, try Los Caballitos.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:58 PM on August 29, 2011


Oh, and there's Lolita, where you bring your own tequila for fresh-fruit margaritas.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:59 PM on August 29, 2011


Seconding Lolita. Also Pub and Kitchen is so good!
posted by elvissa at 6:15 PM on August 29, 2011


Tequilla's is pretty good Mexican also.
posted by skepticallypleased at 7:16 PM on August 29, 2011


I second Continental Midtown. It's my favorite downtown restaurant, and it's got a very unique vibe. Plus their restrooms are an experience you can't miss.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:20 PM on August 29, 2011


Granted, i've never really eaten in Baltimore, and i didn't google restaraunts, but i know a bit about dining in Philly, so I'll give my 10c.

Philly really has a million gazillion amazing restaurants. Here are a couple of my recommendations:

Reading Terminal Market is the be-all, end-all for lunch. It really is the best lunch spot in the city. granted, it's busy as all hell at lunch time. But your options are really endless. The crepe place is great. They have one of the first ice cream places in the country as well.

Morimoto has a really reasonable lunch menu, as well. Way to expensive at dinner, but for lunch it's great. And of course, it's fucking Morimoto. Last time i was there, i had some sushi and a bowl of miso soup. The miso was out-of-this-world good. My wife had pork belly ramen that was equally amazing. I don't even need to say anything about the sushi, it's fucking Morimoto.

Same with 10 Arts by Eric Ripert - they have this bit called a "5 bite lunch" that's about 20 beans, but is really good. 10 arts also has the distinction of being in a super-super cool building. 10 Ave of the Arts (building with the big dome) used to be a bank, and you can see when you walk in, where all the bank shit used to be. The bathrooms in the back are right outside the bank vault, the circular center area where the tellers would have been located is now wine storage. Really cool architecture. Also, the exec chef is Jenn Carrol (from Top Chef).

Take that touristy bus thing down to the art museum in the AM, and then walk down the hill to Water Works for lunch, eat on the patio. Phenomenal view out near boathouse row, and a really nice menu.

There's this place on Ave of the Arts called Ted's Montana Grill (I think that's what it's called), it's right next door to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. In my opinion, the steaks are better, and it's less than half the price. Ruth's Chris is great if you wanna get real dressed up and pay $75 a plate.

The Italian Market on 9th has some great shit too. There's a great gelato place there (Anthony's Italian Coffee House), way better than the overrated Capogiro gelato place.

Go get a slice at Lorenzo's on 9th and South.

on the 1300 block of Walnut (I think), there's Naked Chocolate Cafe. Phenomenal bakery with amazing drinking chocolate. I usually get a Spicy drinking chocolate, european style, with a shot of espresso. Man that shit is good.

If you like Chinese, you HAVE to eat at Han Dynasty on chestnut. They have some of the best Chinese food I've ever eaten, EVER.

Thirteen, the restaurant in the Marriott on 12th & Market (right across from RTM and right around the block from Melting Pot, which is certainly a fun meal as well, if a bit overpriced - but chicks dig it!), is a great dinner spot. It's nice looking and pretty quiet inside, and the prices are pretty reasonable, as far as Center City goes.

On Sunday Morning, hit up Jones on Chestnut for brunch. Possibly the best Eggs Benedict i've ever had.

Continental Midtown (two in Philly, i forget exactly where) is a great place to go for a date. Quirky upscale menu, great drinks. When you go in and you're at the host stand, look up and you'll see that the chairs at the tables around the upper level are hanging baskets. Very cool. My wife dug this place real hard.

Jose (Iron Chef) Garces' Amada is a tapas place that i've heard really good things about, though i've never been there.

Take a trip down to Penn's Landing and walk a couple blocks up to
Franklin Fountain (on Market). Real legit old-school soda-jerk shop, and hand-made ice cream. Really tiny place, and be aware, they only take cash. Love me a vanilla egg creme.


I'm sure I've been to more places, i just can't think of them at the moment. And i haven't been to Le Bec Fin or Budakkan, or Alma de Cuba, ZINC, or any of the myriad other great places in Philly.
posted by frmrpreztaft at 1:38 AM on August 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Chifa. I admit that I thought of it because one of my best college guy friends had his rehearsal dinner at Cinghiale, and another at Chifa, but I think the food at Chifa was more memorable. Great service, too.
posted by knile at 4:57 AM on August 30, 2011


I hate to argue with the commenters above, but I would not recommend Jones (bland), Thirteen (hotel restaurant), or Ted's Montana Grill (chain). I would, however, second Amada, Fish/Little Fish, and Monk's. I think you would also enjoy Garces Trading Company, Osteria, or Meme. Talula's Garden is also great for farm-to-table dining, plus the location can't be beat.
posted by jrichards at 7:03 AM on August 30, 2011


Strangely some of the best upscale Mexican I've had was in Philadelphia:

Lolita!! the best - if you take one suggestion from the answers, this is the #1. BYO tequila for amazing margaritas (I don't normally like margaritas) and the food is delicious.

Distrito is also really good.

Agreed with Monk's for a more casual pub fare thing.

Definitely have a philly cheese steak. I like Jim's the best actually (though most people have to do the Pat's and Geno's thing).

MidAtlantic is yummy organic-y locavore type food.

I'm really eh on Jones and Continental. They are OK in my book, but not the best dining the city has to offer - and it really does have some amazing dining.
posted by rainydayfilms at 11:41 AM on August 30, 2011


Southwark has an incredible brunch and a vast selection of rye whiskey. The corned beef hash is to die for.
posted by TheCoug at 2:03 PM on August 30, 2011


frmrpreztaft posted some great information, as you have already noticed. I have two minor corrections.

- Lorenzo's is on 9th and Christian, not South. It's four blocks south of South, and it was highly recommended to me as the best cheese steak in town. (After trying one, I'm willing to believe it.)

- Naked Chocolate has been closed/bought/taken over/something. It's still in the same place (northeast corner of Juniper and Walnut), but it has a different name (Philadelphia Chocolate Company?). I mention this because I moved to Philly in mid April, then moved one block away from this corner at the beginning of June, and I was so fixated on specifically finding "Naked Chocolate" that I completely overlooked the store front until someone else pointed it out. Really.

I'd love to give you some info of my own, but I already pointed out I'm pretty new here. Favorited the question and frmrpreztaft's response for my own edification.
posted by cardioid at 2:07 PM on August 30, 2011


@cardoid: Sorry, just for the sake of clarity, I should mention that I meant Lorenzo & Sons at 305 South. Best slice around.

Also, so sad to hear about Naked Chocolate. While I don't live in PA/NJ (VA, actually), I grew up in the area and have family around, so I find myself around often :)

Best of luck with your meal(s)!
posted by frmrpreztaft at 5:57 PM on August 30, 2011


frmrpreztaft: So it's six blocks east of what you said! (Jeez, so many pizza places here. You'd think I moved to NYC.)

I was initially sad to hear about Naked Chocolate (and still kind of am), but the new owners seem like good people. At least the quality is still up.
posted by cardioid at 3:33 PM on August 31, 2011


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