A Power Lunch at The Palm
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|The 18-ounce New York strip steak, Palm style|
Of course, the place still exudes power, money, and influence. That has not changed one bit, and rest assured, it never will. There is former Governor Ed Rendell hungrily taking down his chicken Parmesan sliders. At the table next to him, Philadelphia Flyers chairman and owner Ed Snider is buying and selling defensemen over his classic Caesar salad. The rich, famous, and well connected are all around you. It is not by coincidence, either. “Personally, when people come in for lunch, it’s to see the others who are also in the room—Mayor Nutter, former Governor Rendell, [banking capitalist] Vernon Hill—it’s one big meeting place,” says Haney. “They always know they’re going to see somebody. In essence, this place is an extension of their work.” So what keeps it so iconic within a city maximized to its prime-rib-bust ing seams by an onslaught of so many quality steakhouses? “The consistency of the menu, the philosophy in doing what we need to do to make the guest happy—and we know exactly who you are as soon as you walk in the door,” explains Haney.
Despite the mogul-saturated scene, The Palm 2.0 is certainly much more approachable. The coiffed lawyers in their impeccable suits at the bar are relaxed as they rub elbows with Phillies-jersey-wearing guys stopping in for beers on their way to the ballgame. Boomers imbibe with the X’ers. It is completely homogenous and, let’s face it, all really quite natural. Cool, even. “This place is for everybody,” Haney observes, as real estate magnate Ron Rubin takes a seat at his regular spot (Table 2). “Each person will have a completely different experience here from everyone else. We’re proud of our past, but The Palm sure isn’t your grandfather’s steakhouse anymore.” 200 S. Broad St., 215-546-7256
photograph by andrew kahl (interior)