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| March 8, 2016 | Food & Drink
Philly’s eclectic dining scene is home to five-star fine dining, new American newcomers, and plenty of pasta.
This sleek Rittenhouse eatery oozes culinary confidence thanks to creative, seasonal small plates, a charcoal grill, and thoughtful pours. Sneak down the hallway to a.bar for a postprandial cocktail.
Jose Garces began his empire with Amada, a rustic-chic restaurant that celebrates Spanish cuisine and just marked 10 years. Get a front-row seat to the theatrics at the chef’s counter and dive into signature plates like lobster paella and roasted suckling pig.
Nestled inside the historic Barclay Building, this luxe Stephen Starr steakhouse boasts some of the best cuts of beef in town. Arrive early or stay late to enjoy the intimate library lounge—with a martini in hand, of course.
Stephen Starr’s ode to Asian fusion remains one of Philly’s biggest restaurant success stories. Guests Zen out over shareable plates, lychee martinis, and the towering golden Buddha that lords over the dining room.
caffe aldo lamBerti
Open for more than two decades, Caffe Aldo Lamberti has something for every taste and occasion. Go casual with small plates at the bar or reserve a table for two and sample from an exhaustive menu of Italian fare—traditional to contemporary—in the main dining room.
d’angelo ristorante italiano
This Italian restaurant’s best dishes are culled from generations of family recipes: Think classics like chicken cacciatore, veal francaise, and lasagna. Stop by on Friday and Saturdays to enjoy live music after your meal.
Davio’s NortherN italiaN steakhouse
This second-floor Rittenhouse steakhouse continues to reinvent itself with seasonal dishes and cocktails, gluten-free menus, and a recently added Sunday brunch. Don’t miss the famed cheesesteak spring rolls.
A staple of Old City dining, Fork remains one of the city’s most coveted reservations thanks to Ellen Yin and chef Eli Kulp’s incredibly successful collaboration. Opt for the tasting menu for a one-of-a-kind culinary experience.
Homemade pasta dishes, a killer cheese plate, and fresh branzino are among the must-try dishes on Girasole’s Mediterranean-inspired lunch and dinner menus.
Tucked inside Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Izakaya is Michael Shulson’s modern take on Japanese comfort foods. The dusky ambience, shareable dishes, and creative cocktail list make it one of AC’s most popular reservations for large groups.
Executive chef Jon Cichon leads the charge at the Rittenhouse Hotel’s celebrated kitchen, where his artful dishes are inspired by the seasons and locally sourced ingredients. Drop by the Library Bar or the Mary Cassatt Tea Room to experience all the hotel has to offer.
This hot spot radiates an unmistakably trendy vibe. In addition to raw and sushi bars, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto offers dishes such as rock shrimp tempura and spicy king crab.
The inviting, warm atmosphere at Marc Vetri’s Northern Italian-inspired restaurant is reason enough to pay a visit. Grab your favorite group of 14 and take a seat at the Kitchen Table, or rent out Osteria for a seated dinner or standing-only cocktail reception.
Dine among notable Philadelphians—both real and imagined, courtesy of the Palm’s collection of caricatures that dot the walls here—and dig into classic steak and seafood dishes among the city’s power players.
Serving modern American cuisine in a sophisticated setting, Paramour also features one of the Main Line’s busiest bars. Weekend brunch boasts a lavish spread complete with a Bloody Mary bar.
You’ll be transported to the coast of Italy courtesy of the stark white tiles and beautiful murals at this Old City favorite. Known for savory Italian cuisine, Positano Coast also offers some of the city’s freshest seafood. Opt for the tuna tartare or crabmeat tacos with chipotle aioli.
Take in breathtaking views of the city from 37 floors above, while enjoying signature drinks and American fare courtesy of chef Daniel Stern. Best bet: grilled truffle flatbread and the three-step margarita with Olmeca blanco from window-side booth.
Rouge endures as the city’s ultimate see-and-be-seen spot. Sip Champagne at a windowside table or the marble-topped round bar and dive into one of the hefty signature burgers or dayboat scallops while soaking up views of the Square.
Sampan is a haven for Pan-Asian fare, available in both small and large plates. Grab a drink and enjoy the shrimp dumplings, vegetable spring rolls, and tuna rice crackers. The rear Graffiti Bar boasts plenty of beer and an eclectic crowd.
Watch Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga orchestrate his kitchen from a perch at the chef’s counter at his eponymous restaurant on the Avenue of the Arts. The New American flavors shine in chef’s four-course prix fixe menu.
The newest addition to Zavino Hospitality group, Tredici Enoteca joins its sister restaurant, Zavino, on Sansom Street. Expect an entirely different vibe with heartier Mediterranean plates and an intimate raw bar.
Offering Mediterranean-Latin cuisine, Valanni offers a trendy vibe, with its upbeat music and many specialty cocktails. In addition to being a great location for any meal, Valanni morphs into a nightspot on weekends.
VERNICK FOOD & DRINK
Vernick is one of the toughest reservations in the city—with good reason. The New American menu consistently dazzles with its small and large plates, including dreamy signature toasts and raw seafood bites.
Visit chef Marc Vetri’s namesake eatery and embark on a memorable culinary journey. Enjoy signature dishes or learn how to make your own with the hands-on Vetri Cucina cooking classes.
Jose Garces offers upscale tasting menus and unparalleled service in a setting that combines industrial and modern design. Its location at the Kimmel Center makes it an easy choice for concert-goers but the plush lounge is a must for cocktails any night of the week.
Located on the 19th floor of the Hyatt at the Bellevue, XIX is known for its elegant setting, city views, and luxe seafood tasting, which includes fresh oysters, littleneck clams, shrimp, diver scallops, and colossal lump crab.
This comfortable Midtown Village eatery serves thin-crust pizzas and handmade pastas with a lengthy list of spirits and wines in a casual, high-energy room.
photography by neal santos