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I spent 2 days in Philadelphia,a city that I've always liked for its' friendliness and bits of eccentricity....and went to two restaurants which I'd planned ahead to visit;Vetri a small Italian restau

Go to Zahav and get the mesibah (and be sure to reserve the lamb shoulder in advance), or go to Kanella.

Thanks, but we're going to skip Solomonov's place this time around. Not only is it very hard to get into, but he co-chef'fed a meal at La Vara this past year that was great & we're fine with havi

Have convinced one of our students to watch the Rocky movies. Well, the first two. He's matriculating at Thomas Jefferson next year and looking for digs near Centre City. After the closing of Le Bec-Fin, I haven't the foggiest notion where one would dine there.


If I don't move to Sunset Park next year, I might go to Philly myself, if I can find a job there.

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  • 2 months later...

The original location of Farm & Fisherman is to close. The 30 seat Philadelphia BYOB restaurant was too small, and too time intensive.

However, owner Josh Lawlor will continue with his much larger Farm & Fisherman Tavern in NJ, and plans to expand it into the suburbs of Philadelphia.



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  • 1 year later...

Philly again, this time with slightly older children. First meal out was a.kitchen, this time the restaurant side. Burger. Good.


Grown up meal out at the new-ish Double Knot, which is a cafe upstairs during the day, and a bar at night, and they have an izakaya downstairs in the evening. We had a (very good) cocktail upstairs, and then ate downstairs. I don't find myself complaining about restaurant lighting that often, but it was really hard to read the menu at our table. Which ended up with me asking the waitress to recommend a bottle from the junmai ginjo price category, and her picking the only bottle in that category which would have put us well in the daiginjo category, which was kind of annoying. The sake itself was good, but not $78 for 300ml good. Further annoying was that she let me order two dishes with the identical saucing, then only commented on this as she dropped them off at our table. Food was tasty enough but too much of a similar treatment overall for the dishes -- all kind of sweet smoky despite the fact that we ordered across the entire menu. Would have been nice to have some contrasting sour/fermented/fresh/whatever.


Another grown up meal at Fork. I wasn't expecting so much from this one and they knocked it out of the park. Super service, very interesting and well thought out dishes. Lovely, Michelin-level cooking except you could identify all the ingredients and the place was not the least bit stuffy. Super cocktails.


Watched soccer at the White Dog for old times sake. Pretty competent kitchen though I kind of miss the old eccentricity of the place when Judy Wicks still ran it. Availed myself of the $1 oysters happy hour.


Reading Terminal meh but $4 parking. We ate at 12th Street Cantina because of the kids so I can't really complain.


Very good dim sum at Dim Sum House, new place at 39th and Chestnut. Easily one of the best I've had in the US in any case.


Excellent meal as usual at Mustard Greens.


Dizingoff for the famous Zahav hummus. Haven't been able to get a reservation at Zahav and have been curious to try. Very well done, in particular the fresh pita is a nice touch. A reminder that I make good hummus at home though too. :-) Less sesame forward, more lemon, but that's a Lebanese thing.


Haven't been able to get a reservation at Vernick, might just try to walk in at the bar, it looks kind of interesting. Otherwise maybe Serpico. It's much nicer to visit now that the kids can stay alone with the grandparents in the evenings.


Stopped in at what I thought was a cafe near Rittenhouse, turned out to be some vegan gluten free soy free place. Granola with some odd coconut cream pseudo-yogurt, and a "cleansing" juice that tasted like burning. Actually I guess I kind of liked the juice. The kid had a brownie made with Adzuki beans. Which tasted like chocolate with adzuki beans. P.S. &Co. (had to look it up.)


What else? Coffee awful everywhere, as usual. Bread never has a proper crust no matter how "rustic". Good beer selection from Local 44, always reliable.


Oh, and Minella's diner in Wayne, for old times' sake. The kids ate a double order of waffles.

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  • 2 months later...

Spent this past weekend in Philadelphia. Friday night's dinner was at Abe Fisher, one of the Solomonov's family of restaurants. Utterly underwhelming.


Breakfast/lunch (yes, I was forced to eat my least favorite meal) at High Street on Market was pretty damn good, as was the bread involved. Coffee from La Columbe. Dinner Saturday night at a.kitchen+bar (oy with these names) was much better, with a nice wine list to match.


And our breakfast Sunday morning, after arriving at Jose Garces' 24 too early for breakfast, was at DaybyDay, fine for what it was. La Columbe once again.

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  • 9 months later...

We had lunch at High Street on Market -- giant pastrami sandwich. Was good but way too much.


Res Ipsa is the restaurant of the moment. Interesting disconnect between what they seem to be aiming for, and what the press has made them out to be.


If you read the reviews you'll assume these will be elaborately plated and very precise cheffy small plates. In fact the kitchen is really just making well prepared, simple Sicilian-inspired veg, seafood and pasta dishes, which they do a solid job of. But if someone goes in expecting the former I think they might be confused.


We had lunch there today as well. Their pastry person is really talented. Nice place if you ignore the press.


aka bar/kitchen again. The Brussels sprouts starter was delicious, but I regretted not getting the burger. Flank steak had a lot of stuff going on but flavour was not one of them. :(


At some point we really need to branch out to Northern Liberties. Suraya looks nice. Now that I have finally gotten around to using Lyft it might even happen.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We're thinking about spending a long weekend in Philly end of May, beginning of June. Working on hotels and restaurants. Anyone know anything about "Mr. Martino's Trattoria", "Le Virtu", or "Russet"?


eta: just re-read another Philly thread and noticed that wingding liked Le Virtu several years ago.

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We loved Zahav. We stayed aat Loew's Philadelphia Hotel, original the PSFS Building, a national historic landmark that was the first International Style building constructed in the U.S., designed by Gordon Howe and Williams Lescaze. We found it comfortable as well as beautiful.

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