need help pls/swanky philly?
Any of the places you mentioned are good, although some are more pricey and overrated than others (Brasserie Perrier comes to mind). David's suggestions are all excellent as well - Tangerine is very nice and kind of different. Food is good and it's a little like being in a opium den. Very pricey drinks though (I think $8.00 for a Captain Morgan & Coke is excessive by anyone's standards.) See my latest reply to "Solo Dining Near Convention Center" for a ringing endorsement of Avenue B - my latest new and hip favorite bar as of yesterday. Also - tell your friends to look up Zagat.com to get recommendations that are more specific geographically, price wise, or cuisine wise to their tastes. Can't go wrong there...
Stephen, all the restaurants you mention are quite trendy and swankly and serve very good food. So, any of them would be good picks. I'll add a few of my own that I like and why I like them.
Tangerine - French/Moroccon. This place gets mixed reviews on food (I thought it was very good) and is very trendy and "a place to be seen". (2nd & Market in Olde City)
Cibucan - a little Nuevo Latino place that serves excellent food (but is cheap) with a hip, if minimalist atmosphere (20th & Sansom area)
Brasserie Perrier - on restaurant row (16th & Walnut), very good food, very hip and trendy, beautiful bar, another "place to be seen".
The Blue Angel - very good French Bistro food in a beautiful space with a great bar, definitely trendy.
As far as bars/lounges go, I like Mahogony on Walnut (across from Le Bec Fin) but only if you like a gentleman's club atmosphere with fireplace where you sip a fine drink and have a cigar. Otherwise, I also like The Bishop's Collar at 24th & Fairmount in the Fairmount (Art Museum) area. A fine (but small) English Pub that draws a trendy crowd and often has good live music.
Hope this helps. Philly has so much to offer I'm sure you won't go wrong.