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Oct 30, 2001 12:44 PM

New York hound seeks Philly advice

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Three of us are coming to Philadelphia the Saturday after Thanksgiving to see the Thomas Eakins retrospective at the Museum of Art. Our tickets are for noon and our train back to New York leaves at 8:30. Can you all suggest a nice place for an early dinner close to (better yet, walking distance from) the museum? I want to try to keep the bill under $150. Simple is good, but we want to take the opportunity try one of the city's special places.

Many thanks, and I'm happy to return the favor when the Eakins show comes to the Met in the Spring.

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  1. Not much is within walking distance of the Art Museum. Close, and very good, is Jack McDavid's (Grillin and Chillin on the food network) Jack's Firehouse, 2130 Fairmount.

    Also in that area, London, a great neighborhood bistro.

    Holly Moore

    Link: http://www.HollyEats.Com

    2 Replies
    1. re: Holly Moore
      David De Silva

      I would agree with all that the choices listed so far are quite good. London Grill offers excellent food and is a nice corner neighborhood joint. Though they have a bar, I would also recommend taking a stroll one block back toward the museum to have a pint of good English ale at The Bishop's Collar, a great English style neighborhood pub.

      Other recommendations that come to mind (that may or may not be superior to London Grill) are Cuvee Notredame, serving good Belgian food and beer. Also (though I have not eaten here), I hear that Figs (the new BYOB cafe serving mediterrean food with hints of Morocco and Spain by Mustapha Rouissiya) is very good as well. Just don't know if it is within walking distance from the musuem. Please let us know where you ate and what you thought. The Art Museum is a beautiful building and Eakin's work represents American Impressionism at it's best. You may also want to check out the newly renovated Water Works located adjacent to the museum (if it's open yet?).

      1. re: David De Silva

        I've yet to try Figs, but been told by a neighbor who has that it is worth a visit. Cuvee Notredame is a few blocks more distant from the museum than the others mentioned, but I've always enjoyed it; they do a nice job with the mussels (of course), the lamb and the carbonnade.

    2. Hi Erica:

      There really isn't anything special that's walking distance from the Museum. I'd suggest taking a very short cab ride to Bistro St. Tropez at 2400 Market Street (215-569-9269) in the Marketplace Design Center. The food is fantastic, the wine list well chosen and affordable, and the view of the sun setting over the river and the 30th Street Station and Post Office is lovely. Best of all, you can take the two block walk to your train AFTER dinner when you need it most if you've enjoyed one of the delicious desserts!

      Happy Chowing!

      1. I second Holly's recommendations.

        I live in the neighborhood and heartily endorse Holly's recommendation for London. It is a perfect neighborhood bistro, with the food carefully prepared and served graciously but without fuss.

        When it come to Jack's Firehouse, you either love the food or hate it. Count me among the former. Try the pulled pork, if it's still on the menu -- it used to be incendiary, but it's been toned down just a little. Drink it with beer.

        Like Katie, I also enjoy Bistro St. Tropez. However, I don't find it superior to London, although the menu may be a bit more adventuresome. But since you will be taking cab back to 30th Street Station anyway, and since Bistro St. Tropez is just a short walk across the river from the station, you might want to try it.

        1. Sounds like good suggestions here, although we don't particularly care for Jack's Firehouse.
          We live across from the Art Museum, and while none of the restaurants are the city's real top ones, I think London Grille, at 23rd and Fairmount, might be your best bet. The menu is interesting and the surroundings pleasant.
          Figs is even closer; it's at 25th and Meredith. We've eaten there twice and enjoyed it, but I'm not sure it's open for lunch on Saturdays. It's Moroccan.
          A short cab ride away (or long walk) is one of our favorites: Nan, at 40th & Chestnut. This is French/Thai, with a marvelous chef. If you go there, try the duck breast, the soups, anything in puff pastry - it's great. We prefer it to Bistro St. Tropez, which we have found to be rather pricey and noisy lately.
          The dining room in the Museum is very nice. Not open for dinner, but you can enjoy lunch there.
          Restaurants in Philly require reservations for a Saturday evening.
          Sylvia Glassman

          1. All great suggestions, but do yourselves a favor and eat at Gloria's Seafood (2120 Fairmount, 215-235-5290.) Awesome food and a huge draw for the locals. Also, nice jazz in the evenings. ONLY drawback....Gloria's is a BYOB. But there are package goods stores in the area or you can haul your own from NYC. Go and enjoy. This is a lovely area.