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Aug 9, 2006 04:16 PM

Somewhere near Kimmel for appetizers/cocktails?

Looking for somewhere with very good food and cocktails- upscale or hip atmosphere. Looking to sit at bar or table with a few friends before an event. Hoping to stay within a few blocks walking distance.

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  1. El Vez between Walnut and Sansom, on 13th Street. A cool little spot, Stephen Starr place so it's trendy, good drinks(pricey)and good apps.(guoc is very good) and three blocks from Kimmel. Eat outside on nice nights or inside. Just in case you do decide to take a short cab ride, Alma de Cuba on 16th and Walnut, and Continental Midtown at 18th and Chestnut are also Stephen Starr joints with great atmosphere and good drinks and apps. All 3 are trendy and the places themselves are better than the food in my opinion, but they still have better than average food that's for sure. Check out the websites for more info.

    1. Just one block away - on Spruce St. between 12th and 13th Sts - is Valanni. Not Italian, it's Mediterranean/Continental.

      Very good food - tapas, small plates, good salads - good drinks, lively atmosphere.

      Always busy. We were there on a weekday night and it was full. It's a good idea to call and make a reservation. You can ask for the bar area, or sit at the bar.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sylviag

        Just an alert on Valanni. Not great if you can't deal with smoke. There is no separated non-smoking section and the bar is in the middle. My only complaint with the place.

        Steve R

      2. There's a new wine bar on 13th called Vintage- I haven't been there but heard good things. Anyone check it out yet?

        website here:

        3 Replies
        1. re: pronek

          I've been to Vintage twice now & really like it. They have a great selection of wines (the servers/bartenders seem knowledgeable & made great suggestions) & the food is very good, fresh & simply prepared.
          I loved the onion soup -though the portion was a little smaller than expected. Cheese & charcuterie plates are good for sharing & they do a good burger. Last time I went my friend & I split an excellent duck leg entree with black lentils.

          The crowd is interesting, not intimidating, a nice mix of young & old. I prefer eating at the bar - the service was faster than when we sat at a table, so that may be a consideration if you're going on to the Kimmel.

          Prices are moderate.

          1. re: pronek

            Great place. This will be a real winner once the smoking ban takes effect, as it can get downright foggy now.

            1. re: FlyerFanX

              FYI - if you go early 5:30-6 (before a Kimmel event), Vintage is pretty quiet & smoke was not a problem for me & I am also a nonsmoker. They seem to have a more than adequate ventilation/fan system.

          2. XIX at the top of the Bellevue. Great view and getting some real nice write ups recently.

            1. Pasion on 15th would be perfect. They have an interesting menu, hip atmosphere and good drinks. Upscale but not stuffy.