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Philly: parents meet parents - help?

Its gonna go down in a few weeks.

Necessities: 1) liquor license, 2)a bit of atmosphere (i.e. distractions if conversation starts to really go badly/wane), 3)asian food is a no-no, 4)italian is ok, 5)and about $$$. Center city proper/old city/rittenhouse are pluses - not into Univ City or deep South Philadelphia

Seemslike the only ones that are fitting this "bill" are Capital Grille and Brasserie.

What else ya got?

edited to say that yes, good food is a must. I've been hearing excelent things about the new M near Washington Sqaure but....apparently its very quiet. Oh - and Ansill's small plates won't fit the bill either.

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  1. My favorite place for taking parents and older relatives is Astral Place. The menu is interesting but not scary. The decor is interesting and appropriately distracting. And it's not too dark or smoky. It might not be as expensive as you are looking for. Thank you.

    1. that's really funny - I was going to say "and not Astral Plane" (really bad date and even putting him aside, the food was really poor. I tried so much to love it....but I didn't.)

        1. re: JanR

          très interesting....or, that even brings to mind, Panorama....why not, right? by the way , no one has spoken of Panorama in ages here.

          keep em coming....

          1. re: rumdrinks

            Ristorante Panorama's wine flights are a lot of fun and would make for good conversation, but the food doesn't really help the experience--very bland, I thought.

            Nearby, La Familia would be a better choice.

        2. Someone may flame me for this, but as long as you are up to walking down stairs, La Buca at 7th and Locust fits the bill.

          1. What about Amada? It's got enough atmosphere that, depending on whether things are going well or poorly, you can concentrate either on the company or on what's going on at the next table. The food is amazing (a million times better than Capitale Grille, and more inventive than BP), they've got a nice selection of sherries, wines, and fun beverages, and it's not as stuffy as either CG or BP.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nns

              true - good thought - buuuuuuut then we get the tapas thing and even the sharing thing...and there's at least 2 (the fathers) that are not into that...

              1. re: rumdrinks

                Seems like they'd be happiest at an overpriced Starr joint. Jones is good, Continental Midtown is good and has lots of distractions.

            2. Caribou Cafe?


              Saloon (although its quite pricey for what it is)

              1. If they eat fish/seafood, Estia would be great. It's so beautiful! There are very few non-fish options there.

                We have always liked the food at Valanni - Mediterranean/Continental. It's lively, good drinks, and good menu choices which include small plates and full-sized entrees.

                If they are fairly traditional, then you might want to stick to Capital Grille (which most people enjoy) or Prime Rib, which has live piano music. I think that men need jackets at Prime Rib.

                1. As a member of you parents generation I'd second the nomination of Le Castagne. Unlike so many Philly restaurants it is not noisy. The food is great and served well with friendliness in comfortable surrounding. If you need distractions any of the waitstaff will engage in conversation. Otherwise the Barclay Prime in the Warwick has a classic forties steak house feel to it with a piano guy playing Sinatra. Either place will be delicious and fun and very appreciated by the old 'rents.

                  1. Caribou Cafe - suggestion noted! And Valanni too.

                    The only Starr joint that would fit could be Barclay Prime but while I think we'd gladly pay for the excelllllleeeennnt meat, the drink prices would put us in the poor house (i have a feeling that the fancy martinis and wine could be triple the dinner bill). Oh and Philly Doc - you meant to write Prime Rib in the Warwick, not Barclay Prime. I've never been there. Hmmmm.

                    Estia is also added to the list.

                    And lastly, I will add what the fiance added last night - Rose Tattoo. I've never had a bad meal (although I did once aask for the crabcakes to be reheated) and the cream of mushroom soup is unbeatable.

                    We've got some great recommendations...

                    1. I ate at Valanni on Sunday night and I have to say, it would not be my choice for this kind of a meal even though the food was (mostly) quite good. Valanni is pretty loud, which does not bode well for the age group/size of table you're dealing with. I find that if you have more than four people, and especially if any of them are over 50, you've got to have a quiet place if the people at either end of the table are going to be able to hear each other.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: travelmad478

                        You make a good point. When we go to Valanni, I ask for a table in the back section, but it still is not great for conversation.
                        Estia (beautiful!) or Prime Rib would probably be better - or one of the other upscale places. Prime Rib has the traditional kind of menu that make it a favorite with some of our friends, and the piano music is pleasant. Capital Grille has the advantage that they can give you a small room with a more intimate feeling. (Other people, but still small.)

                      2. Second Le Castagne (Sleeper.Amazing Veal Chop and Truffle Gnocci)
                        Bookies for Atmosphere and Snapper Soup ....Parents love it
                        Moshoulu (sp?)...Fun Deck dining room
                        Nineteen (Mixed Reviews)
                        Lacroix (New Chef but nice room...view)
                        Palm..LIvely Philly Show
                        Cap Grill

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: PhillyFoodDoc

                          Even though you sortof asked for something else in your original post, if I had your particular requirements I would go with BP. The food may be less funky than some places in Philadelphia but it really is very good, the service etc. will be perfect, it's classy inside, etc. I think it's a great place to make sure that there will be no snags in the parental meeting experience.

                        2. So it went down on Saturday and was as successful as could have been expected. Our table at the Rose Tattoo, hand picked by the perfectly accomodating Ben (manager) was great - towards the back, 1st floor, behind the bar. Cocktails were nice, service was great, and the mushroom soup never failed. They even had a pumpkin porcini soup that was out of this world. My entree of seared scallops with an english pea sauce on top fo a seafood ristotto was just fine - but only just fine because I just don't care for salmon and there was plenty of it in the risotto. Other nit pick is that they were out of the steak special at 8:00 (and tables weren't yet full for dinner service yet...so that was disappointing).

                          I still really like the Rose Tattoo.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: rumdrinks

                            Glad it went well, and thanks for reporting back.

                          2. I'd have to agree with Adrienne. Brasserie Perrier is a great choice and one of my favorites; great food and I've always had excellent service there.