Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Oct 23, 2006 03:12 AM

3 Fabulous Food Nights

Philly Hounds,

I am going to be in town for 3 nights and plan to try 3 of your best restaurants while in town. My tastes are broad, I love trying anything, and price is not necessarily a problem. A quick survey of my magazines a few friends has led me to the following list. What would you change if you could only do 3 restaurants, if anything, and why?

1. Amada
2. Striped Bass
3. Alma de Cuba

Also - a rec for the cheesesteak would also be greatly appreciated. :)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Amada is a good choice. However, I would be a little cautious about Striped Bass. There's a discussion below that the chef recently left and, at the moment, nobody's really in charge of the kitchen on a day to day basis. It may be ok, but, at Striped Bass's prices, I wouldn't take a chance.

    Like Striped Bass, Alma de Cuba is owned by Philly's biggest restaurateur, Steven Starr. While it may be good, I wouldn't put in the top three "must see" places to go. I would probably replace it with Gayle or, if you really want to splurge, Le Bec Fin. The former is a small, very innovative place, by a former Le Bec Fin chef, David Stern. Le Bec Fin is probably one of the best restaurants in the country. Whenever I go, I'm struck by the fact that it is very nearly perfect in every respect.

    Finally, for Italian, you might want to try Vetri. While I'm of the opinion that the raves are somewhat overblown, there's no denying that it's very good (and very expensive) Italian.

    1. I agree with Cruz completely. I would definitely substitute Striped Bass and Alma de Cuba with Gayle and Vetri. They are much better choices. Don't know how much advance planning time you have but, unless it's more than a month, you would probably have a trouble getting into Vetri. I would like to add Marigold Kitchen to the list. We've been there many times and always enjoyed it but we had an incredible dinner their Saturday night. Post coming as soon as I wake up enough. Enjoy Philadelphia.

      1. I agree with the other posters about your current choices. Another option you might want to check out is Ansill, a really creative place that's been getting some national buzz lately. I haven't been yet, but I have several foodie friends who have raved about it.

        1. I would add Vetri, as others mentioned. I did not care for Alma de Cuba too much- and especially if you are thinking true cuban b/c of the name, as it's not. As for the Starr restaurants, I tend to stick with Barclay Prime for a great steakhouse. Matyson is also another great one to try.