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Dinner in Philly to Please Everyone

We used to live in Philly and are planning to return to celebrate our son's college graduation from Penn in May. I am thinking ahead because we will be a large group of about 11 for dinners. Most of the 11 people are young and love fine food in a trendy or beautiful setting, but a few are seniors so I would like to avoid stairs. Price is not an object for this weekend. I just want the dinners to be special---but would probably want to aviod haute French cuisine. We are considering Barcaly Prime, Vetri, Buddakan (altough I'm worried that that one may be too loud---been there), Matyson, and possibly Washington Square. I don't think the seniors would be comfortable sitting outside so what's the indoor dining (and food) like at Washington Sqaure (someone recommended it)? Also, is Vetri worth a try and is Matyson "special" enough? We are staying at the Four Seasons and might have considered The Fountain for convenience but they are serving a buffet dinner during that weekend in May because of expected crowds. If anyone can advise me or add to these suggestions, I would be grateful! Thanks in advance....

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  1. A while back I ate at Il Angelo (the corner) a fantastic little Italian joint that was soooo gooood....I recommend it highly as it is hip....don't remember the neighborhood where it was though...try google...

    1. You might want to check down further regarding Barclay Prime and some significant negative comments about noise levels. I wouldn't go there. LaCroix received 4 bells recently so that is something you definitely might want to consider. SylviaG has promised a review on a lunch she had there recently so look for that. Finally, I have found Vetri next to impossible to get reservations to plus I don't know if they could accomodate that large a group. If you are going on a weeknight you might have more success. I like Matyson a lot but not sure if I would consider it special enough for the occassion.

      1. Oops - the Italian place I recommended is Il Angolo - check out the reviews online - it really was special.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jbyoga

          Are you referring to L'Angolo? If so, it is a decent but really small neighborhood place. I don't think that most would consider it a "destination" restaurant.

        2. Hmmm I thought about Lacroix (or even Le Bec Fin) but thought these would be just too long a meal. Also, the menu at Lacroix appears somewhat limited for the seniors (and amybe the college grads). Am I mistaken? I ate there for breakfast once but couldn't judge what dinner would be like. I've eaten at Barcaly Prime and don't recall objecting to the noise level-but perhaps things have changed. Thanks for the heads up!

          1. I would check out Estia. It is a lovely space with a very special feel, and could easily accommodate a group of your size. The food is wonderful, with enough variety to please everyone. It has a heavy emphasis on fish/seafood, but has several meat dishes.

            Vetri is definitely worth it for the food, but it is very small, without a good set-up for a large group. Matyson is a little roomier, and the food is terrific, but not as fancy an atmosphere.

            It just occurred to me you might also want to look into Amada. It is hip, but not so hip that older folks would feel uncomfortable. The food is mostly tapas, which is great for sharing and also great for variety. There is bound to be something everyone likes. It is more "fun" while Estia might be more "elegant."

            1 Reply
            1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

              Amada would work if you can get that private room in the back-right, which you'd just share with one other party. Otherwise, too loud.