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Jan 18, 2007 03:29 PM

Best New Restaurants

I am looking for any suggestions on new (within a year) restaurants in Philadelphia. Any type of food will do, but I would prefer something more upscale. Amada is one that fits the criteria, anyone have any other good suggestions? Thank you.

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  1. James (we're going next week, heard great things)

    Rae, in the Cira building

    Both have outstanding chefs, both getting raves. Upscale.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sylviag

      James is pretty good, I tried it out this week and got the seven-course chef's tasting. I'd recommend ordering off the regular menu instead (at least on your first visit), the tasting was a bit too pricey for what it was. If you do get the tasting, be very specific with the server about what you like and don't like. We didn't express much preference and got three courses of shellfish, which I'm not a big fan of. Of the seven courses, one of the courses is cheese and one is dessert, so really over half of our five 'dinner' courses consisted of shellfish dishes (scallop, oyster, and langostino). I guess the chef either really likes shellfish or they got some good quality specimens that day and wanted to take advantage of it. Anyway, for a place that's been open for a couple weeks, it was very good. In a few months, it will probably be awesome.

      According to our server, they will be getting their liquor license this weekend. The bar area is very nice, it will be a great place to sit by the fire with a glass of wine.

    2. M Restaurant at the Morris House Hotel is actually very impressive, it is flying a little below the radar and has been open since last june, but I've been 4 times now and it is awesome. There is always a 5 course menu tasting for $55 which you can't beat for the quality of food, and service. Last week, and all of this week they are actually doing a 5 course porcini tasting menu for $60, and $90 with wine. A friend and I had it last Friday night, and it was incredible! The wine list is also very impressive, over 100 bottles, and easily the softest mark-up I've seen in 10 years in this city. There is a website Had a chance to meet the chef, and he is very nice. He is also the general manager, and makes the wine list. The Hotel is a beautiful 15 room boutique/historic scene, and the rooms are reasonable. Definately worth checking out, the dining room is small, and nice, and not that easy to get a res, but during the week it is easier. I haven't tried James, but M is a good bit better than Rae so far. I've been to Rae 2 times now, and the bar is very cool, but the, a little pricy, and lacking in taste.

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