Saturday Night Eating & Drinking in Center City
I'm coming down to Philadelphia from Ontario for a birthday weekend celebration with friends next month.
I already have a reservation at Morimoto for the birthday dinner on Sunday and would like some recommendations for less expensive dining on the Saturday night. I would like to experience a BYOB (type of food really isn't an issue, just not Japanese for obvious reasons!), preferably in/around Center City and not too expensive (say around $50 or under per person?). Also, one of us is Vegetarian. Up here we have BYOB but always have to pay corkage so would like a BYOB without corkage fees.
Also, we would like to go out for drinks after dinner on Saturday night. Any ideas as to Lounges with an older crowd (late 30's/early 40's)? We are not looking to shake our booties (too old - ha!) but to just have some good drinks/talk with a great vibe.
One last thing, any suggestions as to handmade chocolate shops I should check out (big chocolate freak here)? Or bakeries?
Thanks for your help.
Unlike me, who is a tad unspry to deal with the steps at Horizon (location near Sixth and Bainbridge), you might relish HOrizons, a vegan gourmet restaurant. Now, it isn't BYOB. In fact, there are two bars--but if you bought one bottle of wine with your dinners, you could travel downstairs to the chic bar on the lower floor for your after dinner drinks. Just a thought--this heavy duty meat eater relished her dinner at Horizons. Inovative food, nice vibe.
Great suggestion -- far and away my favorite restaurant, and I know some avowed carnivores who swear by it, too. It's just off South St. on 7th. If it's not too crowded, you might try dining downstairs. This should fall well within your price range (as would the dining upstairs, if you didn't go nuts, but you should consider reservations if you decide to go that route). The food downstairs is every bit as good but cheaper -- basically you get the heart of the entrees w/o all the 'fixins'. The seitan tacos knock my socks off. They also have some pretty good / creative drinks, too. Try it -- your veg friend will love you for it.
As for chocolate shops, there's one in Reading Terminal Market, as well as one in Old City (although I can't remember where exactly -- maybe on Market up toward Front?).
BTW, be sure to save room for dessert at Morimoto -- the Shiso Mille Feuille is one of my favorites...
Check out the "If you love Matyson. . ." thread on this board. It's got a whole lot of great BYOB recommendations, none of which charge corkage, most of which can accommodate a vegetarian (though you may want to call and check). In particular, Bistro 7 sounds like it might be a good choice for your party.
I can't help you with drinks, since I'm usually rushing back to the 'burbs to relieve the babysitter, but for chocolate, you might want to check out the Naked Chocolate Cafe. I'm pretty sure they make their own, which are very good, though not fabulous IMHO. Their hot chocolate drinks, however, are fabulous, especially on a cold day.
I'd check out the Naked Chocolate Cafe http://www.nakedchocolatecafe.com/ for great hand formed chocolates and aztec hot chocolate. They also have very good peanut butter chocolate covered pretzels at Mueller's Chocolates in the Reading Terminal Market http://www.readingterminalmarket.org and they have excellent Italian pastries and cannoli at the market at Termini's. My favorite is the nirvana which has layers of peanut butter, chocolate mouse, chocolate ganache, and a chocolate macaroon-like crust on the bottom.