Center City dinner for Boston Hounds?
We will be coming in March and would like to have 2 very nice dinners out. Someone suggested Gail's (sp?)and someone mentioned Valuntani (Sp?). We are staying at the Alexander Inn. Thanks so much.
Mercato, Branzino, La Viola, !Pasion! all come to me right away in that area. (12th and Spruce for those who don't know) there are others that escape me right now but I'm sure you will get more recs. I'd do some research on the ones recommended and make reservations where available. Will you be coming on a weekend or weekday? The first 3 places I recommended are BYOB and are sure to save you some money in alcohol.
La Viola, which has very tasty food and is very reasonable, isn't what I would recommend for a pleasant dinner out. It is very crowded, noisy, and quick - great for before an event when you want to be out within the hour.
We thought the food at Mercato was excellent, but we were very squeezed in - they had to move the table next to us for us to fit in - and they don't usually take reservations.
Branzino is very good and does take reservations. BYOB, prices are moderate. It would be a five block walk. Entrees - teens (pastas), 20's (meat, fish). The salads for appetizer are large enough to share. Attractive place.
We had a very nice dinner at Valanni last week - Mediterranean, many interesting menu selections. It is on Spruce, between 12th and 13th, so it would be close. They have a liquor license and do take reservations.
There are quite a few pleasant restaurants on Broad Street (equal to 14th). They get a large pre-theater and pre-concert crowd, so if you can go 7:30 or after, things won't be as crowded or rushed. We had a good dinner recently at Sotto Varalli, at Broad & Locust.
McCormick and Schmick, across from City Hall, has a good selection of fish and seafood - moderate prices.
I would reserve ahead, since this will be a busy time.
As a former Bostonian, I have to disagree with most of the above. You are looking for a very nice dinner and are willing to spend some bucks. You should not restrict yourself to the area around your hotel -- because of all the theaters, you will find lots of chains and average Italian. Walk to Rittenhouse Square and have lunch at Lacroix. Take a cab or a reasonable walk to Matyson for dinner (BYOB and outstanding food). Branzino is a close second in that neighborhood. Walk around Old City and have dinner at Bistro 7 (BYOB) or Buddakan or Tangerine. Gayle is very trendy right now, as is Ansill.