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Old City Dinner

baconjen Apr 29, 2007 06:45 PM

Hi Philly Hounds. I'd like to get some advice on dining in or near Old City for a Saturday in June. I actually grew up in the Philly area, but haven't eaten out in the city for a LONG time. On my next visit, my husband and I are going out in Old City and want to get a fabulous meal somewhere. My sister recommended the Continental or Cuba Libre, but she is actually more of a drinker than an eater so I thought I'd consult the experts. Some places I am thinking about are Buddakhan, Morimoto, Matyson. Love the BYO thing, as long as the place takes reservations (babysitter time just too valuable for long wait). Amada doesn't interest me that much because I can get amazing tapas in the DC area (where I live). Lastly, I'm looking for somewhere more fun than quiet/romantic in this case. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Sorry this post is so long - I always find it more helpful to ask a question with specifics.

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  1. saturninus RE: baconjen Apr 30, 2007 06:17 AM

    You are right on - Cuba Libre and Continental have good food. But are busy and loud and better for drinks out than a romantic meal.
    Quiet / romantic restaurants that take reservations: Matyson, Marigold Kitchen, Caffe Casta Diva, Mandoline, Bistro 7

    1. acewex RE: baconjen Apr 30, 2007 06:55 AM

      Hi-as an old city resident, I'd suggest you try the Society Hill Hotel. It's not a scence full of people from the suburbs like many of the old city places. If you're looking to spend some money then I'd agree with you about Buddakhan. I wouldnt suggest Morimoto-I think its overpriced and you leave feeling empty.

      1. b
        Buckethead RE: baconjen Apr 30, 2007 07:03 AM

        I'd go to Bistro 7. Old City is not known for great restaurants, and there are fewer BYOs down there than elsewhere, but there are some good ones. The only place you list that is BYO is Matyson, and that's 18 blocks from Old City. Mandoline is OK too, I didn't have a fantastic experience there but many other people have.

        If you're talking about Jaleo as your DC tapas place, I agree that Amada would be a pretty similar experience.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Buckethead
          rabidog RE: Buckethead Apr 30, 2007 09:35 AM

          we just had a fabulous italian meal + wine flights at a super-romantic place on front street... whose name i can't recall. maybe it was the penn's view inn? how could i have forgotten?! very off-the-beaten path in a nice uncrowded, romantic way. good service even though we were not quite dressed for the place (we'd been out on a bike ride and to see a movie).

          1. re: rabidog
            Buckethead RE: rabidog Apr 30, 2007 10:00 AM

            Panorama? They do wine flights there. It's right by the bus terminal at Front and Market.

        2. e
          Elaine RE: baconjen Apr 30, 2007 11:21 AM

          Matyson is up in the business & shopping district, rather than in Old City. I'd recommend Mandoline, Positano Coast, Locanda Ghittone, Buddakan, or Cuba Libre. I think the first 3 have the best food but of course, that's purely subjective--ya gotta love Italian!

          1. gina RE: baconjen Apr 30, 2007 02:20 PM

            I agree with several of the recs here that are in Old City--Bistro 7, Mandoline, La Locanda del Ghiottone are all great BYOs. For non-BYO, I second Positano Coast, and Society Hill Hotel Bar as a more casual spot.

            Buddakan is pretty good, but I think you pay more for atmosphere than the food.

            For a really fabulous, non-BYO meal that's not too far from Old City, I recommend Ansill at 3rd and Bainbridge.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gina
              Buckethead RE: gina Apr 30, 2007 02:32 PM

              Mmm... Ansill... I can still taste the osso bucco sandwich I had there 6 months ago.

            2. j
              jfr RE: baconjen May 1, 2007 07:21 AM

              You say you want "a fabulous meal." With that in mind, I would second Buddakhan over Morimoto. Buddakhan is a show place and the food is very good. The Society Hill Hotel does not meet my definition of "fabulous." My wife and I enjoy stopping at the Continental for a martini and their bread pudding but I would not recommend it for a meal this time around. For the name of the Italian restaurant on Front Street mentioned above, La Famiglia comes to mind as does Spasso but have not eaten at either in recent times so I cannot offer an opinion.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jfr
                illafoodie RE: jfr May 2, 2007 04:43 PM

                I would definitely recommend Tangerine in old city.. It is wonderful Moroccan cuisine, it has a really fun ambiance and although it is stephen starr, I think it's much less gimicky than Buddakan.

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