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Best BYO in Near Downtown Phila?

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My wife and I are visiting Philadelphia to celebrate her 40th birthday, staying at the Ritz-Carleton. We are being joined by two old friends for dinner out, who don't have a big budget. Any suggestions for a nice, intimate, but not too expensive BYO so we can bring in a nice bottle and keep the bill down? Ethnic is fine, and we do have a car if something is really worth the drive.

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  1. Melograno, Audrey Claire, and Mercato are my favorites... however, they don't take reservations on weekends, so you would probably have to wait a little while. Marigold's kitchen in west philly is also wonderful (since you have a car). You can find out more about these places on the other boards, or probably find menus online.

    1. Matyson is our fav, not particularly cheap tho entrees in the mid 20's. How bout one of our fine Italian byo's like Branzino. It has a beautiful atmosphere and the prices are lower.

      1. There are so many good BYO's-- My first choice would be Chloe in Olde City (cash only- plan on $120 incl. (apps/dinner/dessert and tip)-- well worth it. Sabrina's in S. Philly (takes cards) entrees are sizeable, everything on their eclectic menu is very good & it's reasonable. Pesto in S. Philly (on Broad, you can't walk but it's a short straight ride from the Ritz-) Italian- wonderful. Try the fried calamari late night at the Ritz in the "Rotunda"- it's really, really good! Either remember to bring wine with you - or plan for a bit of an adventure-- there are not any close liquor stores to the Ritz. Happy B'Day!

        1. other thoughts- if the bill needs to be under $50 per couple- Sang Kee in Chinatown (not fancy, cash only, great food) or Las Cazuelas (not spelled right) in N. Libs on Girard @ Lawrence b/t 4th & 5th

          1 Reply
          1. re: epfoodie

            Branzino. A neat BYOB in Center City Philadelphia.

            Try this one.
            You found a winner!
            Bon appetit.

            http://philadelphia.menupages.com/scr...

          2. L'angelo's in South Philly is a very intimate not expensive BYOB. It serves Italian and is wonderful. My second choice would be Pesto on South Broad St. enjoy

            1. Try Mandoline. It can get cramped but its worth it and a little cheaper than Matyson.

              1. I'll add my vote for Branzino. It's on 17th St, just north of Spruce - about six blocks away. Excellent food, lovely ambience (ask for the upstairs room), not too pricey. Make a reservation.