Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Jun 5, 2007 06:28 PM

Dinner In Philly this Saturday, Meeting daughters boyfriend.

We’re from New York, going down to meet our daughter’s boyfriend for the first time. They like dining and usually go to the new, happening places. Last Friday they ate at Osteria, as an example. I on the other hand, enjoy new place but they don't have to be headliners.

He's a vegetarian (imagine dating my daughter) so no steak houses. My understanding BYOB is a big thing in Philly and that does sound fun, but not a prerequisite.

I'm at the mercy of the Philly Hound’s so any help would be appreciated

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. are you looking for recommendations?
    LaLaconda in Olde CIty small REAL italian BYOB so good
    Il Contuchio in Northern Liberties (sister resturant to LaLaconda) BYOB
    if going high brow, Barkley Prime (on Rittenhouse Square)or Tangerine (MArket St) not snooty, but not cheap, but worth it
    and a good standby nice restaurant on Market Street FORK

    3 Replies
    1. re: gsider

      Oh yes I'm looking for recs! I will look into these and do appreciate them.

      Anyone else have any more recs, I'm listening.

      1. re: gsider

        Please note spelling when you do research:

        La Locanda Del Ghiottone
        Il Cantuccio
        Barclay Prime (which would be terrible for a vegetarian)

        I also think Tangerine is not good for a vegetarian and that Fork has slipped. I have not been to the first two.

        1. re: saturninus

          i was wrote my suggestions when all was posted was that they were coming to philly for dinner, i don't know if i saw it while he was writing or what , but that is why i have vegetarian non friendly suggestions,

      2. I suggest Marigold Kitchen.

        I was there two weeks ago and it was quite good. You can bring your own liquor which is always great. My friend who is a vegetarian went there and while there isn't anything vegetarian on the menu, the kitchen will whip something up--just be specific about wanting protein or else the boyfriend will get a plate full of mushrooms.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lawslaw

          Thanks for the response and mushrooms I guess, is better than lettuce for dinner.

        2. I haven't been there but there have been numerous very favorable reviews on this board of Horizons which is a vegan place but apparently even enjoyed greatly by carnivores. Suggest you do a search. Barclay Prime mentioned by another is more of a steak house I believe.

          6 Replies
          1. re: FayeD

            Thanks, but 3 of us do eat meat. I'm not doing vegan this time, he has to meet me on my turf.

            1. re: Jim P

              Bliss and Estia.
              Class mixed with good food.
              (You can always get a decent vegetarian meal at a fine restaurant)


              1. re: idia

                Thanks for the link. Bliss sounds like somrthing we all would like. Have you been here recently?

                1. re: Jim P

                  As recently as last month.
                  It was wonderful!
                  Bon appetit!

                  1. re: Jim P

                    I eat at Bliss fairly often, and have never been disappointed. My friend says they have the best burger there, btw.

              2. My two thoughts are Amada and Ansill, both of which are "small plates" places but from very different directions.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Hardart

                  They have reservations at Armada in a couple weeks and they are almost imposable to get. Ansil, is that a tough ticket also?

                  1. re: Jim P

                    Not usually, I actually was able to walk in there on a Friday night recently. Definitely make a reservation, though. I'll second Hardart's recommendation, Ansill is fantastic. Also, the chef who started the place, David Ansill, is going to be cooking there for the foreseeable future, as the former chef left the restaurant last week.

                    I'm not sure if your daughter's boyfriend is a hardcore vegetarian, but Ansill is known for its unusual meat dishes, including offal and various raw preparations. They have many dishes that are fine for vegetarians, but the organ meats may put him off.

                    1. re: Buckethead

                      2nd, Ansill would not be a place to take a vegetarian.

                2. We had a lovely time at Tinto (which is related to Amada). Lots of tapa's and tasting plates. I think there were some veggie options.

                  Also Figs is a cute neighborhood place with good medi food. It is byo and has some veggie apps and entrees.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: joluvscards

                    Only small apps are available at Tinto. Please allow me to make some reccs as a vegetarian that has often ended up with a plate of side dishes or a side salad at meals and has starved to death!

                    Matyson (if you call and ask in advance)
                    Caffe Casta Diva
                    Pasion (until it closes)
                    Bar Ferdinand (although it is overpriced)
                    Las Cazuelas
                    Beau Monde
                    Tre Scalini

                      1. re: Philly Ray

                        I was at Cuba Libre Last week and saw Chef Pernot cooking there.
                        Don't know if he is a consultant or the Executive Chef but the food was rocking. I am not sure if he remains at Pasion. I am curious.

                        1. re: PhillyFoodDoc

                          He's been there for quite a while now. I guess his departure from Pasion hastened its closing, but he left there many months ago.

                          1. re: BRI328

                            Mike Klein confirmed in today's Inquirer. Sad.

                        2. re: saturninus

                          Wow thanks for all the recs, need to make a decision. It's great having so many options. I use to come to Philly on business about 10 years ago, what a change a couple years make!

                          1. re: Jim P

                            fyi--il cantuccio is great but they don't sub out or do special off-menu stuff to cater to vegetarians if there's nothing on the regular menu. I've gone a number of times and am a vegan but I got around the rule cause my dad was close with some of the staff.

                            azure on 2nd and poplar is festive and has good veg and non-veg options. not super fancy but i've always enjoyed the food's loose interpretations of tropical island dishes. tangerine is good too, and if you are ever in the mood to go vegetarian in philly, horizons is great. i'm a big fan of the sahara grill on 13th and walnut--more for the appetizers than entrees, it might be a good choice for lunch when you're in town.

                              1. re: alexis

                                i like both of these, but dunno if azure's really fit for this group (though they do have a yummy black bean veggie soup). il cantuccio's always had something for a vegetarian any time i have been there. they are a BYO, and cash only. two more BYO/cash onlys are la locanda del ghiottone (as mentioned here already) and modo mio, which i just wrote up last night - it's somewhere around here. all three are solid italian choices, i love all three restaurants. since you mention happening places - modo mio is brand new. there is a state store where you can get a bottle of wine on girard a block or so away.

                                with a strict vegetarian, definitely avoid: estia, ansill, barclay prime.

                                saturninus has some good recs above which would satisfy vegetarians and non-vegs alike. tinto or snackbar or tria might be cute places to go after dinner for dessert and a nightcap.

                                1. re: rabidog

                                  Estia has great vegetarian small plates that make up a full meal, like dolmades, eggplant spread, grilled greek cheese, and spanakopita. Thank you.

                                  1. re: Bride of the Juggler

                                    those are tasty, i've had a few... but i once brought a full vegetarian with me (i'm mostly veggie, but i do indulge in fish every once in a while) and she was super grossed out by the full fish and ended up not eating anything. maybe i should revise to say - not for the squeamish?