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Sep 21, 2007 05:50 AM

MSP-112 eatery,Cosmos, Chambers Kitchen, or BANK?

Wondering which of the three is the best for a special occasion?

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  1. I've been to both Cosmos and Chambers in the past few weeks for lunch. Chambers was great. I had a coconut-lime chicken soup that was very spicy but had big chunks of chicken and lots of flavor. I had the corn ravioli which was wonderful! It had a filling of cornmeal and cheese that was very creamy and was in a pesto sauce topped with corn and tomatoes.

    I was disappointed with Cosmos. I've had great meals there before, but this was not up to par. The bread and dessert (chocolate gateau) were both excellent. The entrees were not very good, though. I had the halibut - marinated in coconut milk and served with yellow rice and green curry. The entire meal was bland - no flavor. I had to pour salt on it. My friend got the steak. That also was quite bland.

    I'd go for 112 Eatery. I had dinner there last week. I did not like the cauliflower fritters - which many rave about - it had little flavor to me to hide the bitterness of the cauliflower. The lamb sugo was wonderful though. Fresh pasta with a tasty tomato sauce and chunks of lamb. The dessert was divine - chocolate pot de creme. My husband got the tres leches cake which was also excellent.

    I've heard mixed things about BANK, but have not been there.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Reddyrat

      Oh, Reddyrat, I'm sorry you've been steered wrong on the cauliflower fritters at 112 Eatery--I am one of the people who love them, but it's more of a texture thing than a flavor thing, I think. There's only a sprinkling of cheese and pepper, really, to cover the "cauliflower" taste. People seem to either love them or think "meh" of them. Fortunately, there is plenty more to love on their menu and I love almost all of their side dishes--the brussel sprouts with bacon when they have it, the farro w/gorgonzola. I used to say their gnocci was my favorite gnocci until I recently tried one at WA Frost, which is my new favorite, but 112 Eatery's gnocci is still good.

      Elrushbo, I'm afraid I can't help you choose since I haven't tried all those other places. But I will say that 112 Eatery doesn't feel that intimate to me; it's more hustle and bustle, so, depending on the occasion, that might make a difference to you.

      Either way, have fun!


    2. I haven't been to BANK yet.

      As for the other three, my recommendation would be based solely on the atmosphere you're seeking rather than the food. Personally, I would be thrilled with a meal at each despite leaving an evening at Chambers a little disappointed (more about expectations than anything the restaurant did except for an annoying server). I think cuisine-wise, they each have equal merit.

      While 112 Eatery is, to me, a wonderful menu for a special night out, you're eating in a dressed up bar/pub atmosphere. When I'm in there, I recall my college days foraging change for a cheesesteak at the Best of Philly (or Taste of Philly or whatever it was) and also a couple snacks I had at Franks A Million. For some, a special occasion warrants a little more refined atmosphere and not sitting in a booth. (Again, I love the place...those things don't matter to me, but there are those reading that may care).

      Chambers will afford a higher level of sophistication. That said, at peak hours, I have found it loud and, depending on your table location, you may have a business conversation occurring three feet to either side of you. I like the place for a night out without the kids, reconnecting with my "beautiful people" side (ha ha), but I don't think it would be my first choice to do an anniversary or similar there unless I was staying at the hotel upstairs.

      Cosmos offers breathing room between tables and a little more serenity. I've celebrated an anniversary there and enjoyed it immensely. If you err on the side of classic special occasion atmosphere, this would be my recommendation, not because it's buttoned down or quiet (or dull), but more a reflection of the liveliness of the other places.

      I know this wasn't in your list, but to complete the other end of the spectrum, I'd just like to throw Fugaise in the mix. I can't emphasize enough what delicious cuisine this restaurant creates. This would be more conservative and formal-ish than the other places you list (it's not LBV formal) but it's comfortable, approachable and the food is excellent.

      Whatever it is you're celebrating and wherever, enjoy!

      1. that's 4 restaurants you listed, elrushbo-- not 3!!!

        i'd go to 112. :)

        alternate (not what you asked) answer: special occasion restaurants: alma, craftsman

        1. I haven't been to Bank or Chambers. 112 has a fun menu with good food. As others have said, it's a more casual atmosphere (though the service is good and there is linen on the table, if I recall correctly). I haven't been to Cosmos since the new chef took over, but in the past I found it to be quite pricy for the quality. Call it the hotel restaurant surcharge.

          I actually like MSPD's suggestion of Fugaise. This overlooked gem has terrific food, and it's a quiet, very nice dining room.

          1. I am evenly split on Cosmos and Chambers Kitchen based on lunch experiences at both places. Excellent food, atmosphere and service. They would certainly be on my special occasion shortlist.

            BANK, however, was disappointing because of the service. Very slow and a bit awkward.

            I have never been to 112 Eatery so cannot comment on that one.

            1 Reply
            1. re: StPauliGirl

              I have been to all 4 places, and I would not recommend BANK for a special dinner. The setting is beautiful, so it could be a nice place to have a drink, but I think its too inconsistent. As for 112, I absolutely love it, but also agree with the pp that its atmosphere is more bustling and casual and might not be what you're looking for. Between Cosmos and Chambers, Chambers is newer and has more of a hip feeling (could be good or bad for you) while Cosmos is older, still very contemporary, but more elegant. If its an intimate special occasion, I'd pick Cosmos, but if its a birthday or more of a festive celebration, I'd go with 112 or Chambers.