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Oct 12, 2007 06:39 AM

where next?

Hi CHers,

my inlaws are taking us out for dinner, and I am un-inspired for our next choice. I prefer the byob-type place (small, intimate, less formal) even if they have a wine list.

recent locations have been:

Osteria (last night. I though it was good, but not amazing. in particular, the lobster spaghetti was disppointing.)
Matyson (wonderful, ties with the next one for best recent meal in philly)
Marigold (see above)

others that have been a while:


I have been out of philly for a year or so, what should I do next? I wouldn't reallly want to go much more expensive than these here (no morimoto, le bec, stripped, etc).

Cheers and many thanks

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  1. Had dinner at Modo Mio a few weeks ago. It's wonderful. Great food, intimate atmosphere, nice service, reasonable, byob. Only problem is the difficulty in getting a weekend reservation. I highly recommend it. Just call as far in advance as you can.

    1. Some of our favorites (other than the ones you listed) -

      Branzino, 17th St. just north of Spruce
      August, 13th and Wharton (not open on Sundays)
      Caffe Casta Diva (haven't been for a while, but good reports)
      These are all small, attractive, very good food.

      For more casual, we have been enjoying a new place in our neighborhood: L'Oca, at 21st and Fairmount. No reservations, really good chef.
      Another casual favorite, no reservations, is Radicchio at 4th and Wood or its sister restaurant Bistro Juliana, on Cumberland St.
      Tre Scalini, an old favorite, is now larger and noisier in its new place, but the food is still very good - on Passyunk Ave.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sylviag

        Listen up!
        I am going to make this easy for you.
        Grab your best bottle and hightail it over (with a reservation of course) to Caffe Casta Diva at 220 S. 20th.
        Early is better as it will get noisy but I tell you, the noise is worth the experience.
        If you can't get in, try Branzino -- also a winner.

      2. xochitl on headhouse square...authentic Oaxuan (spellng?)...good lil spot

        1. There's a new byob @ 23rd & Walnut called Salento (I think) that's really good. Laban just gave it good review (for what it's worth).

          2 Replies
          1. re: howiseverything

            We like Gayle, although it has a liquor license. It's on 3rd between South and Bainbridge.

            1. re: Beulah

              Hearty second for Gayle. Small, intimate, not in the least stuffy. Small but marvelous wine list, heavy on Pacific Northwest (our current favorite). Not sure about the corkage fee. And excellent food and service.

          2. If you can, and if you don't mind, what about the lobster spaghetti at osteria made it disappointing for you?


            2 Replies
            1. re: Chinon00

              it has been a couple of weeks now, but I remember it being way too salty, kind of mushy, with fairly indistinct flavors. Part of it was our fault, in that the other dishes we got were very differnt from this one flavor-wise (more earthy thyme rosemary sweetbread type stuff).

              it wasnt horrible, just not as good as nearly everything else!

              1. re: nbourbaki

                I went with a group of four on Sunday and two of us ordered it but the table shared it mostly. We all loved it. I found it deeply flavored (which is only an opinion) . But as I've mentioned before about Osteria, the food there is "well seasoned". I like my food that way but I understand that others don't.
                I've been been fives times now (two at the bar and three seated) and as I'm sure most of the site knows by now, I am really pleased with this place.