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Philly hounds: Django, Mercato, A. Claire or Matyson?

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I'll keep this simple. I used to live in Philly about 5 years ago, now live in New York. I'm bringing down two friends on Monday to show them how fabulous Philly really is, including the byob scene. I'm a little out of it, since I haven't lived there in awhile, so I need help. Audrey Claire used to be my old stand-by, though I have a ressie at Django (but is it still as good with the new owners and all? I remember eating there the first month they opened and being completely floored b/c there wasn't anything else like it at the time.) I did a little more research and added in Mercato and Matyson to the choices, only b/c they are open on Monday (many others are not, like Bistro 7, which I really wanted to go to!! I used to waitress at the old Blue in Green at that location way back when...) So, if you had to choose to eat at the following, which would it be and why:

1. Django
2. Mercato
3. Audrey Claire
4. Matyson

I'm open to other suggestions if there is anywhere else open on Monday that you think is better. Thanks and happy eating, wherever it may be! :)

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  1. Personally I would eat at Django. Despite people who will say that it's no longer any good or that it was never that good to begin with, I was and still am a big fan. I have eaten there under Bryan Sikora and then again after he left and my wife and I actually thought it was better after he left. We recently ate at Bistro 7 and, while we had a good (not great) meal, we both ageed that it was no Django.

    I am not sure if Marigold Kitchen or Cochon are open on Monday but I would also highly recommend them as well. Personally, I've never been wowed at Matyson like I have been at Django and Marigold, but others may disagree. I don;t think Audrey Claire is what it used to be and I have never been to Mercato. If you are set on Italian, look at L'Angolo or Salento, but I am not sure if they are open Mondays. BTW, my wife and I'll be staying in NYC in mid-February and have 2 great meals planned (Telepan and Bouley), can't wait. I am sure that your friends will be duely impressed, Philadelphia has a lot to offer!

    1. Django. Here's a detailed review from a meal there a little while ago:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/442426

      1 Reply
      1. re: GDSwamp

        I like Matyson as my first choice.
        But if you always liked Audrey Claire why change a good thing?

      2. django is a neat experiece. Mercato has good food, but the place is so small its hard to get comfortable and with friends I would want a place I felt comfortable.

        1. I would second matyson. The food is fantastic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DanielleM

            Also went this weekend and had a fantastic meal from beginning to end service was also on for that night and that was rare for a weekend. Matyson we will be back.

          2. Matyson, Matyson, Matyson! I have not had a bad meal there. They also have ther Prixe Fix menu for $45 Mon- Thurs which you will need to be rolled out of the restaurant when done. We went to Django last year after hearing great things and I was not impressed.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JLittle

              Ditto on the Matyson recs. I've never been disappointed both before and after Matt and Sonya's departure.