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High-end Philly Birthday Dinner

Hi all - I'm from Boston but will be coming to Philly to help my sister celebrate her birthday. Could you suggest a couple of places that would be good for a special occasion? Looking for good quality food, fun (not old-school and sedate), with a good wine list. Cost is less of a concern. What does Philadelphia have to offer? What are the hot places to go? The restaurant that you would choose to go to if you could only pick one?

Looking forward to your responses, and thanks!

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  1. Last year I had a great meal at Lacroix for my birthday. Got special treatment too, toured the kitchen, the Chef came to the table, signed my menu and when I commented on how good the chocolates and peti-fors (?) at the end of the meal were, they brought me out a box full of them to take home.

    1. XIX at The Bellevue and Lacroix at The Rittenhouse are both high-end with interesting food without being stuffy.

      3 Replies
      1. re: hungry100

        Fun and hot is Osteria. Great food and good vibes. Plus there's always Le Bec Fin. Also, for great food, Vetri.

        1. re: Beulah

          I second Osteria for fun and hip place and would add Tinto, James, and Ansill.
          If I had to pick one personally, I'd go with James.
          If I wanted a more boisterous, festive atmosphere for a birthday, I'd probably be torn between Osteria and Tinto.

        2. re: hungry100

          I've had two bad experiences at XIX. If I had to choose the top high end restaurant, it wouldn't be on the list.

        3. While everyone mentions fabulous restaurants, if I had to pick only one, it would be Le Bec Fin. It's just fantastic.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Den

            I am thinking of a more fun place that is upscale with great food right down to smashing decor -- Buddakan. The others suggested so far are absolutely wonderful dining venues but defintiely on the classic and sedate side.
            http://www.buddakan.com/

            1. re: idia

              Buddakan or LaCroix would be my first choices.

          2. For great food I'd go for one of the following 5, in this order:

            Vetri, Amada, Lacroix, Tinto, James

            1. Since no one has mentioned The Fountain Room at The Four Seasons, I'll throw that into the mix too. While I wouldn't call it the most "fun" or "hottest" restaurant I've ever been to, it is on the short list of restaurants I would choose for (very) special events as the food and service are first-rate.

              A brief story on the service...

              The first time we dined there, my wife asked for the location of the ladies room. Instead of telling her that it was out in the hotel lobby, one of the staff escorted her there, waited for her, and then escorted her back to our table.

              I was impressed.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Philly Ray

                Hmmmm. I think she's got a secret lover, if you ask me.

                1. re: idia

                  I forgot to add that my wife was 5 months pregnant at the time. Not that that meant she needed extra assistance.

                  But you could be on to something. Our daughter did come out with blue eyes and neither my wife nor I has blue eyes. My wife keeps telling me something about a recessive gene, hmmm......

                  1. re: Philly Ray

                    Hahaha!
                    I should have also mentioned another high end restaurant with out the frills or fancy fixin's.
                    Estia for superlative Greek seafood.