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Aug 4, 2008 04:12 PM

Philadelphia Visit - Need Chow Advice

My husband and I will be in Philly in a couple weeks for one evening and would like to head out on the town. We would love some Chowhound advice on where to drink and dine. Please reply if you have a suggestion on a reasonably priced place for dinner preferably in the $18-28 entree range. We like all foods but American, French, Asian, Italian, and fusions are our favs. We will be with another couple so great atmosphere is a must! If the establishment is BYOB, that would be preferred. And, we also need a recommendation for an after dinner, lounge/club/bar sort of place to get a drink preferably in walking distance from dinner. We are staying at the Loew's hotel downtown but don't mind taking a cab or the subway to dinner if in another area of the city. Thanks in advance of your reply!

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  1. Matyson is one of our best BYOBs. The price range is on the upper end of your scale, but I don't think you will be disappointed. Food is New American and it is located about 7-8 blocks from your hotel.


    If you like Asian, you are also very close to Chinatown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Philly Ray

      Matyson is amazing. A nice place for cocktails afterwards is The Continental.

      For Greek, I recommend Kanella. It is within walking distance.
      For Italian, I recommend Branzino, Caffe Casta Diva and Paradiso.

    2. You might also try Audrey Clare (BYO) on 20th, and then wander down the street after to have drinks in several fo the smallish but stylish bars.

      9 Replies
      1. re: doxiemom

        Considering your replies and other posting on Chowhound, we have narrowed our listing to 4 (in no particular order) following a little research with my husband on menus... your thoughts on these choices?

        1. Matyson
        2. Modo Mio
        3. Cochon
        4. Audrey Claire

        1. re: kitty39393

          1. Matyson - the best for all your needs
          2. Modo Mio - not sure how you would feel about drink spots within walking distance, depends how open minded you are
          3. Cochon
          4. Audrey Claire - least favorite

          1. re: kitty39393

            Matyson, yes.
            We haven't been to Modo Mio yet, though it has great reports, because we have been told by many people that it is very crowded and noisy. We like "quiet enough to talk."
            We find Audrey Claire to be very ordinary, though some people love it.
            Haven't been to Cochon.
            Branzino, for Italian, has lovely ambience and excellent food. I would consider moving that onto your list.

            1. re: sylviag

              I love Cochon. I've been there twice and the food is a good balance of special/creative and classic. Audrey Claire is a fave of mine but more for mid-week, non-special occasion dining. (My bf and I will often take a 6-pack there instead of a bottle of wine!)
              From Cochon you'd probably have to take a cab for drinks. Although we love Shouk, a hooka bar that's right up the street with really creative drinks, but hooka bars may not be your thing.

              1. re: hollyd

                I also looooove Cochon. And, in that same block as Shouk is Beau Monde (creperie, 6th and Bainbridge), which runs the club/lounge L'etage upstairs, which I enjoy. It can get pretty crowded later in the evening, but if you get there at/before 10 you can usually grab a table.

                1. re: urbanfabric

                  L'Etage is great, but on the weekends after 10 they play awful club music. Any other time it's fabulous.

                2. re: hollyd

                  Huh? You don't need to take a cab anywhere, Cochon is a mere two blocks away from Southwark, one of the best bars in the city, and maybe three blocks from Chick's Cafe. All three places were just named Best of Philly (for best new BYO, best old-school cocktails and best creative cocktails, respectively) if you care about that sort of thing. And if you don't, South St. is just another block north.

                  1. re: Buckethead

                    You're right! I forgot about Southwark and I ALWAYS forget about Chick's (it was closed when I lived on 6th and Catherine). Cochon and Southwark would be a really nice night, but with all the suggestions below for Continental...I don't know that I can think of anything better.
                    Hey, How's Apothecary's roof deck anyway?

                    1. re: hollyd

                      Lovely for a happy hour, haven't been there later in the evening, though. It's all tables, or so it was set when I was there, so it doesn't seem like it's an easy place to congregate unless your group has a table.

          2. People scoff, but I've never had a bad meal at Buddakan. Another place that has an incredible wine-by-the-glass list is Panorama on Front St. Good homemade pastas there as well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ndelson

              People may scoff, but I love Buddakan! Always a fun and delicious choice in town.

              1. re: ndelson

                I feel like Panorama doesn't fit into the $18-28 entree range. Most entrees are $25 or more.

              2. Looks like we are going to Matyson based on all the wonderful and helpful recommendations. We have made a reservation. Where would be fun for the 10-12 p.m. nightlife and drinks from there that could walk to after dinner?

                4 Replies
                1. re: kitty39393

                  If it's not too crowded, the roof deck of the Continental is nice in good weather, 18th and Chestnut.

                  1. re: kitty39393

                    Tria is a good place for drinks, but there's no dancing or anything. 18th and Sansom (half a block from the Continental).

                    1. re: kitty39393

                      You can't go wrong with Matyson. Definitely save room for dessert.