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Meet the parents Foodie dinner in Center City

I am meeting my significant others parents and his father is a foodie. We are taking them to dinner downtown (or surrounding areas) and price is no object. Any suggestions?

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  1. Go for the long shot: telephone Vetri ASAP, and see if you can get a reservation. Tell them about the special occasion!

    1. Are you getting engaged to the SO? Because unless the dinner is to celebrate your engagement I would go for something a little less extravagant that Vetri...you'll look like you are trying too hard to impress the parents and they will wonder why (at least I would). They are probably more interested in meeting you than in the food.

      1. I'd probably go to Ansil or Southwark. Ansil for adventurous eaters, Southwark for those who appreciate a good cocktail with their well executed food. The other places that come to mind are BYOs and I think you might want to stay clear of that since it complicates the planning (unless you don't plan to drink)

        1. modo mio! looks like you're not trying too hard to impress, tho it's impossible not to impress there! technically in kensington, or the very northern edge of northern liberties. if it's nice out, the outdoor seating is the way to go: gorgeous view of the skyline, plus the chef takes the time to visit with all the outdoor tables and really makes you feel at home. it's not extravagant at all, the 4-course menu costs $32. i'm wholeheartedly a modo mio fan.

          still not in center city proper, but little fish in queen village is also a solid bet if he's a fish fan.

          those are my two go-to places when entertaining foodies. :) unpretentious, inexpensive, yet meticulously prepared food in a small BYO resto. good luck with the folks!

          1 Reply
          1. re: rabidog

            i just read my post back and realized i sorta stumbled over my words in the first sentence! i didn't mean that you weren't trying to impress, just that you didn't want to be seen as trying too hard. :) hope that makes sense.

            i've definitely heard those complaints about modo mio before from a few people, so it's definitely something to take under consideration. i wonder if they consistently understaff, or if it's just such a small place that if one waiter calls out it wreaks havok on the dining room. i've definitely waited a few minutes for the check before, but i guess i love the food so much i forgive. that could be a good thing if you're a lingerer, but i'm not!!! i order, i eat, and i'm out! however waiting 30 min just to order, that just aint right! OTOH, me and a friend crammed into their tiny waiting space on a cold winter's night last year, no reservations, and were handed little sambuca shots to warm up as we waited.

          2. I second Modo Mio! Great food and excellent service.
            I would also suggest Gayle or Chloe (BYOB). Supper is supposed to be pretty good too. I haven't had a chance to try it though.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jl0328

              I have to respectfully disagree about Modo Mio. In all fairness I was only there once, but I would never go again as I found the service to not only be poor, but in someways disrespectful. A man who appeared to be the owner was our waiter, yet pretty much ignored us while making the rounds talking with regulars. We waited close to half a hour for our orders to be taken, during which we received no bread or water. If nothing else a place should bread/water the table in order to calm them down a bit, and that didn't happen. This is one of the few places I considered walking out of because the service was that bad...having to ask for bread and water 3 times just doesn't seem worthwhile to me.. All in all, while the food was very good, the place is incredibly loud and busy, and doesn't seem like a good place to meet people you are trying to impress for the first time. I'm not sure how old you are, but I am 26 and I don't think my boyfriend's 60+ year old parents would have enjoyed meeting me there, if only because they probably wouldn't have been able to hear anything I was saying over the noise of the restaurant...and the noise of their rumbling tummies as they waited to be given bread.

              Can you clarify what kind of "foodie" your significant other's father is? I think that some people are foodies who love to try unusual combinations of food they can't get anywhere else, and some foodies prefer classics that are done to perfection.

              1. re: Laura D.

                I wasn't going to say it cause I usually agree with rabidog. I also think it is way too busy an atmosphere for meeting people the first time, and I agree too upscale may be an issue too (even Lacroix, although less so than Vetri - who I love)

              2. re: jl0328

                Matyson is always my go to with out of town friends.

                Bistro7, interesting unusual menu similar to Matyson in food style and byo but much quieter.

                Blackbird in Collingswood is fabulous and worth the drive.

              3. If price is no object and the potential FIL is a true foodie, why not give them the most wonderful experience of going to Lacroix. Elegance and great food. An incredible wait staff. If you want to select another restaurant for dinner, then go there for Sunday brunch. It is totally top drawer.

                2 Replies
                1. re: crazyspice

                  We ate at Lacroix last night after not eating there for more than a year -- and we were very disappointed! The atmosphere and the service were both great, and the apps were very good too, but the main courses were very disappointing. My husband had the bass and it was close to tasteless. I had the scallops and they were good but not outstanding (but they gave me 5 versus 3 at Parc). None of the desserts were interesting to us.

                  Vetri is really terrific if the future fil is a foodie. We like Gayle and Ansill very much, also La Famiglia. And we're old, probably much older than the in laws. We also think Le Bec Fin is still terrific. For something different, how about Amada? That's another terrific choice -- and a unique one.

                  1. re: Beulah

                    Wow Beulah. That is sad news. The last time we were there was during RW and our meal was delicious! We figured if there was going to be an iffy meal that would be it.

                    I haven't been to La Famiglia in years! I have heard a few good comments about it on CH. We will have to check it out again.