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Oct 21, 2008 08:34 AM

Birthday in Philly - Southwark or Matyson or Little Fish

Five friends and I will be celebrating a friend's birthday and looking to pick a restaurant that's worthy and yet won't mind a stroller. The baby is pretty good for the most part but figure super fine dining is out of the question. We were thinking either Southwark, Matyson or Little Fish? Where should we go? feel free to make other suggestions as well. Since we'll be coming from Chestnut Hill, we don't mind other Philly area locations.

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  1. I would not take a baby in a stroller to any of those places. Southwark maybe, in their outdoor seating area, but it's getting a little chilly for that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Buckethead

      Agree wtih Bucket!! With a baby you want to go somewhere casual where people don't mind if the baby makes noise, and definitely don't go to a small BYOB or fine dining place with baby in stroller!!

      Chinatown might be a good option.

      1. re: rocknroll52

        I have to agree - I cannot imagine a stroller even fitting in Little Fish. And I really don't see Matyson fitting the bill either. Most BYOs I can think of would be way too small to accommodate a stroller.

        1. re: smackdown

          Thanks for your replies. Though you should know that I've spoken to some of them already and they said they'd be happy to accommodate a stroller. Regardless, can I have some suggestions? We still want it to be special given that it's a birthday.

    2. I'd try something that is bigger and more bustling. That's the kind of place we took our kids when they were babies (take advantage now, because it is impossible once toddlerhood hits). I'd suggest something like Amada, Distrito, or Osteria. I've seen kids at all of these, and they are loud enough and big enough that a small amount of kid noise won't be noticed.

      2 Replies
      1. matyson is our fav and they are terrific with kids. We took friends and their well behaved two year old on a Saturday night. The staff kept coming over to fawn over the child and the chef even made her a special sundae for dessert!

        The place is pretty noisy and low key, I suspect that no one would even notice a baby.

        5 Replies
        1. re: joluvscards

          In my experience, Matyson does not warmly accomodate large groups and requires that you arrive by 5:30 for dinner. You mentioned your party is 5 friends plus you and I assume baby that makes 7.

          1. re: rocknroll52

            I haven't had a problem and have seen many groups of 6-8 dining there.

            1. re: joluvscards

              I dined there this summer with a group of 6 persons; we were originally given a reservation for 6pm on a weekday. On the day of the dinner, they called and told us we needed to arrive by 5:30 because there was another party coming in after us at 8pm; they rushed us through the meal and it turned out there was no party waiting for our table after all.

              1. re: rocknroll52

                that's so rude! We're six with baby and they took a reservation for 630pm on a saturday.
                Thanks for the Distrito suggestion. Though the birthday boy doesn't really like mexican. unless my memory is wrong...

                1. re: wysiwyg

                  man, i was just about to second distrito, too. that's a PERFECT place - bright and colorful enough to keep the kids entertained, big enough that they won't disrupt anyone's special night out, and damn fine food to boot!

                  matyson strikes me as slightly more formal than little fish. perhaps it's the neighborhood/clientele. i would go with little fish, and i would think they'd be accommodating enough, however your friend would need to leave the stroller at home. the place is literally a corner rowhome living room, with a good portion cut out to accommodate the open kitchen. there are maybe 4 or 6 tables i think? it's small, but again, i think people (both patrons and staff) tend to be laid back. the food is SO good as i'm sure you know if you're already considering it!!
                  i really don't think matyson seems appropriate, personally, more of a spot for romance IMO, possibly because of colors and lighting.

        2. I recently had a super pleasant dinner @ the White Dog with two very nervous over their 1 yr old's potential behavior (+ jet-lagged) parents. Our server was extraordinarily accommodating (making room for the stroller, then storing it, breaking it out again when the young one was ready to conk out) and the White Dog's cuisine, whilst not trendy like Disitro, is certainly destination & birthday worthy in my book. If you're fixed on the small venue thing and don't opt for Matyson, I'd try James. The food is contemporary and smart yet still approachable and delicious!