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Dinner needed with new client in Center City

Barbiegirl Oct 24, 2008 03:28 PM

I have a reservation at Table31...but can't seem to find a consistently good review...Here's what I"m looking for: prefer good wine selection (but not expensive)....impressive but not trendy atmosphere...noisy enough that there are some distractions...walkable or short drive from Marriott....really good food, again without being trendy... Any thoughts on 10 Arts? I can go $$$. A place that a non-Philadelphian would remember.

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  1. r
    rocknroll52 RE: Barbiegirl Oct 24, 2008 07:19 PM

    Craig Laban gave Table 31 three bells which is high praise. I think it is a perfect setting for a business meal.

    1. s
      sylviag RE: Barbiegirl Oct 25, 2008 12:05 AM

      We had lunch at Table 31 - pleasant, but not impressive at all.

      I would suggest:

      Estia, on Locust close to Broad St. - a few blocks away. It's beautiful, fish/seafood and
      Mediterranean. Don't go there if your client doesn't like fish.

      Davio's, on 17th St. - also walkable. Very attractive large high-ceilinged room, very popular, known as a steak place but it's a varied menu.

      The only drawback to either of these places would be the wine prices - not cheap.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sylviag
        saturninus RE: sylviag Oct 30, 2008 08:22 AM

        Davio's is always a huge hit for clients with an impressive wine list.

      2. gina RE: Barbiegirl Oct 25, 2008 01:56 AM

        Zinc Bistro would be a nice spot for you and your client--a few block south of the Marriott on 11th. The place is small, with a very comfortable yet highbrow atmosphere. Food and wine are very good and not over-the-top expensive. If your client is adventurous, and they still offer the chef's grandmother's head cheese with the charcuterie plate, get it. It is wonderful.

        4 Replies
        1. re: gina
          rocknroll52 RE: gina Oct 25, 2008 06:38 AM

          I have to disagree about Zinc. Poor service, expensive wine (like $10 per glass), surroundings not impressive for client entertainment, food is Paris bistro/brasserie.

          I like both Estia and Davios.

          1. re: rocknroll52
            gina RE: rocknroll52 Oct 29, 2008 11:32 AM

            That's unfortunate--I'm sorry you found the service to be poor at Zinc. Could it have just been a bad night? I thought the service was very good the two times I'd been; very friendly and well-paced.

            The wines do average about $10 a glass, which is slightly above average for Center City restaurants (and on par with Davio's if I recall correctly); however, most of their bottles are priced under $40.

            As for the surroundings not being impressive...I'm not really convinced that a high ceiling is requisite for impressing a client.

            1. re: gina
              rocknroll52 RE: gina Oct 29, 2008 02:02 PM

              I've only been the one time so it could have been an off night. But, I have not wanted to try a return trip!

              1. re: rocknroll52
                Philly Concierge RE: rocknroll52 Oct 30, 2008 07:20 AM

                Hello BarbieGirl,

                The reviews have been hit-or-miss with regard to Table 31, but definitely consider seeing it for yourself. My own (2) visits there were both very good food-wise, though the service team has its iffy moments (confusion about who-gets-what/soup with no spoon).

                You won't find an affordable wine lis there though. Mark-ups get steep.

                All of the above suggestions are good ones. Besides Zinc, consider Chef Olivier de Saint Martin's other notable, Caribou Cafe at 11th and Walnut, which has a bit more breathing room (Zinc is tiny).
                I also like Vintage on 13th, Meritage at 20th and Lombard, and the wine program at Ristorante Panorama is outstanding.

                My clientele enjoys 10 Arts. The food is quite affordable though the bev mark-ups are stratospheric.

                Good luck and let us know how it all goes!

                Philly Concierge

        2. d
          doxiemom RE: Barbiegirl Oct 31, 2008 02:00 PM

          Table 31 has great food, no question, and the plus is that the visit to the Comcast Center lobby is definitely memorable. The evening will not be inexpensive, and the service can be iffy, although lunch is worse than dinner in my experience. I would suggest that you contact the restaurant personally, tell them it is a special event and confirm when you arrive that the special request is being acknowledged. This is something I do regardless of where I go when business is involved, and have always had success when the point is made. Good luck!

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