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Oct 27, 2008 09:53 AM

New BYOBs-any worth a try for an anniv dinner?

We’ve been to just about every BYOB in the city. We have some good wine left over from a CA trip and looking to try somewhere new for our anniversary.
Anyone been to Novita Bistro, Nicholas or Root? Looking for some good feedback...

Would love to try Meme, however they’re closed on Tuesdays....

We haven’t been to Matyson or Marigold in awhile. How are they doing since all of the changes over the past couple months?

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  1. Root is not good. Nicholas is a good neighborhood BYO, if I lived around there I'd most likely go back but it's not exactly a dining destination. I haven't been back to Marigold since Erin O'Shea took over but I've heard all good things, I'm looking forward to trying it. Ditto Matyson, I haven't been since the change but everyone who has reports that it's still great.

    Have you been to Kanella? It's new-ish..

    6 Replies
    1. re: Buckethead

      Yes, been to Kanella. I wasn't overly impressed that I'm dying to go back anytime soon. Espeically don't feel it's worth an expensive bottle of wine :)

      Maybe it's worth sticking to the oldies - Matyson or Marigold...

      1. re: jl0328

        I feel the same way.... I think I've tried every BYOB in the area. I went to Meme and strongely recommend the place. I thought Root was pretty bad. I'm hoping to try Novita some time soon.

        If you live in the area, maybe try Swallow? I haven't been yet so I can't make an opinion.

        Matyson still rocks!

        1. re: phillyjules

          Swallow is good, a little uneven but I've had some delicious things there.

          1. re: phillyjules

            I second Meme if you can change nights. Had a great meal there a couple Saturdays ago. They will only be byob for about another month, while they await their liquor license. Based on recent reports on Swallow (mostly empty on a Saturday night), I wouldn't recommend it.

            1. re: JanR

              I tried Meme recently and while I would definitely recommend it over Root or Nicholas, I doubt I'll go back. The only thing I had that was worth returning for was dessert. I was particularly disappointed with the beef tartare dish, which was overwhelmingly salty: the beef was dressed with some kind of worcestershire-based sauce, with capers mixed in, and served on salty potato chips. I just tasted worcestershire and salt, no beef.

          2. re: jl0328

            Wow...good to hear that someone else out there is not thrilled to death with Kanalla (We just liked the spreads and desserts but the fish and the ravioli (ick!) left a bit to be desired!

        2. Have you been to Branzino? It's one of our favorites.

          Matyson is still wonderful, from everything I hear.

          We very much like August, at 13th and Wharton.

          1. I went to Nicholas for my own anniversary dinner a month or so ago...the food was very good but I wouldn't recommend it as a "special occasion" place; it's brightly lit and not particularly atmospheric. That being said, I hope I don't scare any non-anniversary-celebrating people away--it is definitely a great neighborhood restaurant and I plan on returning.

            1. Just wanted to let everyone know that we ended up at Matyson last night. The tasting menu was great as was the octopus! Service was right on although the wait between courses was a bit long. Thankfully we weren't in a rush and were able to enjoy our bottle of wine. Next to try Meme! Thanks everyone!

              3 Replies
              1. re: jl0328

                Planning a trip to Philly in December and just wondering if there are wine shops around to pick up a bottle or two? Specifically near Matyson or Branzino. Thanks!

                1. re: mbw1024

                  16th and JFK Blvd or 13th and Chestnut (better store I think). Wine here is thru the "State Store" system. You may want to consider bringing wine with you....all wine in PA is sold through state owned and operated stores.

                  1. re: mbw1024

                    the closest store is actually on Chestnut between 19th and 20th, right around the corner from Matyson. as Bigley mentioned, all wine is sold through our state store system but you can find some nice picks (and good values) if you look hard enough