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monday night by myself in philly

j
jrnlmkr Nov 21, 2008 12:49 PM

i'm coming to visit a friend who is busy until later in the evening, so i'm on my own for dinner. looking for a foodie place, one with a bar where i can eat since a woman alone at a table seems so so so sad. and besides, i'll need a drink.

communal tables are fine.

last time i was in philadelphia, this california gal freaked out because people were, gasp, smoking at the bar. is this still legal?

friend says we'll be staying "downtown" but won't get more specific than that; guessing something near center city would be great. i'd rather spend my $$$ on dinner than on cab fare.

  1. j
    jrnlmkr Dec 20, 2008 04:04 PM

    thanks everyone for all your suggestions. i'm embarrassed to say, after all my research, and the tasty looking snackbar just around the corner from my very lux, but very conservative hotel, i ended up eating the worst meal of the year at, don't kill me, smith and wollensky.
    it was in the hotel and my date was hot and we were lazy and, god, the food was bad. honestly, how can a steak ordered medium come out both raw and overcooked at the same time? however, kudos to our waitress who allowed me to take a cocktail to go, something that just doesn't happen in los angeles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jrnlmkr
      d
      DaisyM Dec 21, 2008 09:40 AM

      You have the all time best "excuse" ....the "hot" date! Love it!

    2. b
      Bigley9 Nov 24, 2008 09:57 AM

      I'd second both Ansill and Osteria. Ansill has amazing small plates. Osteria is by our beloved Marc Vetri. Both are comfortable for a woman dining alone at the bar.
      Another option would be Southwark, but it is one block away from Ansill, and Ansill would win for creative memory making food.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bigley9
        l
        lawgirl3278 Nov 24, 2008 10:44 AM

        I was going to recommend hitting Southwark after or before Ansill. It's an old style bar/bistro, and the bartenders are super knowledgable and friendly.

        1. re: lawgirl3278
          b
          Bashful3 Nov 24, 2008 03:39 PM

          Having had an early dinner at Parc that was a lot of fun; I'd recommend their bar for the meal you describe. LIvely vibe, very Parisian in feel.

      2. r
        rocknroll52 Nov 22, 2008 04:32 AM

        I would consider Parc, the new Paris-style brasserie owned by local restauranteur Stephen Starr. It will be lively, and you can eat at the bar. You'll feel like you are in Paris!! Location is on Rittenhouse Square, 18th st.

        1. b
          Bashful3 Nov 21, 2008 06:47 PM

          Osteria is a tad off Center City where hotel's would be, but I'm guessing that would be lively and fun at their bar. It would be a very short cab ride in any case.

          1. c
            croutonpiggy Nov 21, 2008 01:53 PM

            Smoking has been banned in just about all restaurants and bars since your last visit. I beleive if a bar makes less than 10% of their income via food sales, they can apply for an exemption.

            Downtown, although not large by some city standards, still covers an area 25 blocks wide. If you don't know the exact location, then please tell us your food and price preferences so we can point you to the right spot.

            1. x
              xtian Nov 21, 2008 01:29 PM

              I'd go to Ansill, even if you have to take a short cab ride. They're open on Mondays and definitely a foodie place. If you are early enough for their happy hour, you can take advatage of $5 martinis or prosecco and $1 oysters.

              1. saturninus Nov 21, 2008 12:56 PM

                Do you know where in Center City? That would be incredibly helpful. No need to send you half way across the city alone. There are plenty of options I'm sure. Just let us know the area.

                4 Replies
                1. re: saturninus
                  j
                  jrnlmkr Nov 21, 2008 07:03 PM

                  without going into too much detail, where i'll be staying is going to be a mystery until much closer to the date, some three weeks from now. price isn't so much of a problem as long as the food is really good, i have an experience i couldn't have anywhere else--perhaps a really beloved philly chef. cheap or expensive, either could work. i just need to keep myself busy until around 10pm somewhere where the food is great and there are enough people eating at the bar that i won't feel like an alien. some places i adore in other cities: mozza in la, momofuko in new york. had one of the best meals i've ever eaten at ridiculously expensive tailor in new york. that was in august and i still dream of it although i was the only one in the restaurant for the entire two hours i was there. that was painful. i'll just be coming back from a trip to thailand and japan, so i'll probably want to pass on asian food. hope the details help

                  1. re: saturninus
                    Delucacheesemonger Nov 22, 2008 11:13 AM

                    What about Downtown Cheese?

                    1. re: saturninus
                      j
                      jrnlmkr Dec 15, 2008 12:06 AM

                      i'll be staying at the rittenhouse hotel. going to need a delicious cocktail with dinner and a meal, doesn't have to be fancy, i can write home about. comfortable for a woman alone. most preferably seated at the bar instead of the oh so visible table by myself tonight's the night.

                      1. re: jrnlmkr
                        m
                        mazza3 Dec 15, 2008 08:15 AM

                        i love eating alone, and tria is a great place for it. it is at 18th and sansom in rittenhouse, one person can almost always snuggle up to the bar and they have great beer and wine, but no cocktails. the food is excellent and you can pick while you sip if you don't want to commit to a meal. if you want a nice cocktail, alma de cuba has lovely mojitos and a nice bar. i am not sure if they serve food at the bar though.

                        osteria, though a bit far away, is probably the best place to grab a solo meal (a gorgeous wine and one of their pizzas is one of the best meals in the city), but you will need a taxi. ansill is also a great rec, but again, taxi time. haven't been to parc, but it is close enough to you to check out and decide yay or ney without going to far afield.

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