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Super-special and memorable restaurant in Philly or surrounding areas?

AmblerGirl Feb 3, 2009 02:28 PM

My mom's 50th birthday is coming up in the spring and I want to treat her to a wonderful dinner, something unique and memorable, and delicious. There will be five of us at dinner. Money is no object, but I do believe that just because a place is not expensive does not mean it is not special. I am looking for amazing atmosphere, service, and food. My parents are "somewhat" adventurous in the cuisines they will try, but nothing too far out, and no asian food (japanese, vietnamese, etc.). Location can be anywhere in the region - I am willing to drive as far as I need. I'm just looking for a great experience. I know this is a vauge request but suggestions are appreciated.

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    Philly Ray RE: AmblerGirl Feb 3, 2009 03:18 PM

    If money is no object then I recommend...

    1. Vetri
    1a. The Fountain Room at The Four Seasons

    If you choose Vetri, you can make your reservation 2 months (to the day) in advance and I would suggest doing so to guarantee you get the date you want. Also, Vetri only does their tasting menu on Saturday nights (which to me is a "unique and memorable, and delicious" experience) so if you'd rather order a la carte, keep that in mind).

    Hope that helps.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray
      michyphilly RE: Philly Ray Feb 3, 2009 03:51 PM

      One of my favorite restaurants in Philadelphia is La Famiglia. I went for my birthday and loved it. The food is great and the service was attentive. Ditto to The Fountain and Vetri.

      1. re: michyphilly
        FriedClamFanatic RE: michyphilly Feb 5, 2009 08:51 AM

        I would second La Famiglia

    2. s
      sylviag RE: AmblerGirl Feb 3, 2009 06:12 PM

      My favorite place for celebrations is LaCroix at the Rittenhouse. We've gone for both dinner and lunch and never been disappointed.

      One thing we haven't done - but I have always wanted to - is to go there for Sunday brunch. It's supposed to be absolutely fabulous, and it's a wonderful atmosphere. I like all the other places mentioned, but LaCroix is at the top of my list for a birthday or anniversary.

      1. h
        Hungryin theBurbs RE: AmblerGirl Feb 3, 2009 06:23 PM

        Vetri would be at the top of my list. Here's a recent review that catches all of my experiences there as well:


        LaCroix for brunch is also an excellent idea. For a more fun, casual vibe, I'm really loving Distrito lately. The decor upstairs is delightful, service is excellent, and the food is fantastic.

        1. x
          xtian RE: AmblerGirl Feb 4, 2009 04:12 AM

          Birchrunville Cafe

          1. l
            lawgirl3278 RE: AmblerGirl Feb 4, 2009 05:27 AM

            I'll second The Fountain Room. The food, service, and atmosphere are top notch.

            1. j
              JanR RE: AmblerGirl Feb 4, 2009 06:01 AM

              I would recommend Gilmore's in West Chester. Very pretty, very good food (the chef is a former Le Bec Fin chef), The service is extremely professional and charming. BYOB, so you can bring some excellent bottles of wine and not break the bank. You need to book far in advance for this one (as with Vetri), unless you are going on a weeknight.


              1. b
                Bridget1720 RE: AmblerGirl Feb 4, 2009 08:31 AM

                We recently took my parents to the Fountain Room at the Four Seasons to celebrate their 30 year anniversary. Everything was superb! The meal ran about $110 person, drinks and tip included. It was truly a special dinner.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bridget1720
                  EastCoastWineMan RE: Bridget1720 Feb 4, 2009 11:13 PM

                  110 seems low....I thinks its closer to 200 with drinks

                  1. re: EastCoastWineMan
                    Bridget1720 RE: EastCoastWineMan Feb 5, 2009 08:11 AM

                    thats only if you split a seven person bill, five ways.

                2. b
                  Bigley9 RE: AmblerGirl Feb 4, 2009 11:33 AM

                  We are taking my mom to Vetri for her 88th birthday - so I guess that answers the question! One point is to absolutely call 2 months in advance, maybe even try a day earlier, because there is one large table that seats five or six (round) at Vetri - all the other tables are 2 tops that are combined so for five you really want the round (we have 5 too!)

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