Deciding between 4 Phila Restaurants-help!
I'm trying to decide between 4 restaurants for a party of 8 people. We love good food, good wine, and a nice atmosphere for catching up. If you have any thoughts on the following restaurants, please share :) I haven't been to any of them. Thank you!!
Bistro Romano (reservations are for the lounge/bar with live piano)
Ristorante Panorama (although I know the fleets are out of this world, I want to make sure it's great in the other categories above)
The only one I have been to is Bistro Romano. The atmosphere is nice (if you eat downstairs). I can't imagine eating in the lounge/bar area. I don't think it would be nice. The food is just average,very standard Italian fare. For the price I don't think its a great value. It seems very popular with tourists, though.
Twenty Manning has good food, great drinks, and a fun hip atmosphere, but it is very loud inside. Pumpkin is warm and cozy, feels like a real neighborhood find, and might be your best bet. Only downside is a very small menu, so if anyone has dietary restrictions it can be a problem. I haven't been to the other two. Thank you.
In part it depends on what you want. I can only comment on Pumpkin and Twenty Manning. The former is a quiet, more subdued neighborhood place. Twenty Manning has a hipper vibe, nicer decor, good drinks, and edgier food (both have good food, they're just different. Pumpkin is homier). I Pumpkin is a BYOB, btw, if that influences the decision.
I've been to 3 of your 4 choices (all but Bistro Romano), not sure any of them are quite the best choices given what you're looking for, but here's my 2 cents:
Twenty Manning - pretty good food, with a bar, mix from full entrees to lighter fare. Can get kind of noisy and crowded, though. Not necessarily what I'd consider some of the best food in town if you've got real "foodies" in your group.
Pumpkin - great food the one time I managed to get in, but a VERY small space, and a limited menu (and I've heard they can be rude/stubborn if you've got anyone with dietary restrictions or issues to accommodate). I'm not sure how easily you'd get in with 8 people unless it was a weeknight, and/or if they'd try to rush you to turn over the tables...
Panorama - the wine flights and by-the-glass selection is awesome, so if you've got wine fans in your group, this might be your best choice. I've liked their starters and salads a great deal, found the entrees a bit average or "just ok" in comparison for the price. But they have a big dining room, with a reservation might be the best of your four picks for a good larger group dinner.