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Deciding between 4 Phila Restaurants-help!

a
artichokelover Feb 18, 2009 03:36 PM

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)
Twenty Manning
Pumpkin (BYO)
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)

  1. r
    rocknroll52 Feb 18, 2009 06:24 PM

    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.

    1. b
      Bride of the Juggler Feb 19, 2009 04:28 AM

      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.

      1. p
        philly123 Feb 19, 2009 04:55 AM

        Twenty Manning is an excellent choice. The food is great and the atmosphere is fun. Bistro Romano is subpar food that is overpriced.

        1. b
          Bigley9 Feb 19, 2009 07:37 AM

          I haven't been to Panorama in awhile ( I moved out of Old City and into Queen Village) but the food has never disappointed! Bistro Romano isn't good, can't comment on the others!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bigley9
            b
            Beulah Feb 19, 2009 07:39 AM

            Pumpkin is excellent (BYO) but tiny. Panorama is also very good. Don't think much of Bistro Romano. Don't know about Twenty Manning.

          2. t
            the scribbler Feb 19, 2009 08:42 AM

            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.

            1. sockii Feb 19, 2009 09:07 AM

              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.

              1. a
                artichokelover Feb 20, 2009 12:38 PM

                Thank you everyone! I'll let you know what happens!

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