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Feb 24, 2009 09:41 AM

Chloe, Copper Bistro or Sassafras?

We'll be in Philadelphia for the Flower Show on Saturday, and will be having an early dinner. Would prefer a BYO like Chloe or Copper Bistro, but also have old ties to the Sassafras from days gone by. Recommendations, anybody?

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  1. I haven't been to Sassafras in years so I can't report. I always forget about that place.. I went to Copper a few weeks ago on a Friday night and had a crappy experience. My husband and I had to wait forever for lackluster over priced food. I'll never go back. I like Chloe and hopefully if you're there early enough, you'll get a table. What about Bistro 7 which is in Old City also? I just had a great meal there recently.

    2 Replies
    1. re: phillyjules

      Wow, Copper still sucks? I was there when they first opened and it was not good then, hard to believe they've managed to survive this long without improving.

      1. re: phillyjules

        Thanks to all - we'll be early, so we'll give Chloe a shot. If we can't get in we'll take a walk over to Sassafras. Sorry to hear about Copper, it looked good on the website.

      2. I haven't been to Sassafras recently either but rabidog posted on a visit recently -

        9 Replies
        1. re: Bigley9

          I'm a big fan of Sassafras. It's a good spot to grab a drink /burger (ostrich or bison perhaps) w P-nut oil french fries and catch up with a buddy. They have other stuff on the menu ($10-15 dollars at most) which looks appetizing but I like the burgers. It's worth checking out at least for a drink and an appetizer (good spring rolls and hand-made Mongolian dumplings.....and yes, the chef is heard it here first) . They use to have live jazz on Tuesday nights. Maybe again when the weather warms up. It was closed for a while and then changed ownership in the last year. Two Irish gents run it. Nice guys.

          Last time I was at Chloe, I had one of the best full racks of ribs I've had in years served w mac and cheese that had me licking my plate. Awesome would be an understatement. Chloe's cash only.

          I'd do pre-drinks at Sassafras, grab a bottle of wine from the State store on 2nd, and then hit Chloe for dinner.

          1. re: juice

            I'm afraid to go there now after rabidog's comments! I lived in Old City from 1988 to 1998, so I fear I am exactly the people she was talking about! tee hee!

            1. re: Bigley9

              haha, oh, old city!! :) now, if you LIVED in old city i was under the impression that you loathed everything(one) that entered the neighborhood on the weekend nights. like a mini-yunk.

              true the food at sassafras isn't anything to write home about tho the bar is pretty, and fine for a pre- or post-dinner drink.

              i'm actually going to copper on saturday myself so i'll be sure to report back ASAP - though it'll be too late for you (though if you see a party of 8ish, it'll likely be me & co)! i was there once back in november and they were super-accommodating and the food was decent (i had a bouillabaisse). they're a nice neighborhood presence so i may be a little biased.

              i've had pretty good experiences at chloe - nothing (a word i've found myself overusing lately) transcendent but nothing offensive, at least in my meal!

              how did you pick those two BYOBs? they are (copper especially) further off the beaten path than most. which can sometimes be a good thing, but in the case of philly BYOBs i often find my favorites are the ones i find mentioned over and over (and over and over) on here. matyson, little fish, modo mio and after this last week of overindulgence i'm adding kanella and melograno to that list!

              1. re: rabidog

                We're always on the lookout for interesting places to eat in the city, tho' we don't get there as often as we once did (we live near New Hope). We'd not been to either Copper or Chloe, and they looked on their sites like places we'd enjoy. Based on the comments posted to my question (thanks to all of you!), we're planning to do Chloe. I'll post comments about the experience tomorrow.

                1. re: Billow45

                  sounds good! and i am doing copper tonight, so we'll have to compare notes tomorrow! :)

                  1. re: rabidog

                    back from copper - and though it's not fair to totally critique them when i had a largely people-centric dinner, i did like my meal. i was fairly boring and plain and stuck with my seafood-pasta-white wine sauce kick and started with clams and tagliatelle (very buttery!) and moved on to a bouillabaisse in a less buttery sauce with more seafood minus pasta. both were quite tasty. in general i think the whole table enjoyed their meals though again the mood was more centered on the company than the food, so it's always hard to judge. especially good was the shrimp in the bouillabaisse, which was sorta blackened and delicious. only downside was it wasn't entirely filling, the meal, but i guess that could be partially my fault for ordering lighter items.

                    then met friends for a nightcap (or five) at wine-o which is the closest bar to my house, just around the corner. ordered an octopus salad and the mussels, and i was reminded of how easy it is to underestimate a place like copper! pretty sure there were few if any pieces of octopus (which were not tender or flavorful) and the mussels were small and not in the same league as what i'd had earlier at dinner. there's a reason wine-o is not mentioned on this board much if at all.

                    1. re: rabidog

                      Sounds like you had a fun night - and wow are you dedicated, posting at 2 in the a.m.! Definite snores from me at that point.

                      We got out of the Flower Show at about 3:30, and had time to kill even allowing for an early dinner. We walked around Old City for a while, then stopped in at the Race Street Cafe for a glass of wine. First time in there (didn't it used to be Einstein's?) - cozy with the wood burning stove, looks like a good solid neighborhood place. When we left there, we were STILL early, so we went over to Sassafras for another vino. Same as I remember it, nice to see that it's still the great space, with a mixed crowd. The wine was much better (and cheaper by a little) at Sass, and the bartender and wait staff were friendly. The bartender mentioned that they had some low key jazz during the week; if we lived in town, it's a place we'd frequent quite a bit.

                      On, finally, to Chloe's. We had a good experience. The wait staff was pleasant and professional, and we thought the food was excellent. My wife had the roasted beet salad, which she loved, and the seared scallops with potato pancake, red onions and watercress. Nicely done. I had the zuppa - lentil, one of my favorites - and seared tuna with banana ginger soy broth, jasmine rice and seaweed salad. I liked it.

                      My wife did not like the interior design of the space, and kept rearranging it in her head as we had dinner. The tables along the right wall, where we sat, are a little tight (altho' not as tight as Matyson), but not so close that you're eavesdropping on the next table's conversation.

                      All in all, we thought it was worth the $75 (including coffee and dessert), and we'd go back again.

                      1. re: Billow45

                        haha, more like just tipsy and not entirely ready for sleep at that point! LOTS of vino flowing amongst my group last night. :)

                        not a bad price! lentil soup is one of my absolute faves, too, especially in weather like last night's!!! those scallops sound really good too. i know what you mean about the tables being tight at chloe. i think there might be one or two tables too many in there, and i feel cramped at those tables, too, but it's such a teeny space.

                        some of my friends that met us for drinks afterwards had just come from the flower show, too, the opening night gala. the pictures look absolutely beautiful.

                2. re: rabidog

                  Note that, although it has been crowded out by the incessant search for the new and the trendy, Chloe was and is very much the prototype of the couple-owned, frequent-menu-change BYOBs. At least until Django got four bells from Laban, almost every BYOB review mentioned Chloe.

          2. Not to turn you off of Chloe, I know it's a favorite of many in the city and this board, but I had one of my worst meals ever at a BYO there within the last year. Canned mandarin oranges on the salad stick out as the biggest offense, along with very strange service.

            I also like Bistro 7 and found Copper to be average, but would still go there over Chloe based on my last experience.