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Apr 28, 2009 09:53 AM

Rehearsal Dinner near Center City

I'm a Boston hound looking to reserve a space for a 12 person rehearsal dinner on Saturday July 4. I have been spending some time on Chowhound trying to narrow down the options but I would love to have your help making a decision.

Here are our parameters:
-11 adults + 1 13 month old child
-We do not want a noisy restaurant
-Nothing too adventurous for the families
-Not too close to the fireworks (ruling out Ansill, for example)
-$20-$30 average entree price

Estia looks like a good choice but it seems a little too expensive and maybe too adventurous.
Branzino is closed on July 4.
Davios might be a little too expensive.
Matyson and Melograno seem too noisy.

Restaurants on my mind include Osteria, Supper, Paradiso, Roys (yes, I know its a chain but my parents like the food). Should I break the budget and go with Estia?

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  1. I don't know if they will do it for a smaller party like yours, but if you call ahead, Paradiso might be able to put you upstairs where you would have the whole area to yourself. Then again, on July 4th you might have the whole downstairs to yourself anyway.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray

      Paradiso is a great you should have a better time finding free parking.

      1. re: lawgirl3278

        Paradiso is an excellent suggestion!

    2. Why does your firework parameter rule out Ansill? The big firework display is behind the art museum, and doesn't start until pretty late. Ansill is at 3rd and Bainbridge. There may be some at Penn's Landing, but that's still a little bit of a walk from Ansill. Are you concerned about crowds or noise from the fireworks?

      I don't think restaurants are generally busy that night... you might be able to get some private space and a menu for your group that accommodates your budget. Estia and Osteria would be lovely. As would James, Lacroix, Meritage, Marigold (West Philly), and White Dog (University City).

      4 Replies
      1. re: urbanfabric

        Great point. I had thought that fireworks were at Penn's Landing. I wanted to avoid the crowds so that my suburban in-laws would not have trouble parking.

        1. re: g for food

          As long as you stay far away from the Parkway, you should be okay. Consider though, that traffic coming in for the concert/fireworks may be nasty. Hmmm... have you thought about a rehearsal lunch ;)

          1. re: g for food

            I should have followed my last message with, we did a lovely rehearsal lunch at Lacroix. They had options at several price points, we got our own room, and the service and food were top notch.

            1. re: g for food

              The Welcome America fireworks at Penn's Landing are usually the 3rd or the 5th, never the 4th when they are at the Art Museum. (of course who knows if they will happen at all this year!) I'd stay on the East side of Broad St for anything on July 4th

          2. Does it have to be in center city? Is that where you are staying? Center City is total gridlock on the 4th. Why not try something in northern liberties or cherry hill. Bistro7 is small but may work since that's not a busy night. Bar Ferdinand is a great place for a party. Siri's in Cherry Hll is a beautiful space with great food and byo.