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Boston Hounds need Philly rec near South 2nd

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Hello--We're going to be in Philadelphia for Halloween weekend, staying at Thomas Bond House at 129 South 2nd Street. We have reservations for Saturday at Little Fish which sounds dee-lish. But we'd like a place in walking distance from the hotel for Friday night. Any recommendations? Thanks!

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  1. You'd be crazy not to go to Zahav.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bluehensfan

      Zahav!

      1. re: jaba

        Zahav is overrated small plates.. small portions.. I would go to Supper ninth and south. Some of the best creative food in the city. http:\\www.supperphilly.com.

    2. If you like Mexican, there's Xochitl...

      http://www.xochitlphilly.com/xochitl_...

      1. Zahav and Xochitl are both excellent. I gotta throw Amada (tapas) out there too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: barryg

          I have to second Amada. Great choice for catching up due to the fact that you can continue to order as you sit and go and you won't be rushed.

        2. We have had a couple of very nice dinners lately at Fork, at 306 Market Street. New chef, delicious food. I liked that we could just order appetizers or small plates with no problem.
          This is just two blocks away from your hotel.

          Amada would be fun. You need to reserve.

          Friends of ours are fans of Bistro 7, on Third just north of Market - also close by.

          You can bring up menus online and see what appeals to you.

          We aren't big fans of Zahav, though I know we are in the minority. We will probably give it another try, though my husband wasn't crazy about the prices or the large amount of appetizers pushed by the waiter.

          1. Thanks for the suggestions so far! I was wondering--as far as atmosphere and price--are Zahav , Amada, and Fork too similar to Little Fish were we are going on Saturday night? And how about noise level at these places? On Friday we're meeting old friends from California (who are in the city for a conference) so we will need a quiet place to catch up. Is there a pub or more casual place near the hotel ? Thanks again

            7 Replies
            1. re: blintz

              Admittedly I have never been to Little Fish so I am not the best person to compare the places. I know that Zahav can get lively because it is just one large room. Amada is quieter, and Fork is even more so. I have not been to Fork since the chef change earlier in the year but unless the menu has changed a lot, it may be fairly similar to Little Fish. The advantage of Zahav (Israeli) or Amada (tapas) is you would be getting an enitrely different type of cuisine. Also, Amada does do a whole roast suckling pig for parties of four or more (look elsewhere on the board for the raves).

              I can think of a few casual places in Old City but they neither strike me as having all that good food or being quiet...perhaps I am forgetting something. There are better pub options I have in mind but they are closer to Rittenhouse Square.

              1. re: bluehensfan

                Zahav has a smaller room off the main dining room with about half a dozen tables, I believe you can reserve a table in there if you specifically ask for it (except on Thursdays, when they do a special tasting menu in there). I've had a couple nice, quiet meals in there. I would not describe Amada as quiet at all. Fork is definitely the smallest and quietest of the three, but Zahav would be my pick just because the food is so different (and excellent) than what you'll be having at Little Fish. Fork isn't specifically a seafood restaurant but the chef's strength is seafood, so you may be having two seafood-centric meals if you go to Fork and Little Fish.

                If food alone was the main concern, I'd go to Zahav, though I haven't been to Fork since Terence Feury took over.

              2. re: blintz

                Fork is quiet enough to talk. The menu is varied; I don't think it is at all like Little Fish.
                In fact, none of the places you mentioned is like Little Fish.
                At Fork, I had a salad and a delicious pasta. It is not BYOB. Unless you go to a dining room in one of the hotels, all the places are casual these days. My husband hasn't worn a jacket to a restaurant in a long time - which makes him happy!

                Amada can get noisy.

                1. re: blintz

                  Little Fish is a tiny BYOB. Zahav and Amada are large, busy restaurants with elaborate decoration. Fork is a bit smaller but again more done up decoratively for the downtown crowd. Price wise, none are cheap and since they aren't BYO you gotta pay the drink prices too.

                  Eulogy is a nice beer-centric pub with pretty good food, but getting a table can be difficult and it gets loud. You might also consider Beneluxx Tasting Room, which has a huge selection of beer and wine and also cheese and chocolate served by the ounce. They have a regular menu, too, but I have not eaten off it. Fondue is one of their signature items. Prices are reasonable given the quality if memory serves.

                  Another pub type spot is National Mechanics, which is cheap and should be quiet enough during dinner hours (it'll get rowdy later). I haven't had much food there but their veggie burger (fresh made in the kitchen with fresh veggies) is hands down the best I have ever had and I've heard good things about the other menu items.

                  1. re: barryg

                    Barryg is right on. Little Fish: small, sparse, cute, kind of raw. Zahav and Amanda: lush, bigger, decorated. Totally different experiences. Food at all three is amazing, but Little Fish is my favorite.

                    I'd skip Fork. I've been disappointed every time. There's too much close to you that's way better.

                    1. re: hollyd

                      When's the last time you visited Fork?

                      1. re: hollyd

                        I would have agreed with you about Fork until the new chef arrived. Now I would disagree strongly!

                  2. I second the Zahav recommendation but just wanted to add that we stayed at the Thomas Bond House (or at least had reservations there) about a year ago and had a very bad experience. So bad, in fact, that we left and stayed at the Four Seasons. The rooms were not clean, and the inn keeper was rude. The website had promised that our room would have a whirlpool tub (i.e. jacuzzi), and in fact it only had a stand-up shower. It was cold and damp. I would strongly suggest your looking into alternate lodging!

                    1. I'm not sure how quiet it is at night, but Beneluxx on third is near there and is fun to hang around, many good beers, wines, cheese and chocolate.

                      1. The Society Hill Inn Restaurant is nearby (3rd and Chestnut), casual, good burger, other food I haven't had but that others have enjoyed and it shouldn't get noisy until later

                        1. Second for society hill hotel. Also a thought might be Southwark, at 4th and South, not right in the neighborhood but not a bad walk on a nice night. They have great cocktails and food, and a different vibe than Littlefish.

                          1. If you want to have any sort of conversation, don't go to Amada. We were there on Wednesday night (first time) and it was so loud no one could even hear the waitperson describe the specials, much less have a conversation. Very very loud. Additionally, the tables are very close to each other so that adds to the noise level.

                            1. dark horse pub is on 3rd st. between lombard and south. cool place, and you will be able to hear yourself talk.