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Where to take my girlfriend's dad to ask for her hand in Philadelphia

I want to propose to my girlfriend, but first I have to ask for her hand from her father. Do you have any suggestions of a nice restaurant or a nice place where we can go eat in Philadlphia? He likes fish, so it has to have fish, but it should have more than just fish just in case he wants something else. The reason I also ask is because I'm not from Philly and don't know where we could even go. Please help! I want this to be perfect! Thanks!!!!

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  1. Maybe Estia? It's a very nice (and expensive) Greek restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood but does have a lot of other options.

    1 Reply
    1. re: barryg

      Estia is a great suggestion. Beautiful place, good food.

    2. well....estia = perfect for food, but i would imagine that you are a little concerned about the setting as well. i would try an italian byo. they always have some sort of whole fish on the menu, and the setups are more intimate (plus if you piss him off and he storms out you aren't left paying a huge bill :) ). or if he likes manish kindof places, chop houses etc, try out davio's or the saloon. both always have seafood but are italian steakhouses.....

      7 Replies
      1. re: mazza3

        Estia or an Italian BYO are all good suggestions, but given your conversational topic, relatively quiet ambience might be a high priority. La Croix? Not sure about Estia.

        1. re: Bashful3

          Estia would be great, especially in one of the booths. The fish (and octopus) are great but they have other food on the menu that is good as well.

          1. re: Bashful3

            Yes, I'd steer clear from the BYO scene as they all get very loud and service can be spotty. The other places mentioned all have very professional service and have upscale ambiance suitable for "special occassion" dining.

            1. re: barryg

              I'm not so sure about Estia or a BYOB. Estia is pretty, but is really heavy on the seafood. What about Butcher and Singer or another steakhouse like Capital Grille or Smith and Wollensky? I only suggest those places as they have some nice seafood choices as well as beef entrees. Another place might be 10 Arts...hasn't that place been getting some good reviews?

              1. re: Hellolaura

                One last thought.....is Roys' still in business? That might be a good choice, too.

                1. re: Hellolaura

                  I agree -- Roy's is still in business and has great seafood -- also a nice quiet atmosphere.

            2. re: Bashful3

              I'll second the vote for Lacroix. This isn't just "I want the fish to be good," but "I want to impress upon him that I'm serious about this and will take care of his daughter."

          2. Any place Steven Starr. Or perhaps Audrey Claire.
            "WHAT? CAN YOU SPEAK UP?"
            "MORE WATER?"
            "NO, I WANT TO..."

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bob Loblaw

              Haha.... very funny! :) I sure do hope it's not like that! :)

            2. Wow... all these choices to choose from. I've already checked a few of the websites for some of these, and they sound and seem great! Now I just have to choose which one to go to. This will happen next weekend, so I'll let you guys know what he says..... Wish me luck!

              4 Replies
                1. re: ruthie343

                  uh, does it matter if he says 'no'?

                  1. re: Buckethead

                    If he says "yes" the OP will pick up the tab. If he says "no" I say that the dad should pay.

                    1. re: Buckethead

                      Well.... I hope he doesn't say no! I'm staying positive! :) I have talked to him a few times before, and it doesn't seem like he hates me, so I have high hopes.

                  2. I vote for Estia also - went there for a late Saturday lunch yesterday. But you might want to think about Meritage - a much smaller and intimate place than Estia. The menu doesn't show it - but they have a very large wine list and a good bar.


                    1. This might not be what you are looking for but I love the Melting Pot...and the main reason is because you are actually sitting there doing something...not just sitting and waiting for your food while you think of something to talk about! You are almost constantly dipping or cooking your food so you actually have something to do while you eat, so its not so awkward.... I love it!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: CakeMom

                        You're kidding about the Melting Pot, right?

                        1. re: CakeMom

                          The Melting Pot is just awful! I was dragged there once and vowed never to go back. The food is bland and poor quality.

                        2. I recently had an excellent experience at Meme at 22nd and Spruce. The fish dishes were the best things I tasted from the menu (but they also have steak, pork, lamb, etc). And, they are not a BYOB.

                          I'd also recommend the Oyster House on Sansom St.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: urbanfabric

                            I thought the Oyster House was just ok (well the oysters were very good) but it is not a romantic or intimate place and is more heavy on seafood than say Estia.

                            1. re: bluehensfan

                              I've mostly only eaten the oysters. And, that's what I figured, good oysters, good beers, and a good place to hang out with your future father-in-law.

                          2. If it is just you and your future father in law, why dont you try Woody's? They have excellent fish as well as other dishes, plus you and your future Dad will be able to enjoy quiet conversation.
                            Good luck and God bless you.

                            1 Reply
                            1. Think of it as the start of a long fruitful relationship. Do you know him well enough (or could you ask your girlfriend) to have an idea of his favorites? As long as it's quiet, or you pick a quiet time, that ought to be perfect.

                              It's refreshing that old fashioned ways of doing things still exist!

                              1. I'd consider Prime Rib. Very nice ambience. Excellent food.

                                1. Once again I say - Meritage


                                  Can you hear me? Small + Quiet - Get a reservation

                                  1. Outside at the 9th Street Market, eating an Italian sausage sandwich. Show the dad you don't waste money and care about real food and that you are not a fluffy phony. Maybe he was a Rockey fan and will be impressed. Be original, creative!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                                      Okay, all the kidding responses aside, my son informed me (after his engagement) that he actually asked his future father-in-law for her hand in marriage. I found it so sweet. I've told many other "moms" who hope the same happens for their daughters!! So, you are to be applauded for doing this!
                                      My question is: Why dinner? My son called his future fil, asked if he could stop by (his house). Of course future fil became anxious and asked if his daughter was okay??!! My son drove over, professed his love for his daughter, then asked for his blessing. The dad hugged him and they had a drink! All good!
                                      Good luck to you and thanks for keeping this idea alive and well!!!

                                    2. Le Bec-Fin would be a lovely place..report back!


                                      1. So where did you end up going?

                                        1. Hi Everybody! :) Thank you all so much for the dining options as well as the encouragement. I actually gave him the option of where he wanted to go eat, and he chose a Colombian restaurant called Tierra Colombianas (he's Colombian). He ordered one of the red snapper dishes (Viudo de Pescado), which he enjoyed very much. I ordered the Langosta Enchilada (Lobster in Red Sauce). It was a nice restaurant and the food was great.

                                          So I asked for his blessing and he gave it to me! :) I was so nervous about what he would say, he's a strict man. He actually welcomed me into his family, gave me a hug, and we celebrated with a drink. It was definitely better than what I thought it was going to be. I'm sorry we didn't go to one of the restaurants you suggested, they all sounded so great! I will use them in the future, now that I will also be visitng Philadelphia more often. Thank you all so much! :)

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: ruthie343

                                            How perfect your choice! I'm delighted that your thoughtful approach worked so well. If you had happened to mention that he was Columbian, you can be sure we would have suggested Tierra Colombianas! It is terrific, fun, and one doesn't have to be Columbian to appreicate it.

                                            Welcome to the family!

                                          2. I think you should have asked for his daughter's hand at The Dolphin.