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Restaurants Near Academy of Music

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My husband and I will be spending our first wedding anniversary in Philly and will be attending the PA Ballet on a Saturday evening. Would appreciate recommendations for romantic (or semi romantic) restaurants within walking distance from the Academy of Music. (NO Asian, Middle Eastern or Mexican please). Thanks!

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  1. There is a very lovely restaurant on Locust Street, right across from the Academy of Music, called Estia. It is Greek - has a large menu, specializing in fresh fish/seafood. You can look at their menu online.

    One of our favorite BYOB's, just a few blocks away, is Branzino. It is on 17th St, just above Spruce. Very nice ambience, excellent food. Philly has many BYOB's - you bring your own wine and the restaurant opens it and serve you at no extra charge.

    Ten Arts, in one of the hotels on Broad Street near City Hall, is not far. Very attractive and has an intimacy, even though it is off the lobby of the hotel. Very good food and service.

    There are a couple of chain steakhouses in the area, if that's what you want. One of them, Capital Grille, a couple of blocks north on Broad Street, is very attractive with some small rooms. Varied menu. Again, you can see the menu on line.

    You didn't mention price. The last ones I mentioned would be more expensive. Estia has a prix-fixe with a few choices in each category.

    Make sure that you get to our Reading Terminal Market while you're here. It's open weekends, is a short walk from Broad Street, and is really fun and interesting. Go for lunch - or breakfast.

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    Reading Terminal Market
    51 N 12th St # 2, Philadelphia, PA

    Branzino Restaurant
    261 S 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

    Estia
    1405 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

    Capital Grille
    1338 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

    2 Replies
    1. re: sylviag

      I agree that Estia is a lovely restaurant, a perfect place for a celebration. I have also had some good meals at Upstairs at Varelli and Sotto Varelli but not on the level of Estia.

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      Estia
      1405 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

      1. re: bentley1530

        I third Estia, especially for the fresh fish and octopus.

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        Estia
        1405 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

    2. We like Valanni.

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      Valanni
      1229 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

      1. Thanks for the recommendation of Estia. Unfortunately, I am allergic to fish and seafood, so that really would not be an option for us.

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        Estia
        1405 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

        1. I'm very fond of the Warsaw Cafe -- 16th Street below Pine.

          The atmosphere is Continental. The food is upscale Eastern European. Mama's in the kitchen. Son runs FOH. Doesn't get much play here, but they've been consistent for more than twenty years.

          While I'm not sure this would suit you, it certainly is not a fish place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Seeker19104

            Second Warsaw Cafe. Very warm atmosphere, not super-romantic, but in keeping with a nice, intimate meal. Good food, although not real high end. May be just what you want before a show.

          2. XIX in the Bellevue building is just the street from the Academy and has awesome views of the city (it's on the nineteenth floor, get it?). Very classy and romantic.

            1. Do you care if the restaurant has a bar or if it is BYOB?
              If you can do to a BYOB, I think Branzino would be lovely for you. It is just a few blocks away, and has a varied menu with good salads, pasta, meat, poultry, etc.

              If you want a place with a liquor license, then Capital Grille or Valanni would be good. Someone mentioned Valanni - it's on Spruce between 12th and 13th.

              Capital Grille would be a little more expensive, but very good. It is divided into smaller rooms, and you can ask for a booth or someplace with more privacy.

              I wouldn't recommend Warsaw Cafe for an occasion.

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              Branzino Restaurant
              261 S 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

              Valanni
              1229 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

              Capital Grille
              1338 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

              1 Reply
              1. re: sylviag

                BYOB is fine. Bar is unimportant to us. Thanks again!

              2. Another vote for Estia. They have a pre-show prix fixe menu I believe, or go after the show.

                http://www.estiarestaurant.com/home.asp

                Don't let the Greek music on the web page turn you off, it's really a good restaurant. I first went in Jan 2006, My wife and I drive down from Titusville just to eat here. We just went for lunch one Saturday this past September. With wine it can be expensive. Our Lunch was $125 before tip.

                Also a second vote for Branzino, BYOB, but not a close as Estia.

                http://www.branzinophilly.com/

                It's about four blocks walk from the Academy

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                Estia
                1405 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

                2 Replies
                1. re: jerseybill52

                  The OP is allergic to fish and seafood.

                  XIX is good but it's also kind of seafood-focused (not as much as Estia).

                  My pick would be Kanella (Greek/Cypriot), it's 5 blocks away at 10th and Spruce. If that's too far, Mercato (Italian) is a bit closer and is also good.

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                  Kanella
                  266 S 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

                  Estia
                  1405 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

                  Mercato Restaurant
                  1216 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

                  1. re: Buckethead

                    Both very good, both BYOB, both are kind of small and get crowded. Mercato can be very loud; Kanella I have not sat inside when crowded so I can't say. I personally would avoid Mercato for a romantic evening as when I went service seemed to have a turn the tables mentality. Mercato is also cash only; I can't remember if Kanella takes cards or not.

                    Kanella is also great for brunch if you are spending the night and want excellent food that is not typical brunch fare.

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                    Kanella
                    266 S 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

                    Mercato Restaurant
                    1216 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

                2. What ever you do dont go to Bronzino. I dont know why people like this place but Ive eaten there a few times and in my experience the food is mediocre and the service is at best spotty, not the kind of place for a first anniv. I love the Capitol Grill , The Prime Rib , Parc and Rouge. Have fun!

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                  Prime Rib Restaurant
                  16620 Lincoln Hwy, Breezewood, PA 15533

                  Parc
                  227 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: michyphilly

                    Bronzino is a wonderful Italian BYOB restuarant. Warm and inviting and compared to Capitol Grille a great price. Stay away from Parc and Rouge. They are only for the beautiful people.

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                    Parc
                    227 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

                    1. re: OlderPhiladelphian

                      I love Parc! I especially like it because I find it to be unstuffy, which is why your comment surprised me. Can you elaborate what you mean? I really hate pretentious restaurants, and (surprisingly, for a Starr resto) Parc just doesn't strike me as one. I think it's extremely authentically French too.

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                      Parc
                      227 South 18th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

                  2. If you like seafood Fish is at 16th and Lombard.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: joluvscards

                      I'm allergic to fish and most seafood, so that wouldn't be an option. Thanks anyway!

                    2. How about Ernesto's 1521 at 1521 Spruce? I haven't been for a couple of years but it used to be quite good.