Seafood Scene, Philadelphia
My birthday friend and I are in search of seafood sublime for lunch in Philly area on a weekday Reachable easily by public transportation, or having a parking lot if we drive important; price not an object, but a reasonable amount of quiet at lunch would also be important.
Where can the best fish preparations be found these days? Excitement is what we are looking for. Suggestions please? WHere would you want to go?
You can probably do well in Chinatown but I am not qualified to make recs there. Otherwise, IMO you are better off doing this for dinner where you will have more options.
The most "exciting" seafood I've had recently is at the relatively new fish. at 17th & Lombard. Lots and lots of really creative and delicious seafood dishes. But they aren't open for lunch.
Kanella and Estia are open for lunch, and have some great fish dishes, but I don't know how "exciting" perfectly prepared whole fresh fish is. I also don't know if the lunch menus have the best preparations of their seafood available.
Probably your best bet is the Oyster House, which isn't all that exciting either, but does have a selection of oyster shooters that are fun, great snapper soup, and most of their menu available for lunch.
If it were me, I'd choose Estia. They have a great business lunch for $30 that includes an appetizer such as grilled octopus, a whole fish in lemon caper sauce and dessert such as fresh fruit or baklava. Even regardless of the price, the freshness of the fish cannot be beat, since this is the same fish they serve at dinner for $25 per pound and up...and the atmosphere is very cozy (especially in the booths).
My visit to the Oyster House was so-so. The oysters were great but the rest of the meal left something to be desired...and so did the service.