Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Jan 21, 2010 06:35 AM

Where should we go for my birthday this year?

So, my favorite meals in Philadelphia have been at Vetri, Le Bec Fin, Lacroix, James, L'Angolo, Osteria, Fleming's Steak House, Parc and Buddakan (I know - how awful of me to throw some Stephen Starr in with Marc Vetri).

I want to go somewhere different this year. Any recommendations? One thought was Zahav or that French BYOB I keep hearing about but cannot remember the name of? Or even doing Union Trust or one of the newish steakhouses. If you like any of my restaurants above, where would you go?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Bibou, the French BYOB, would be an excellent choice.

    1. Fond and Modo Mio would be my picks for BYO. Osteria for full bar.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jl0328

        Thanks! We love Modo Mio- forgot to put that on my list. Bibou is booked up already and they are on vacation so I cannot call until day before birthday. Will look online at Fond.

        1. re: lillotis

          If you want French, Bistrot La Minette is lovely. Another place I think of in the same category as the ones you mentioned is Matyson. Also, if what you mostly want is great food, I'd recommend Koo Zee Doo. It's more homey and rustic, and less fancy than the places you mentioned, but the food is fantastic.

      2. I'm crazy about Zahav after a recent visit. The flavors were so novel and vivid, and the prices so reasonable. We had the $36 tasting menu and couldn't finish all the food we received. I strongly recommend it.

        For a splurge, you could consider a tasting menu at Morimoto ($80 or $120, depending on what caliber of ingredients you choose). I was very impressed by a recent $120 tasting menu--lots of truffles, tuna belly, a wonderful lobster dish. The drink pairings were rather lame, though, and pricey; and our server, while cheerful and attentive, wasn't particularly well informed. Still, the meal justified the high price for me.

        Finally, might you consider one of the small-plate places in the Garces empire? Chifa, Tinto and Distrito are all worthy of a birthday splurge.

        1. I'd go to Zahav. Get the $36 prix-fixe as nwinkler advises. It's better than it's ever been.

          1. I say that you can't go wrong at The Fountain Room at The Four Seasons. Vetri is my #1 restaurant in Philly, but The Fountain is 1a.

            Of the Garces restaurants, I would recommend Amada. If you are going with 4 or more people, pre order the roasted pig.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Philly Ray

              Another great option is Le Virtu. Fabulous pastas, great service. Went there last year for my bday (Feb.). I traditionally have two, LOL, and the other one was Zahav. Also terrific.

              This year have two celebrations lined up: Koo Zee Doo (can't wait) and trying to decide between Meme or Cochon.

              I wasn't wild about Chifa but love Garces' other places. If you go to Amada, in addition to the roast pig, get the lamb meatballs. Had them in Dec. and they were incredible.