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Where to take my Daughter for her 21 BDay?

We live in Glenside. Some place hip, not BYOB and real good. She likes almost everything, she loves to cook. She loves to go to Chinatown, loves italian. We've been to NaBrasa, she loved it , but at 5'2 and 120 she didn't exactly overwork the Gauchos. She changes her mind everyday, one day its the Cheesecake factory (informal), the next William Penn Inn (she wants to dress up), next Amada (big fan of Iron Chef).... and so on. I think she browses Chowhound a little too much, lol.
5 of us, Heather, me, mom, brother (23), probably her boyfriend (21) if he can get off work.
Oh yeah, Its got to be a Tues or Wed night.


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  1. My husband and I recently enjoyed Amada for our anniversary, and it sounds like it might be perfect for your group. It's very chic, has sophisticated cocktails, TERRIFIC food (the only thing that didn't wow us, believe it or not, was the suckling pig special - but everything else was amazing). We have had small plates before and it's just such a festive way to eat. If I were turning 21 again, I'd want to go to Amada. :)

    1. I think a more hip place for an Iron Chef fan of Jose Garces would be Distrito in University City at 40th & Chestnut. Great food, young hip atmosphere.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Den

        Seconded, Distrito is perfect - fun and tres chic but more importantly good food and impeccable service

        1. re: AgentRed

          See if you can reserve the VW bug for seating... But check to see if you can fit 5 in it. It's a fun touch.

          1. re: xtian

            The VW Bug is fun and a good idea but there's no way you can fit five people in there!

      2. I've said it before and I'll say it again...If you have more than 4 people and you want to go to Amada, pre-order the roasted pig. Great choice for a festive occasion.

        If you still want to stay with Jose Garces, Distrito would be a fun second choice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Philly Ray

          Distrito is fun and yummy and it is said that the iron chef himself is often there on Tuesday nights. Having said that, Amada is my fave and still trying to get a group together for the suckling pig!!

        2. Distrito was the first place that came to mind reading your post. It has such a fun, celebratory feeling. For a non-iron chef place, I'd suggest Zahav. It is also fun for a group, good drinks and excellent food.

          1. Agree with the Amada rec, if she has interest in it, you'll love it. I'd do one of the tasting menus--they start at 45--and just sit back and let them bring you plate after delicious plate.

            1. My rec would be a little closer to home than Center City. We had a lovely dinner at Bridgets in Ambler. Great service, and your daughter can get more dressed up than she would for a place like Cheesecake. Wide variety of choices (even though they bill themselves as a steakhouse), all wonderfully done, including some interesting multi-person choices. http://www.bridgetssteak.com/ A plus for the newly-turned 21 year old is that they have a very nice bar -- always cool to have your daddy buy you that first drink at the bar.

              Ambler is a pretty interesting place now, so you could follow up with a stop at the wine bar (Deterra http://dettera.com/).

              If you want a dress-up place, with a luxe feel, my newest fave is The Prime Rib, at 17th & Locust in Center City. VERY pricey, but if you ask for the Stimulus menu, they have excellent choices for $35 FIXED PRICE.

              2 Replies
              1. re: PattiCakes

                Wow this is great recs, thanks friends-

                Distrito seems to be ahead- their website gives it the and funky fun look I am thinking of.
                I still got 2 weeks 4/09, so I'm still open for some more...

                1. re: seagulls1

                  Don't think any about it anymore - just do Distrito. You and your daughter will have a great time.

              2. Thank you friends for the rec for Distrito.

                We went Tuesday night and had a great time. The atmosphere was just right. Fun, funky, hip, bright, spacious,colorful and fun vibe.

                The food and drinks were good to very good.
                Not, blown away! or Wow! good.

                The portions are very small. The margerhitas over priced.

                After we had the; 1 Nachos, 2 ceviches (shrimp was only ok, medium size limp shrimp in a ok cocktail type sauce), yellow tail very good but a miniscule portion) , 2 mole (rabbit was overcooked), 1 mushroom bread, 1 pork tacos and 1district chicken. Even my 5'2" 120lb daughter was still hungry. Another order of district chicken (our fav) filled us, but (good news) we still had room for the rec of Caprigio Gelato over on Walnut st., that was a Wow!

                If we lived near there and wanted a light good quality lunch or light supper for 2, I'd go back.

                For our very special occasion it was a great night and I would rec it for that.