HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >


Pre-Kimmel dinner

Sis's birthday & I have tix for Girls Night at the Kimmel 5/18. Where to go for dinner or heavy apps & drinks? I'm already in town & Sis will be coming into Market East on the train. She's certainly up for something different, but also likes really great traditional (steaks, Italian....) No BYOB this time -- don't feel like schlepping anything. We'll probably be able to meet up at around 5, 4:30 at the earliest; show time is 7.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'd go to the Oyster House, some other options include XIX at the Bellevue (they don't open till 530 though) and Le Bar Lyonnais (I think they also open at 530).

    There's also the cluster of places in Midtown Village: Sampan, El Vez, Time, Zavino and Vintage. Of all those, I'd pick Zavino (get pasta, their pastas are better than the pizzas) or Time (upscale bar food, much better than I thought it would be). Sampan is decent but there are some stinkers on the menu.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Buckethead

        The ones that open at 5:30 may be OK. We were tossing around drinks/apps in lieu of dinner. Although the show starts at 7, it's general admission (no reserved seats), so we don't want to get there at the last minute. The Bellview is certainly close enough.

      2. I'd suggest Amis. We did an early reservation for a show at the suzanne roberts theater and it worked out really well. You can get as many or as few small plates to share as you'd like.

        1. Fish at 17th and Lombard has a great happy hour with oysters and apps. You would have to sit at the bar.

          I second the Tria rec. Great fun.

          1. One of our favorites near the Kimmel Center is Valanni, on Spruce Street between 12th and 13th.
            We were there recently and the food was terrific. They have appetizers, small plates, and regular sized plates. Drinks are always good, and they have a vibrant bar scene.
            You are only a block and a half from Kimmel, so it's very convenient. Attractive place.
            You can see the menu online.

            I wouldn't choose the Oyster House unless you just want to have oysters at the bar.
            I thought it was rushed and very noisy, though maybe that early it is okay.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sylviag

              I second Valanni. Good for girls night.

              1. re: sylviag

                Thanks, Sylviag.

                Went to Villanni tonight and enjoyed their smal plates. Loved the octopus.

              2. I know you don't want a BYOB but we went to Bindi ('modern Indian') last week before a concert at the Kimmel. It was AMAZING! There were four of us and we shared 4 appetizers and 4 entrees and EVERYTHING was delicious. I think the scallops appetizer was our favorite. If you like lamb, that entree was fabulous and the hanger steak just melted in your mouth. Bindi is about 13th and Chestnut and I'm 90% sure there is a PA Wine store on Chestnut st around 12th so you wouldn't have to schlep the liquor far. Bindi has some mixers on their drinks list intended to be mixed with maybe rum or vodka but we brought wine. I believe we were the only table NOT drinking their mixers. You might want to consider this if you're looking for something different, as you said. I can't wait to go back!

                1. Sis is not as fond of Indian as I am, unfortunately. As of the latest confab, she has determined that we need to meet at Del Frisco's, where she says they have fabulous martini's. After that, who knows. Valanni sounds interesting. She's thinks Bliss looks good too, as well as Estia (with their pre-theater special). I'll let y'all (or "yins", if your from Pittsburgh) know next week what we finally did. I think the time constraints will be a factor. As always, the input is much appreciated -- and if we don't go to one of your suggested places this time, that doesn't mean I can't pay a visit another time!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: PattiCakes

                    Estia's great...especially the octopus. I am not a big fan of the fish on the pre-theater menu though (the vegetables are salty and drown out the fish) but like the whole fish on the business lunch menu that is served with lemon and capers (maybe they can substitute it?). If you do go, ask for a booth and Saki for a waiter.

                      1. re: PattiCakes

                        Tell your sister to get off at Suburban Station if you are going to Del Frisco's, it is much closer than Market East.

                        1. re: barryg

                          Thanks. I remind her. She's actually coming from Temple, so it'll be a short hop. I'm at 20th & Market, so I'll just leg it.

                          1. re: PattiCakes

                            If she's coming from Temple she can save herself some money and just take the Broad street line to city hall. It'll take her right there, and runs MUCH more frequently than regional rail.

                            1. re: PhillyA

                              Or even take it a stop further (to Walnut/Locust) and save some time!

                      2. Update: We ended up meeting at Del Frisco's for drinks and then staying. The building is worth a trip alone, but the food/drinks were top notch. Yep, it required a bank loan. We had one app at the bar -- their version of fried calamari, done loosley Thai style. It's a not-to-be-missed app! The do have a $35 fixed price menu from 4-6, so we took advantage of that. Wonderful. Sis had the petite filet mignon; I had pork porterhouse. If anyone ends up going, ask for Paul. He was our server and took excellent care of us. Would I go back? Hell yes, and in a heartbeat. I'm starting a savings fund now.