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Jul 19, 2010 01:07 PM

Philly for one night in October...where should we go

We are coming to Philly for one Sat. night in October and would like suggestions on a great restaurant. We will be staying somewhere downtown. Open to cuisine but would love some fresh fish as I'm land locked in the midwest. Thanks chowhounders!

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  1. There are hundreds of great restaurants, so if you have any more specifics about the type of cuisine you like, let us know.

    For starters, a couple good fish restaurants are Fish and Estia. For seafood, there's the Oyster House (better for the raw bar than cooked dishes). There's a bunch of good places to get mussels and beer, good asian fish/seafood restaurants, and many other great places that usually have fish/seafood on the menu..

    1. Bibou, while not a seafood specialist, would be my choice for one night in Philly. It's also BYOB, and I think you can do tasting in addition to a la carte although I can't verify this via the website. The drawbacks are that it's cash-only, a tough reservation to score, and more difficult to reach on foot than most other destinations you might want to look into.

      Radicchio, again BYO and a bit off the beaten path, might also be one to consider. Italian with an emphasis on seafood.

      If you do, however, have your sights set on hitting up a pure seafood outpost, I think Fish is the way to go.

      1. Fish and Bibou are two of my favs. You can't go wrong with either.

        1 Reply
        1. re: joluvscards

          I love Estia. It's pricey but well worth it. All of the fish there is freshly flown in daily and simply prepared.

          Admittedly I was not all that enthralled with my meal at Fish a few weeks back save the scallop appetizer and the dessert. All three entrees that people ordered in our party were decent (and my skate wing was pretty good) but all in all the food left me disappointed.

        2. i always wondered why seafood was never called lakefood in the midwest! on a road trip to mississippi/arkansas/southern misourri we ate our way through a TON of fried walleye and catfish, and wondered within our group if it was still called seafood in a landlocked region! that's when i started calling it lakefood, though my travel companions claimed lakefood sounded wholly unappetizing.

          at any rate. i almost insist upon fish!!! i think they're pretty unforgettable. hell, i LIVE here in philly and i miss them; every time i decide i want to try a new place for seafood and end up just wishing i'd gone back to fish. i posted about my experience there somewhat recently, but to recap i highly recommend the peekytoe crab + avocado on the appetizer menu and the skate wing, if they're still available then (ever-changing menu). and you can't go wrong with the oysters. it's a pleasant & safe walk from nearly any center city hotel.

          i haven't been to estia in ages, but the last time i went (like 2 years ago) it was delish. thanks for the reminder chowhounds. i was setting up an event a few days ago and walking back and forth through that venue's kitchen sent me spiraling into mad grilled octopus cravings. i tried to feed the craving at standard tap the other day and was sad to see the octopus not on that day's menu. :( anyway, i'll bet estia's got exactly what i need right now!

          back on track, you should definitely secure reservations at any place you choose, though, seeing as it's a saturday night and your only philly opportunity on this trip!

          5 Replies
          1. re: rabidog

            I agree with rabidog that the peekytoe crab, skate wing, and the oysters are great at Fish. So is everything else, but these are my favorites.

            1. re: JanR

              Thanks to everyone for youur replies. We are staying at the Westin, so would prefer a restaurant within walking distance. I looked up Estia. It looks like they only serve whole fish. Not sure if that is my cup of tea. It's definitely something to think about. Oh, and it doesn't have to be fish. Just great food of any kind. Thanks again!

              1. re: Rheta

                Fish is excellent, and walking distance from the Westin.

                1. re: Rheta

                  They definitely have fish entrees separate from the whole fish selection. If you do go with whole fish (priced per pound), they will certainly fillet it for you.

                  As for "one night in Philly" eating without any parameters, besides the super high end (Vetri, Four Seasons), I always recommend Amada as the place to go. They have good seafood dishes along with many other great dishes. It's not in walking distance, but cabs are easy to come by and the ride is less than 10 minutes. But there are lots of great restaurants.

                  1. re: barryg

                    or how about their cousin, tinto (my personal fave of the garces bunch!) which is about three blocks from that hotel? i have not been recently... still amazing?

            2. Definitely Estia. Get a whole fresh fish (they filet it for you) and octopus or sardines for an app. Forget dessert -- walk to Capogiro at 13th and Sansom for the best gelato in the country.