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Looking for a foodie's restaurant in Philly to celebrate my 50th

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ackgirl Sep 29, 2010 10:11 AM

We're coming in from MA to meet up with family and celebrate my 50th b-day. There are 13 of us and we're going out on a Friday (seems that our first couple of choices won't take large parties on a Friday night!). Half of us are foodies, one is a chef, and the others just like "American food." We're staying at The Independent. Does anyone have a suggestion?

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    urbanfabric RE: ackgirl Sep 29, 2010 11:03 AM

    Well, not knowing what your first choices were, I'd say maybe Amada, Osteria, or James. None are "american food" per se, but I think they'll accommodate a range in palates. I suspect Lacroix could accommodate you as well. They do lovely group meals.

    Do you have a price range?

    1 Reply
    1. re: urbanfabric
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      Bigley9 RE: urbanfabric Sep 30, 2010 10:24 AM

      James has a lovely small room off the main dining room that they do not charge for, it is just first come first serve.

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      BelgianBeerMistress RE: ackgirl Sep 29, 2010 01:59 PM

      I would go with a Steven Starr restaurant. They are good enough to make the foodies happy, but are very approachable. Since it is a large organization, they are good at handling large parties. I would recommend Continental Mid-Town (tho it gets pretty busy in there at all hours), Alma de Cuba is very good, possibly Jones - El Vez is good on size and approachability, but I wasn't very happy with the food I've had there. He's got tons more...oh and there's a big table at Buddakhan.

      I also think Osteria might be a good choice. The pizzas are delicious - just expect slightly smaller portions with a slightly higher pricetag. Otherwise, that's not a bad idea. I haven't been to Distrito, but that could work too if you look into it.

      3 Replies
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        barryg RE: BelgianBeerMistress Sep 30, 2010 04:58 AM

        I agree that upscale Italian, like Osteria, is a good idea as there should be enough options to please the foodies as well as everyone else. Osteria is good for groups, but gets pricey. If South Philly is ok, consider Le Virtu as well.

        The better Starr restaurants might work, but I'd drop Jones and El Vez off the list immediately--the food quality and creativity are not there. I think the foodies would be disappointed. Distrito is great, but small plates restaurants can be a challenge with a mixed group because it's awkward for diners that are used to ordering an entree and are not interested in sharing the more interesting dishes.

        1. re: barryg
          gaffk RE: barryg Sep 30, 2010 05:41 AM

          Agree on Jones and El Vez being off the list. Take a look at Starr's Butcher & Singer--great atmosphere and food that should satisfy foodies & non-foodies alike. It should be able to accomodate a group of 13 as well.

          1. re: barryg
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            ramenbound RE: barryg Sep 30, 2010 07:19 AM

            Agreed on all fronts. I would also remove Continental - I find it just as uninteresting as Jones/El Vez.

            Lacroix if price is not an issue.

        2. joluvscards RE: ackgirl Sep 29, 2010 02:59 PM

          Avoid Steven Starr places unless you bring ear plugs. I highly recommend Bistro 7 in Old City on 2nd just north of Market. It's not too far from your hotel and it has cutting edge new american by chef/owner. The restaurant is relatively quiet, byo and the service is excellent. It's small so reserve asap.

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            brightman RE: ackgirl Sep 29, 2010 04:12 PM

            Roast suckling pig at Amada. It is perfect for a group.

            4 Replies
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              ramenbound RE: brightman Sep 30, 2010 07:22 AM

              I would definitely give consideration to brightman's suggestion. Just know that you ought to call in advance to reserve.

              1. re: ramenbound
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                brightman RE: ramenbound Sep 30, 2010 02:07 PM

                Sorry - I should have mentioned that a reservation is required so they know what size pig to cook.

                1. re: brightman
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                  andrewlee RE: brightman Oct 6, 2010 04:05 PM

                  Roast suckling pig? On many (really 3, but I can dream) a trip to Amada we haven't even seen the roast suckling pig. Best for groups you say? I think if I get the left side of the suckling pig and my wife takes the right, we'll be fine. Sounds too good to pass up just cause we don't have a group!

                  1. re: andrewlee
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                    ramenbound RE: andrewlee Oct 6, 2010 06:30 PM

                    You need 4 to order it. Funny thing - I think that Amada Roast Suckling Pig meetups are the most common event posted on this board...

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