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Mar 13, 2011 12:27 PM

dinner before show at Wilma Theater?

My husband and I will be in Philadelphia next weekend. We're staying in the suburbs near our son, using SEPTA regional rail to get into town. We have tickets for a show at 8:00 at the Wilma, on Broad Street near Spruce, for Friday night. It looks like we get out at Suburban Station, then walk to the theater. Any suggestions for a pre-theater dinner place that isn't too far out of our way? We eat most cuisines, love fish and ethnic foods of all kinds. Thanks very much!

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  1. We are subscribers too. Here is our list. All are within 3 or 4 streets. For some reason, most of our exploration has been east, not west of Broad.

    Garces Trading Company (BYO, wine store on the premises)
    Kanella (BYO)

    All of the above are at the "high end", both pricewise and qualitywise.

    One idea on Broad is Estia, spectacular fish, but prices to match.

    3 Replies
    1. re: FrancisdeR

      Thanks, these look very good. I see that Estia has a $30 pretheatre pre-fixe menu that we'll look into. Since I don't know how much time we'll have - it depends on my son's work schedule (which I hope he'll let me know in advance!) - I'd also appreciate any suggestions for a quick dinner nearby. Can you get a cab in Center City on a Friday evening? Thanks again.

      1. re: emmee

        Yes, it is very easy to hail a cab.

      2. re: FrancisdeR

        Another subscriber here -- we tend to go for quicker bites since we're driving in from Wilmington and don't have a lot of time before the curtain, so two other thoughts along those lines are Sahara Grill, which is just around the corner from the Wilma (Lebanese) and inespensive, and Tria, who has a location nearby but which is a bit more of a walk -- they have a great wine / beer selection and lots of good small plates from which to build a delicious meal.

      3. We frequently eat in that area, since we are often at the Kimmel Center.
        When we don't want to "dine", some of our favorites:
        Shiroi Hana, on 15th Street between Walnut and Locust. Serene, attractive, good Japanese food, quick service.
        The Oyster House, on Sansom Street between 15th and 16th - no reservations, delicious food, noisy on a Friday evening but quick service at the table seatings.
        There is a good Korean place on 15th Street between Walniut and Locust, can't remember the name.
        If you have more time -
        we like Branzino, on 17th St. just north of Spruce, byob.
        Girasole, Broad and Pine (on Pine, actually), more pricey but fine if you order appetizers and pasta - excellents pasta.
        Valanni, on Spruce between 15th & 16th, Mediterranean, ask to sit in the back.
        Belle Cena, 1506 Spruce, not gourmet but decent and reasonable.
        McCormick & Schmick, Broad St across from City Hall, fish and seafood, a chain but they usually do a good job with fresh fish.

        All of these places take reservations except the Oyster House. Good idea to make one.
        The other suggestions were fine too, but some might be too slow.
        Estia is used to getting people out in time for the theater.

        9 Replies
        1. re: sylviag

          I love Estia and the $30 price fixe is a steal. Get the octopus, fresh whole fish, and the baklava. I'd also ask to see is Saki is working. He's a fabulous server and makes your meal that much more special.

          1. re: bluehensfan

            Wow - thanks everybody, this is great! Lots of choices to sift through. Knew I could count on CHers! 6:30 reservation should work for an 8:00 curtain.

            1. re: emmee

              We have found that we need a 6:00 reservation. Philly is very crowded pre-theater on a Friday evening, and most places are packed. You might be able to get away with 6:30 at Shiroi Hana, but everyone needs the check at the same time and things can get hectic and slow.

          2. re: sylviag

            isn't Valanni between 12th and 13th?

            1. re: Bigley9

              Bigley, you are absolutely right! On Spruce between 12th and 13th.
              I don't know where my mind was!
              Thanks for catching it.

              1. re: sylviag

                We've made a reservation at Estia and, thanks to bluehensfan felt like insiders asking for Saki! If it turns out that my son's work day makes that impossible (he can't take us to the train early enough), we'll cancel that reservation and go to one of the quickie places. Thanks again, everyone, for all the great advice!

                1. re: emmee

                  To report back: we had an excellent dinner at Estia, one minute from the theater. We had the prix fixe dinner. I had the calamari - wonderful! - and the fish, my husband had the caesar salad and lamb shanks. The fish was good, the lamb - which my husband had without feta - rich and flavorful. We both had fresh fruit for dessert - a nice selection. Portions were just right. Thanks to all!

                  1. re: emmee

                    Glad to hear you liked it and thanks for reporting back! I really like the fish and octopus at Estia. It always is very fresh and constent but tends to fly under the radar because it's always prepared the same way. Hope you had Saki as a server...