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Possible to find good, reasonably-priced eats near Rittenhouse?

erinvp Feb 9, 2012 07:48 AM

Hello hounds--
I'm tasked with making sure we eat well during a quick girls weekend in Philly next month. A job I thoroughly enjoy, btw! ; )

We'll be staying at the Rittenhouse hotel and I'd like to keep it all within walking distance so we don't have to deal with driving/parking since it's a pretty quick trip--I suppose a bus to get us somewhere truly great wouldn't be a problem, though.

The Rittenhouse is reasonable because we're splitting the room between us, but other than that, we can't afford very expensive meals. On the other hand, I'm a self-admitted 'food snob' and I can't bear to pay for bad food in a crappy atmosphere! No one is particularly picky, we like a drink if we can get it or we can bring a bottle of wine (also appreciated---where to pick up a bottle of wine in the city? Last time I was there it was harder to find than we thought and ended up in a strange little deli-type place)


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  1. c
    Cheesesteak RE: erinvp Feb 9, 2012 12:22 PM

    Good bars all within walking distance and relatively inexpensive eats = Tria, Oyster House, Nodding Head, Good Dog, and Black Sheep for starters. A place like Twenty Manning seems like it would be exactly what you're looking for. There's a wine and spirits store on 19th and Chestnut I believe as well. Have fun!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cheesesteak
      InSearchOfTacos RE: Cheesesteak Feb 9, 2012 01:18 PM

      +1 tria and oyster house

      1. re: Cheesesteak
        njfoodies RE: Cheesesteak Feb 28, 2012 11:29 AM

        I'm surprised Twenty Manning doesn't get more traffic on this board. Absolutely LOVE the place! From the food, to the drinks....it's my go to in Rittenhouse... -mJ

      2. b
        barryg RE: erinvp Feb 9, 2012 12:39 PM

        BTW cabs are easy to hail all over Center City and other popular neighborhoods so getting around to other neighborhoods is pretty easy and not expensive, especially if you're splitting the fare.

        1. i
          InSearchOfTacos RE: erinvp Feb 9, 2012 01:17 PM

          therea also matyson (byob), dandelion and meritage

          barry's right, everything is easily cabbable- just carry cash

          1. p
            Philly Ray RE: erinvp Feb 9, 2012 02:46 PM

            I had lunch at a.kitchen (18th and Walnut Sts) yesterday and it was very good.

            1. sockii RE: erinvp Feb 10, 2012 09:46 AM

              There are quite a few excellent, and affordable BYOBs in walking distance of the Rittenhouse Hotel. Branzino, Matyson, Caffe Casta Diva, Salento just off the top of my head. What exactly is your price point that you're looking for?

              8 Replies
              1. re: sockii
                erinvp RE: sockii Feb 10, 2012 09:54 AM

                Thanks to all so far for the suggestions! I'm really looking forward to the weekend.

                I would say for dinner, we're looking for entrees between $20 and $30. A BYOB is fine--I know there's lots of them around. How about one that you all would say has very interesting, creative food?

                1. re: erinvp
                  cwdonald RE: erinvp Feb 10, 2012 10:09 AM

                  Matyson and Pumpkin would be the two byos that jump to mind with creative food. Matyson will be closer to your hotel. If you are there Monday- Thursday they have a four course tasting menu with prices ranging around 45 dollars.

                  For future reference there is a state store to buy wine and spirits at 19th and chestnut right off Rittenhouse.

                  1. re: erinvp
                    barryg RE: erinvp Feb 10, 2012 10:35 AM

                    Modo Mio is one of the best deals in town, a $35 4 course menu (you pick each course off the menu) and BYOB. Creative and well executed Italian food. It's not walking distance but worth the cab ride.

                    1. re: barryg
                      cwdonald RE: barryg Feb 10, 2012 10:59 AM

                      Bary is that the turista menu? If so is that only available Sundays or is that all the time. Unfortunately the modo mio website is still down, and the menupages menu doesnt list the prix fixe options

                      1. re: cwdonald
                        barryg RE: cwdonald Feb 10, 2012 11:21 AM

                        It is the turista, it's available every day except for Sunday, you pick off their menu (which changes, I would't trust Menupages to be up to date). Sundays are "Sugo Sunday" where it's the same price, but the menu is fixed and served family style. The regular menu is not available at all on Sundays. I only did Sugo Sunday once, the food is different than the typical menu, less refined--charcuterie, robust meat sauces (cooked 24 hours IIRC), pasta. The food was great though.

                  2. re: sockii
                    barryg RE: sockii Feb 10, 2012 10:33 AM

                    I'd add Melograno, very good Italian BYOB, as well.

                    1. re: barryg
                      sockii RE: barryg Feb 10, 2012 12:11 PM

                      Yep, absolutely, with the price point given. Honestly at all the BYOBs named so far, I think you'd be very well within that range.

                      1. re: barryg
                        BelgianBeerMistress RE: barryg Feb 10, 2012 09:01 PM

                        + 1. This is my favorite Italian resto in the whole city, very fairly priced and delicious, and there is a wine store nearby. Look up "PA Wine and Spirit Shop" for locations on the Google....

                    2. c
                      cook262 RE: erinvp Feb 10, 2012 06:32 PM

                      agree with the other postings and suggestions....one more to consider is a bit of a walk, about a mile, so depending on weather and your interest in taking a bit of a walk, you might consider Kanella's....I'm a local who somehow never made it to Kanella until this past december and it was love. Our group really enjoyed every dish they served. We had 6 people and shared all the dishes...wonderful...

                      1. c
                        chowinpa RE: erinvp Feb 19, 2012 08:18 PM

                        Sansom Kebab House at 1526 Sansom Street. Delicious and very reasonably priced!

                        1. c
                          cwdonald RE: erinvp Feb 28, 2012 11:34 AM

                          And beginning tomorrow you can go to the new Underdogs at 17th and Sansom for locally sourced sausages, wursts, and hot dogs with creative toppings.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: cwdonald
                            bluehensfan RE: cwdonald Feb 28, 2012 01:21 PM

                            cwdonald, it's a leap year....I think you mean they open on Thursday.

                            As an aside, man I miss the convenience and food at Argan. Too bad there's nothing like that in the area.

                            1. re: bluehensfan
                              bluehensfan RE: bluehensfan Feb 28, 2012 01:23 PM

                              Eh...we're both wrong. The inky said Underdogs opened today.

                              1. re: bluehensfan
                                barryg RE: bluehensfan Feb 28, 2012 01:58 PM

                                It is a shame. If they have kept it a fast order-at-the-counter operation for lunch I think they would have done better. I know I would have gone a lot more often.

                                1. re: barryg
                                  cwdonald RE: barryg Feb 28, 2012 02:29 PM

                                  We are losing too many of our Middle East North African and Turkish restaurants. I don't know if its the food, the clientele, or the rents........ Argan, Divan.. others. Where is a guy supposed to get a good cheap kebab in center city?

                                  1. re: cwdonald
                                    barryg RE: cwdonald Feb 28, 2012 02:41 PM

                                    Aromatic House of Kabob closed too. We are short on North African/Turkish for sure but there's still kabob in Center City. Sansom Kabob House, Hamifgash, and Sahara Grill. Burger.org does some kabobs too. There are also places in the Liberty Place and Bellevue food courts. I can't vouch for any of them though. And there is plenty of falafel around.

                                    1. re: barryg
                                      barryg RE: barryg Feb 29, 2012 10:27 AM

                                      Just saw last night that Aromatic House of Kabob (100 block of Chestnut) has been replaced with a very casual Turkish place called Leyla. Open til 3am, doner, kabobs, fries, etc. We could use some good late night Turkish fast food around here.

                                      1. re: barryg
                                        AdinaA RE: barryg May 7, 2012 07:55 PM

                                        The Imam bayildi at hamifgash is wonderful.

                                      2. re: cwdonald
                                        Philly Ray RE: cwdonald Feb 28, 2012 02:41 PM

                                        I haven't been there in a few years, but when I worked near 16th and Chestnut, I really liked Sansom Kabob House on Sansom between 15th and 16th.

                                        1. re: Philly Ray
                                          bluehensfan RE: Philly Ray Feb 28, 2012 04:26 PM

                                          So the kebab house is pretty decent? I may have to try that one.

                                          1. re: bluehensfan
                                            Philly Ray RE: bluehensfan Feb 28, 2012 05:22 PM

                                            I remember things being grilled to order and I also watched someone making the flatbread fresh while I was waiting for an order.

                                            1. re: Philly Ray
                                              bluehensfan RE: Philly Ray Feb 28, 2012 06:43 PM

                                              Huh...I will have to give it a try. Thanks for mentioning it.

                                      3. re: barryg
                                        bluehensfan RE: barryg Feb 28, 2012 02:32 PM

                                        I agree that if Argan streamlined things it may would have attracted more customers as would ditching the brunch idea and sticking to the sandwiches. Unfotunately from what I have heard the problems there were much bigger than that. It's a shame...I miss the slow cooked lamb. It was kind of like a poor-mans Zahav lamb shoulder.

                                  2. k
                                    Kshell RE: erinvp Feb 28, 2012 11:59 AM

                                    La Croix in the Rittenhouse Itself offers a very reasonable three course lunch for $24.00 every day but Sunday. You could splurge a little at lunch and do an inexpensive dinner.

                                    1. p
                                      percyn RE: erinvp Apr 23, 2012 12:34 PM

                                      Unless additional guidance is provided on what constitutes "reasonable prices" (since that is subjective), I am afraid you will get a very diverse list of restaurants.

                                      If you are looking for $30-$50/head, try Matyson, a.kitchen, Parc and specials at Lacroix.

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