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May 15, 2012 12:36 PM

Barbuzzo, Fish, or Amis?

Looking for a pre-show dinner (Academy of Music) on a Friday evening (planning on a 5pm reservation). Narrowed down my choices to Barbuzzo, Fish, or Amis, but now on the fence on which way to go. Looking for quality food, relative value for money (not looking to spend more than $50 for two not including drinks or tip), and timeliness of service since we have to get out in time to see the show. Am open to other suggestions other than the three listed though... Thanks in advance!

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  1. I don't think you'll go wrong with with any of them food wise but entrees at Fish are all over $25 so I'd strike that... Amis is not a great value IMO and $25 won't get you that far, the plates are pretty small for the price; it is possible to do but I suspect you will leave hungry. Barbuzzo will probably give you the best bang for your buck at that price point, you can get a pizza, a pasta and an another plate plus a share a dessert.

    1 Reply
    1. re: barryg

      i would +1 every point. We just went to Fish last week, and it was one of my favorite meals in Philadelphia, but quite expensive (I want to say we ended up around $90/pp, but gorged a little bit). And our dinner lasted three and half hours (part of it was us, and part of it was lesiurely service, to put things kindly). So I would put it at or near the top of your splurge list, but not on a budget or in a hurry.

      We did Barbuzzo before an Academy show, and had, off the top of my head, three small plates, an entree, two cocktails, and a glass of wine for $80 including tax. A very good value as we were thoroughly stuffed and out of there with plenty of time to spare.

      We have been to Amis several times, and you could split Sal's meatballs and then each get a pasta or inexpensive entree and end up under $50 total, but I imagine you'd fine a little more bang for your buck up the road at Barbuzzo. One thing that you won't struggle with is getting in & out of Amis in time, as the last time we were there, they moved us in and out pretty fast. I think this has been mentioned as an emerging phenomenon by a few others on the board as well.

      As Barry said, you really can't go wrong with any of them though. Enjoy!

    2. Garces Trading Company might work for you also.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Philly Ray

        I don't think that Garces for dinner is a great value. Some of the dishes are pretty "precious." If you can get a reservation, I'd go with Barbuzzo as well. I've never had a slow meal there, either.

      2. You're going to have a hard time spending under $50 for two at any of those places, entrees at Fish start at $26. Barbuzzo and Amis are small-plates kind of places so you could spend less and eat less but you'll have a hard time spending under $50 for two and also leaving satisfied. It's not impossible though. Barbuzzo is probably the least expensive of the three by a slight margin.

        Kanella is pretty close to there and is better than any of the places you list, and also slightly less expensive. It's BYO as well, so that keeps the price down. Appetizers there hover around $10 and entrees are mostly between $20-$25.

        1. Based on recent visits to Barbuzzo and Amis (none to Fish) I would give a + to the comments regarding Barbuzzo. We all enjoyed every small plate in this buzzy venue and with good responsive service you should be in good time for your show. Barbuzzo can be a bit on the loud crowded side but well worth it. Contrary wise our Amis visit was just a notch above OK. I can not recall any item there which we found worthy of praise with the exception of nicely proportioned Campari and Soda.

          1. You might want to give Jamonera a look. If you order smartly you can get out of there for $50 for two people with no drinks or tip.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cheesesteak

              +1 for Jamonera. I would also even suggest Zavino. Located right next door to Barbuzzo, their pizza is superior, and I really like the salumi and salads they have there. You could definitely accomplish your goal of eating below 50. Only issue with Zavino is that they do not take reservations. They will have more capacity now since they have tables outdoors, and as long as mother nature cooperates, you should be able to get a seat either indoors or at the bar without any problems.