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Staying at the Sofitel, looking for nearby restaurant suggestions

We will be staying at the Sofitel for a weekend this month and I am seeking restaurant recommendations for two dinners and one lunch. Ideally, we would like to be able to walk to because we like to walk in the city.

We are open to any cuisine and we like a good wine list.

I was checking out a bunch of restaurant websites and one thing I saw was a lot of places offer a brunch menu on Saturdays, which doesn't interest us as we both prefer "regular" food for lunch as opposed to the more breakfast-style offerings on these brunch menus.

We have a 7 yo child who is accustomed to dining out (no kids menu needed and he sits as well as an adult for a multi-course meal) but we don't want to go too formal as our days will be active and we don't want to bring dressy attire.

We tried the Continental last trip and don't need to return there (too dirty) and had a good meal at Parc, which I would visit again.

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  1. if you want to avoid breakfast-y foods for brunch, id suggest la petite dauphine (esp if you liked parc) or kanella. both are byob- so no wine list, but you can pick up some good wine at the wine store instead garces trading company (11th and locust) or at one of the other state wine stores

    1. Both Tria (small plates) and Zavino (small plates and gourmet pizzas) have good wine lists. Tria is a block from the Sofitel (well half a block if you use the side entrance) and Zavino's about four blocks to the east.

      A lot of places that are decent in Philly that are open for lunch on Saturdays are really big on breakfast items as opposed to lunch cuisine. However, Parc does have a delicions lamb sandwich on their brunch menu and both Tria and Zavino are open for lunch on Saturdays. Another option would be the fish and chips at Dandelion (across the street from Tria) or hitting Reading Terminal Market for a roast pork sandwich (the best in America according to Adam Richman) on Saturday if you don't mind a bit of a wait.

      1. One possibility for dinner is Vernick Food and Drink, a new place that just got a fine review in the Phila Inquirer. It's walking distance - casual, excellent food. You can see the menu online.

        1. Check out a.kitchen. Their Saturday menu might not be too brunch-y or you could do a dinner there.

            1. I would also throw out The Oyster House. Not sure if your child likes seafood, but I think they have a burger on the menu.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Adenn1

                The one on Sampson Street? Or a different Oyster House?

                My kiddo actually loves seafood and will slurp down raw oysters with us. (His father takes all the credit for this as he feed him his first oyster at 9mo, not knowing that conventional wisdom dictates waiting on shellfish.)

                1. re: cleobeach

                  It's the same place. Oyster House has really good raw oysters but the last time we dined there (it was before the chef change I think though) our main courses were literally swimming in butter.

                  1. re: bluehensfan

                    Did the old chef come up from Delaware? I'm soooo tired of the swimming in sauce dishes down here in DE. Esp Italian places.

                    1. re: sal_acid

                      Nope. It's some Brett Naylor person. At least he can't screw up the oysters...
                      Kinda funny. They never updated it on Oyster House's website.

                      1. re: bluehensfan

                        I'd also suggest Dandelion and Parc. Both are close to the Sofitel and would be what I'd consider kid friendly.

              2. I thought I would report back on our trip and the restaurants we ended up visiting.

                Dinner on night #1 was at Il Pittore. We went early and started with drinks at the street side bar. I had the Fresca, which was fantastic. We truly enjoyed our meal, we each ordered all three courses. The waiter gave great suggestions for wines based on my likes/dislikes.

                Now, I realize there are people who sneer at taking children out to dinner so if you are one of those, you can stop reading now....but we enjoy exposing our son to all aspects of life. He enjoys going to restaurants and trying new foods.

                I have to commend the staff at Il Pittore for treating my son like a customer and not "dumbing down" to him. The waiter took his order without question (many places try to talk him/me out of letting him order certain things) and treated him like an adult patron, which I appreciate greatly. Overall a great meal and experience.

                Lunch was at Tria, the Washington Square location. We enjoyed it. I was surprised by the size of the portions, the sandwiches were very large and came with a nicely sized side salad. (a great value for $9.50) We ordered many plates and ended up with too much food but we had the time to work through them all with the help of the wine list!

                Dinner the second night was at the Oyster House. We have visited this place probably 10+ times over the past 7 years. Dinner was a disappointment, the staff was completely overwhelmed, my lobster was undercooked (son's was fine) and my husband said his fish was only just ok. The management did try to please us but the entire visit was so choatic and frustrating, we just wanted to get out of there. We are moving this back to a lunch or happy hour place in our book.

                We walked past Dandelion and a.kitchen and will keep them on the list for our upcoming trip.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cleobeach

                  Thanks for reporting back. It's good (well not really) to hear that other people are experiencing disappointing meals at Oyster House lately and that I am not the only one. Wonder what's happening there?

                2. Funny that you said Continental Midtown was dirty, I went to dinner there several weeks and was seated at a table that hadn't been properly cleaned off. The food was pretty bad too though I have liked it enough for lunch and brunch in the past.