Thanksgiving in Philly?
We're looking to eat out, in Philadelphia, on Thanksgiving Day. 7 people, I believe, 3 generations, grandparents, parents and children (youngest 14, but knows how to behave, order, and eat, even in "fancy" places, like The Fountain).
We're open to beffets, a la carte, willing to spend some money for a nice experience. I don't think we want anything completely removed from the traditional US meal (menu should at least include turkey, stuffung, etc. as an option), but someplace with additional choices would be good too. I guess that's beginning to sound like a buffet. Point is, someplace with a nice atmosphere, reliably good food and service, that won't rush or ignore diners, but will still be aware of us when we need something.
Pie in the sky? Maybe. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
Certainly can add a plus + for The Fountain Room as we have been there for Thanksgiving for the last 5 years, always an amazing display of abundance. But yes pricy and reservations are difficult to obtain, even now. Although we have not been there for Thanksgiving, the City Tavern has always been a favorite of out-of-town guests. The Wm.Penn Inn also fits your request with the exception of not being in Philly: tradition and good food abound.
The important thing is to decide and reserve your table now, if not yesterday. For over 20 years, our family tradition was Thanksgiving at the Wm. Penn Inn in North Wales. They had reserved seating from noon until 7:00 (I think) and seating choices were very limited after the end of September. A table for seven needs to be established and confirmed well before the big day.
Not a buffet, and a bit touristy, but I have taken out of town relatives to City Tavern for Thanksgiving, (their choice not mine...). Walter Staib does a fun twist on thanksgiving dishes using recipes that are modeled after colonial dishes. Some will say its touristy, and I do not disagree. I did believe that the food served on Thanksgiving was better than the standard fare they served on a daily basis. Four different seatings, 82.95 per person so its not exactly cheap. In terms of selection, they accomodate vegetarians, but everything else is served family style and its not a buffet.
Sit down service at a reasonable price for groups is available at both:
The Plough & The Stars (Ask to be seated upstairs away from the bar -- beautiful building) and
McCormick and Schmidt's (Yes, it's a seafood restaurant and the Thanksgiving dinner is terrific)
Last year, my husband and I did the buffet at XIX. The room is lovely. The buffet is set up in 2-3 rooms. We didn't feel rushed at all and lingered over our meal for a few hours (basically to appease our tummies). Some of the food was fantastic and most was fine. I would recommend it and, yes, the can accomdoate groups.
I think the Fountain may be a more consistently better option, but it's pretty pricey (for me at least).
Thanks for your generous input. We've decided on XIX. Decided to forego The Fountain, save a few dollars, and hope it's made up for by the 19th story view. We reserved for 4pm, so I think we may have a good chance of watching the sun set, and the City lights go on.
Thanks again for the suggestions.