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Oct 2, 2012 08:59 AM

Need a reccomendation for good food, even better drinks, and great vibe

Next Saturday the 13th, my wife and I and another couple will be in the city for yours truly's birthday dinner. We are ages 30-33 so we still like to get after it and we're mature enough to enjoy good food. The original plan was El Vez but they have nothing left worthwhile for reservations. The food doesn't have to be outstanding (Vetri and such), but it needs to be good. We both have sitters and aren't able to get out much so we're looking for a place that has a liquor license and also has a great vibe. Anywhere in the city works for us. We've recently been to Disitrito and Alma de Cuba and loved both. By no means does it have to be Latin American, just giving those as an example of what we enjoy with the other factors. Your help is appreciated. Also we're not big fans of tapas, as we are greedy pigs and don't like to share so please rule out Tinto, Amada, and Zahav.

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  1. NYC coming to Philly ( down the posts a bit) has great suggestions from both CW and barryg for your consideration. I would mention Barbazzo loud, good service, good food and in a busy neighborhood. Get reservations asap. Like seafood, Oyster Bar is busy and fun with good food. Osteria for upscale Italian, very popular,good bar and nice venue. Also by Vetri, Amis is busy and interesting menu. Check some of the other posts for more. Good luck!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bacchus101

      Too late for Barbuzzo. Osteria and Amis are both good suggestions, and Tequila's does a good job with Mexican. Those are a little less of a nightlife/scene than the places you mention, so that considered, maybe another Starr place like Parc or Dandelion? I love Sansom Oyster House but you can't make reservations for 4.

      1. re: lowereastrittenhouse

        Dandelion has great drinks and good food. Portions are a little small on the appetizers (at least for sharing), but generous on the mains. It's usually pretty lively in their. Parc is also decent, though it gets really extremely noisy.

        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          As of now it looks like we're going to Mixto. It has good food and a lively vibe. Afterwards going to walk to Hop Sing Laundromat for drinks. Mixto is subject to change so keep the suggestions coming!

      2. re: Bacchus101

        I second or third or whatever Osteria. Don't miss te polenta budino. I don't even like dessert but it was a transcendental experience.

      3. When I think of the best cocktails I've had at dinner lately, the two places that jump to mind are and Ela. As far as scenes go, I think is probably more lively, though I am less enthusiastic about the food there as a lot of folks. While it is smaller plates, when I went we just ordered a couple of plates each as individual courses and it was very natural.

        I thought the food at Ela was quite good, but it's a bit further removed from Hop Sing and a few of the other good spots if you are looking to mix it up a bit after dinner.

        1. El Vez only reserves 75% of their tables so that they can still take walk ins....or you can eat at Lolita across the street. BYOT, no reservations and great food. They take your cell number, so you can have pre-dinner drinks at el vez.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kazmodo

            Or you could go to either Il Pittore or Melograno (BYO) or El Rey which is another Stephen Starr mexican restaurant that I like better than El Vez and then head to Ranstead Room which along with Hop Sing and Franklin Mortgage does really great cocktails.

            1. re: cwdonald


              Have you been to ll Pittore ? Along with CLB, friends have loved it. Your take, svp?

          2. Il Pittore is great food, but the atmosphere is more quiet. Unfortunately, for next Saturday, you are unlikely to get into Il Pittore, Melagrano or Barbuzzo. Have fun!