Two Restaurant Week winners
We usually avoid Restaurant Week except for steakhouses, which have always been good.
This year we had a lovely dinner at Butcher & Singer. My Caesar salad was generous and well-seasoned, my filet was excellent, and my dessert - a chocolate salted caramel torte - was decadent. Everyone in our group was pleased, the service was topnotch, and the place is beautiful.
We had our second RW dinner by accident. We had gone to the Oyster House, one of our favorites, before a concert and were shown the RW menu. My husband stuck to his oyster dinner but I had the clam chowder (always good), a salad, the lobster roll, and dessert. Oysters (four) were among the appetizer choices.
The lobster roll is small, but it is the tastiest I have had anywhere - just delicious. It comes with a mountain of very good French fries.
We find the food to be consistently good here, and of course the oysters are wonderful.
I found out afterwards that the Oyster House does take reservations for Restaurant Week. We were eating very early, so it didn't matter.
Did anyone else have a good RW experience? I like to remember these suggestions for other years.
We usually avoid RW as well, but some friends wanted to go out, so we went more for the company. They chose Tequila's and while it wasn't bad, I wouldn't go running back, RW or not. Ten years ago, Tequila's was probably the start and finish for Mexican in Philly, but with all of the great taquerias and corner places we have now, I can't see paying those prices.
We had suggested Sampan because we heard their RW deal is good. We decided to try it on our own and we liked it. You get their usual 7 plate tasting menu for $35 per person instead of $45. It was a good way to taste a bunch of things and we liked just about all of them. The only real disappointment was the Kobe beef fried rice. Very dry and not much flavor. If I had ordered that a la carte and paid $14, I would have been peeved.
we ate at Jake's in manayunk for RW it was $35 - 3 courses. the first was lobster dumplings or mushroom salad--i had the salad that was very good if a little weird w/warm mushrooms on it. Main was salmon or short ribs- the 2 who had salmon enjoyed it and i had short ribs on polenta that were delicious. falling apart tender with a bit of veggies too. dessert was honey cake or plate of 4 ice creams -- both enjoyed --i had the ice creams -- vanilla and something else and an amazing salted caramel w/brownie and chocolate. The portions were small-ish but we didn't mind because it was very delicious. service was meh --it took us 35 minutes to order and the waitress came out from hiding in the back saying she was "giving us time to get settled." The RW menu had 6 items on it so we didn't really need time. She also chatted a bit and inserted herself in our conversations.. which I don't like. Plus points in that Jake's has recently redecorated and it's beautiful and they let us BYOB for $10 corkage
Coopers/Jake's is tough from a service perspective. My 2nd favorite server in the city is there (not like I have rankings, but I have had two meals where the waiter and waitress were so far above and beyond, they'll always stick out to me), but we have also had some of the most colossally indifferent, glacial service there. We have come close to leaving the waters on our table and walking out several times because we were completely ignored for 25-30 minutes after sitting (the promise of bread and olive oil usually keeps us glued to our chairs). It really depends on who you end up with unfortunately.
We always participate in RW and usually enjoy it. This year we ate at (!) Ristorante Panorama, which allows you three choices from their regular menu, and was excellent as always; (2) Square 1682, new for us, which served an absolutely outstanding meal; and (3) Winthorpe and Valentine, which was OK but dull, nothing particularly tasty. That was week 1. This week we age at (1) Amada, a good selection of choices and everything delicious; (2) Butcher & Singer, with a very good shrimp cocktail and Caesar salad, excellent salmon, and the apple streusel cake and the chocolate caramel tart (wonderful); and (3) Amuse, where we were served a delicious heirloom tomato and burrata cheese salad, very good sea scallops and ordinary halibut and a disappointing peach cobbler (too sweet and a crumb topping instead of biscuits). In addition, my DH had lunch several times which he enjoyed but did not provide a detailed report. I skipped lunches because I can't afford the calories.
I had a good dinner at Square Peg last week. They were about half full on a Thursday and had their RW menu along with their full menu. We just went with the full menu but everything was pretty good. They kind of got crushed in their Inquirer review which is a shame because I really enjoyed it. Service was attentive but not over the top, and all the food was good.
We get to Philly for dinner often but for whatever reason had never been to Zahav. Remedied that on Sunday as they had extended the RW menu an extra day.
Not a lot to add that probably has not already been said, wife and I thoroughly enjoyed all the courses. No real clunkers, the roasted zucchini were just OK, everything else was tasty and well prepared. Service friendly and helpful, we were there early (5:30) and had a nicely paced dinner.