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Restaurants near Marriott at 12th & Market

My boss has asked me to make reservations for her and her colleagues at a conference in Feb. near the 12th & Market Marriott. I lived in Philly ten years ago (12? yeesh, time flies) and often reminisce about the restaurants. That being said, she wants a place that isn't "too loud", takes reservations and isn't too expensive. That takes off most of my favorites.

I loved Tequila's when we were there, but I was also a lot younger and went with big crowds. Also loved Vetri, but I think that's going to be priced out.

What recommendations would you have? To her credit, I offered Mccormick and Schmick's and she said she'd prefer something local.

Groups will be 4 one night and 5 another, so that's not too hard (so glad it's not 20 people).

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  1. I would aim for the 13th Street Corrido. You have choices of Barbuzzo or Zavino for good italian food, artisan pizza, and fresh made pasta. Barbuzzo also makes a lovely budino dessert. Across the street is Jamonera a new tapas place that is very good, All these are within easy walking distance.

    http://barbuzzo.com/barbuzzo/
    http://jamonerarestaurant.com/jamonera/

    Zavino is next door to Barbuzzo and does not take reservations.

    http://zavino.com/

    You have all of chinatown on your doorstep as well. If they like a dish like Peking Duck, Sang Kee Peking Duck House is worth considering. And you will not need a reservation for that.

    http://www.sangkeechinatown.com/

    There are certainly higher end restaurants, and restaurants further away, depending on the budget/ and preference.

    8 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      thank you! Barbuzzo looks perfect for this group.

      1. re: dubtrub

        I wouldn't recommend Barbuzzo if they want a place that isn't "too loud", Barbuzzo is one of the loudest restaurants in the city.

        How expensive is "too expensive"? Would BYOB be OK?

        1. re: Buckethead

          Sadly, I'm going to guess BYOB isn't okay. I'd like to keep entrees under $40 per person. Thanks!

          1. re: Buckethead

            I in general would agree with you Buckethead, but I think with a group of four, if you dine early you could be ok. I would not go there with a group of 5.

            If you want to go real conventional, you can try Capitol Grille.... definitely within walking distance/short cab ride.

            If there are carnivores in the group you have Fogo de Chao a brazilian rodizio restaurant at 13th and Chestnut. Thats an all you can eat price plus drinks.

            Mexican very close you have Stephen Starr's El Vez, which I personally find a bit loud (though Barbuzzo doesnt bother me.. go figure).

            1. re: cwdonald

              As long as someone can mention Capital Grill (which is not exactly inexpensive -- we are talking steaks here) I guess I can mention my all-time favorite Estia for Greek Seafood right next to the Academy of Music.
              Ask to sit on the mezzanine where it is quiet and dee-licious!

              1. re: arepo

                Estia is excellent (as long as you are ok with crossing Broad.. ). I think folks can give you some better direction if you can give us a sense of whether it has to be in walking distance or not, and how carnivorous the group is. One of the best Vegetarian restaurants is not that far away and would be excelllent, if the group were into that sort of food.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  Thanks! I wish I knew the food preferences of the group, but unfortunately - except for my boss - I don't even know their names. My least favorite way to plan things!
                  I'd like to stay within walking distance, just to ease things. I used to live 4 blocks from there, but it has been a while.

                  1. re: dubtrub

                    Estia is a good rec for this, and definitely walking distance. I agree that Barbuzzo isn't a good fit for this kind of dinner, even early. The cramped quarters and sharing might be awkward for meeting coworkers for the first time.

                    Garces Trading Company is another place that might work. Though Estia is more comfortable IMO.

      2. Some excellent suggestions here, but on the loudness issue and conversational requirements I would skip Barbazzo, great food but not a fit. Estia seems like a very good fit, nice place, interesting with good food but a caution on the budget side. Jamonera is a likely option. There is a table for four/five to the right upon entering which is relatively quiet, against a window which you may want to consider reserving as the other are tight. As it is small plates one can, to some degree control cost.

        1. Just wanted to say thanks. Estia was perfect. In her words, "perfect, absolutely perfect!" so I can't thank you all enough.

          3 Replies
          1. re: dubtrub

            Glad you liked it and thanks for posting back!

            1. re: dubtrub

              Don't you love it when your fellow hounds make you look good?!

              1. re: Bigley9

                You know it! I can always count on the hounds!

            2. Just a bit of a followup, sort of! We have been big fans of Barbuzzo in spite of the crowded tables and the NOISE. Why because we considered the food very interesting and tasty and the service to be friendly and good. On our last two visit the crowded tables and the NOISE has been as expected however the food and service have not. This last visit our food was delivered and we never saw a waiter again until with a frantic wave we summoned the check. The food was overly salted, assembled haphazardly and cook poorly. Oh well I suppose it is difficult to deliver to high expectations always. For us Barbuzzo is no longer a sure thing.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Bacchus101

                Bacchus did you have the pizza there?

                1. re: cwdonald

                  My wife orders any Veggie pizza there and when I have tasted it it was fine. But that is not much of a sampling to make a judgement. You like it?

                  1. re: Bacchus101

                    I am not as much a fan of it as the pizza at Osteria, Zavino and Nomad. The rest of the menu at Barbuzzo underwhelms me so I am trying to see if there still is a reason to go to this place. There appears to be less and less...

                    1. re: cwdonald

                      I see. I am finding less reason to go there also. For this poster I would not fight the crowds and noise just for the pizza, especially if I had other favorites and lately the other items have disappointed.

                2. re: Bacchus101

                  The OP has already come and gone, so this thread is probably irrelevant now, but I will say that I recently went to Barbuzzo after not having been there for a long time (maybe a year?) and had a stellar meal with fine service. I don't remember everything we had, but standouts were the beet salad, the pasta with boar ragu, and a fish dish.

                  1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                    I liked the antipasto and pasta at Barbuzzo but found their pizza to be soggy like Stella. If I want good pizza, I head next door to Zavino.