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3 nights in Philly

Wrote last week asking for recommendations. Couldn't get in Bibou or Vetri. Cancelled La Bec Fin. sooo it's Zahav Fri. night; Vernick Food drink Sat. night; and brunch at Lacroix on Sun.We decided to stay at the Rittenhouse instead of the Ritz.. Larger rooms and better reviews on Zagat.

No reservations for Sun. night. I expect to be too full to eat even though we have an early brunch reservation because we are going to the Barnes.

Did I make good choices????

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  1. You did good Daddy-O!

    1. Sounds good to me. You'll probably want to nibble Sunday night, maybe try Tria on 18th St for drinks and small plates.

      1. Sounds wonderful... please report back.

        1. That's pretty much what I would do if it were me. Try to get a room facing the Rittenhouse Park when you check in. The location is great (you'd probably want a cab for Zahav but it's a quick walk to the others and Reading Terminal Market if you go there too).

          You did pre-order the Mesibah at Zahav, yes?

          10 Replies
            1. re: lenorel57

              Have had the Mesibah without res, but have also not been able to get it without res, so play safe and reserve it.
              While the resto itself l wasn't thrilled with, the wedge salad with blue cheese dressing and fab lardons was a nice little bit at Smith & Wolensky

              1. re: lenorel57

                I absolutely would. The lamb is the gastronomic highlight or the meal (and the haloumi cheese is the runner-up)!

                1. re: bluehensfan

                  I'm going the weekend of Mar.8. How long in advance do I have to reserve the lamb.

                  1. re: lenorel57

                    The lamb is great but the Tayim tasting menu is also great, it does not require a res and lets each diner choose a couple items from each section of the menu so you get more variety. Take a look at the menu, if you're interested in some of the more exotic mezze like the duck hearts, raw kibbe or lamb tongue you may want to go that route -- or request them as the mezze with your lamb. The times I did the lamb, I was a little disappointed with the mezze selections. Then again that may be because I've had the haloumi and cauliflower mezze previously.

                    1. re: barryg

                      Can one choose the lamb and the other the tasting? I actually don't care about exotic food. It's more important that it tastes good.

                      1. re: lenorel57

                        Not sure exactly what you mean, but the Mesibah tasting menu is the lamb -- it comes with humus, salatim, a chefs selection of mezze, the lamb shoulder, and dessert.

                        The Tayim is hummus, salatim, diner's selecton of mezze and kabob and dessert.

                        The lamb is not available a la carte or with the tayim.

                        1. re: barryg

                          I didn't know that. I thought the lamb could be ordered a la carte. Will check out the menu...and thanks.

                          1. re: lenorel57

                            The lamb is great, but I have been to Zahav many times, with many people from around the country who have thought it was fabulous even without the lamb. There are plenty of great things on the menu, the Tayim tasting can get you a good number of selections, especially if people share, and it doesn't require the same commitment as pre-ordering the lamb.

                            1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

                              I completely agree with the above statement, however, selection of both the appetizers and the al haeesh (grilled selection) may lead one to find the meal boring/bland etc. If you opt for simple apps and simple kebab like chicken, you may be underwhelmed by the food...

            2. You were right on the Ritz. The Philly RC is the most mediocre RC I know. The Four Seasons is probably the best in the city. Palomar is a nice small hotel.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sal_acid

                There was a reason I rejected the Four Seasons but I can't remember why. I like the location of the Rittenhouse and the large rooms.

              2. Wonderful choices!
                Yes, you won't want a whole dinner on Sunday night. You can walk across the square to Parc, a terrific French bistro where you can order light or heavy. And they have the best bread around.
                Please report back!

                7 Replies
                1. re: sylviag

                  Will do. I'm not going until 3/8.

                  1. re: lenorel57

                    The location of the Four Seasons is good for museum going but farther away from good places to eat.

                    As far as the Mesibah at Zahav, you get this fabulous hunk of lamb after having a lot of other food. You can request certain small plates (such as the haloumi cheese) prior to the lamb or let your server choose for you. They are very accomodating. I know that personally if I went to Zahav I would be more than disappointed without the lamb (pictured).

                    A word of warning about visiting Reading Terminal Market on 3/8. It will be mobbed that weekend because of the Flower Show so go as early as you can each day.

                    1. re: bluehensfan

                      I don't know when we'll go to Reading Terminal Market. I do know we are going to the Barnes on Sun. and the Philadelphia Art Museum on Sat. Now we may have to fit in the flower show too.

                      I'm exhausted already.

                      I will order the Mesibah. That seems to be THE thing.

                      1. re: lenorel57

                        The Mesibah is great. You won't be disappointed. As far as the Flower Show, it's a mob scene. Try to go late at night or first thing in the morning unless you like looking at people's backsides instead of flowers.

                        1. re: bluehensfan

                          I've been to the Philly flower show and although it was beautiful i may have to skip it. We can only do so much and the food and museums are a priority...not to mention Reading Terminal Market

                  2. re: sylviag

                    I'll second the recommendation for Parc! We ate here a few times when my daughter was auditioning at Curtis.

                    1. re: lesliej

                      Thanks. If we still want to eat dinner after our big brunch we would go there.

                  3. Ha! lenorel57-- we'll be there the same weekend as you and made reservations for Zahav Friday night too : ). Reading this post was helpful in finalizing our decisions for the weekend, thanks! Have a great trip.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: parnes77

                      We have a 6:30 reservation. We'll probably be the oldest people in the restaurant so you can recognize us. Where are you coming from?

                      We have Sat. reservations at Vernick Food and Drink and Sun. reservations for brunch at the Rittenhouse Where we are staying.