BYOB's for my birthday
Hi all - Looking for a BYOB recommendation to celebrate my birthday on Sat. May 18. We will probably be 12-18 people, so need to be able to make a reservation. I'm looking for something reasonably priced w/parking nearby (Mom is handicapped). Family will be coming from Mt. Laurel, NJ, lower Bucks and Northeast Philly. So far, I'm considering Zorbas in Fairmount and Carlucci's in Yardley. Any suggestions would be really appreciated. Thanks for your help. :)
Can't say anything about the places you mention. But few if any of the usual suspect BYOBs that I go to can handle a group that large (some have chef's tables, but not for 12-18).
However, one idea is Bistro 7 in Old City. I've been there twice and the food is excellent (best gnocchi I've ever had!). They offer a 10-course tasting menu for the ridiculous price of $65 (and obviously you can order a la carte as well--apps are $10-15, entrees $25-32). More to the point, they have a large room upstairs that will easily hold 18 or more (I've attended a dinner for 14 up there).
For some reason, they don't seem to get a lot of press, but the food is really very good, it's never very crowded, and it does happen to be in the Philly Magazine's Top 50 restaurants list (name dropping never fails to impress the relatives).
There's a parking lot 1-2 blocks down the street.
They do have some items on their menu that involve molecular techniques, but these have been accents rather than the main features of the dishes. No flavor/ingredient combinations that would be considered weird or challenging unless one typically only eats at Applebee's. :-) And there are plenty of menu items that aren't molecular.
Not putting down Charcoal at all, but I think their reputation for inventive cuisine is in comparison to other dining options in the Yardley area--ie, the bar is just not that high. They're definitely not Alinea or wd-50.
Would be interested to hear what you think, so do report back if you try it.
Have you been to Zorba's? If you don't have any special connection - a relative or something - it's not a place I would choose to celebrate an occasion. Also, the parking is not easy around there.
You could see if August could take you. Great food, nice atmosphere, street parking. It's at 13th and Wharton.