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Dinner for a large group in University City at a place with a good vibe?

aroundthewaygirl Apr 24, 2013 11:24 AM

Hi, all. Every year, I plan a dinner for a large group (50-60 people) who are visiting Philadelphia to attend a radio convention that's centered around WXPN. We're looking primarily for good food and service, innovative and hip (but not over the top), and middle price range. It has to be a place with a bar. Most people attending won't have a car, so we try to stay within reasonable walking distance and on the west side of the river (though I could probably convince the group to cross the river if we found the perfect place that was still pretty close). We also like to try somewhere new every year.

As you can see, we have a lot of constraints! Are any cool spots jumping to mind?

In past years, we've tried:
Distrito
Pod
Mad Mex
White Dog Cafe
Vietnam Cafe

How is City Tap House? Might it be worth crossing the water to La Calaca Feliz or Vernick or the Dandelion?

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  1. p
    percyn RE: aroundthewaygirl Apr 26, 2013 02:18 PM

    Vernick is great but 60 people might be close to capacity

    How about Han Dynasty in University City? Might have to reserve the entire place for 60 people.

    1 Reply
    1. re: percyn
      aroundthewaygirl RE: percyn May 8, 2013 12:47 PM

      Thanks, Percyn. I appreciate the recommendation. We're going to give it a try! I'll let you know how it goes.

    2. a
      arepo RE: aroundthewaygirl May 8, 2013 03:03 PM

      Being that you have a lot of provisos you might want to look into Waterworks. It normally would not be my first choice but then you already listed a few that I would have suggested first.
      The view is drop dead -- the food is definitely decent and they have a bar. You could even couple it with a trip to the Art Museum which is right next door.
      There's a thought! I have no clue if the Art Museum restaurant offers private space for large groups but you could do a lot worse. Worth it to ask.
      Well, I'm plumb out of any other decent choices within your confines.

      1 Reply
      1. re: arepo
        aroundthewaygirl RE: arepo May 9, 2013 12:13 PM

        Thanks! Really appreciate the insight.

      2. b
        barryg RE: aroundthewaygirl May 8, 2013 03:11 PM

        Maybe you can book El Rey at on Chestnut St. Pretty hip, has bar, pretty good food and moderately priced. It's really not very from XPN at all, closer than many of the West Philly places. Everybody wants to stay west of the river when in UC but Rittenhouse Sq is less than a mile from much of the Penn and Drexel campuses.

        Dandelion is a good idea too. A little farther and more expensive. But it has a lot more space--you would basically be taking over El Rey, they may not even do it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: barryg
          aroundthewaygirl RE: barryg May 9, 2013 12:14 PM

          Thanks! This is all very helpful, especially since I'll be in town for several days with smaller dinners to plan as well.

        2. m
          Misha RE: aroundthewaygirl May 9, 2013 10:11 AM

          I love La Calaca Feliz but you'd need to call to see if they could accommodate that sized crowd.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Misha
            aroundthewaygirl RE: Misha May 9, 2013 12:13 PM

            Thanks! I will check it out.

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