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Two nights in Philly

kukubura Aug 18, 2013 07:36 AM

We'll be up in a few weeks for a Fri and Sat night and want to dine it up! We've previously had some fabulous Philly eating weekends (We did a fairly comprehensive Philly sandwich non-cheesesteak round up a few years back (google "heroes just for two days") and had another lovely eating weekend with Barbuzzo and other great places)

We kind of want to try some new places this time. There's a birthday in the mix, so one nice dinner would be great, but we're big lunch people too. What's hot right now? Places we've loved have included Barbuzzo, Sampan, Paesano's, Chickie's, Campo's, Kanella, and lots more. We're staying right in center city. Thanks!

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  1. p
    Philly Ray RE: kukubura Aug 18, 2013 07:43 AM

    When exactly are you coming? Restaurant Week happens for 2 weeks in September (September 15-20 & 22-27), so your Friday might be impacted by that if you want to dine in Center City.

    As for "hot", I don't think you can get much hotter than East Passyunk Avenue right now. Options there include Fond (Contemporary American), Noord (Norwegian), Le Virtu and Paradiso (Italian), among others. Another benefit of dining in this area is no Restaurant Week menu limitations. It's only a short cab ride from Center City.

    Also, Fond might be good for your birthday dinner.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray
      kukubura RE: Philly Ray Aug 18, 2013 07:50 AM

      We'll be there Sep 6-8 so no restaurant week for us (which is fine by me) and those suggestions look like a great start. Particularly curious about Noord since Norwegian is intriguing. We were in Iceland last year and fell in love that country, plus the whole new Nordic cuisine thing is very interesting. I'll check those out. Thanks!

      1. re: kukubura
        Philly Ray RE: kukubura Aug 18, 2013 07:56 AM

        Noord just got a great review by our local food critic, so if you decide on that, make reservations soon. We were just there a few weeks ago and it was really good.

      2. re: Philly Ray
        caga tio RE: Philly Ray Aug 18, 2013 10:34 AM

        Noord Eetcafe is Dutch, not Norwegian.

      3. p
        Philly Ray RE: kukubura Aug 18, 2013 07:54 AM

        Here's another thought...

        If you want to stay in Center City for dining, I would recommend Sbraga. If you are familiar with Top Chef, he was the winner a few seasons back. And it doesn't look like they are participating in RW, so you will have access to their full menu.


        1. Delucacheesemonger RE: kukubura Aug 18, 2013 08:28 AM

          Hey Mr Prague Degustastion,

          My two picks would be Farm & Fisherman in the city and Zeppoli across the bridge, assuming you have a car. Zeppoli is Vetri when Vetri started.
          For sandwiches, Nick's at 20th & Jackson for long cooked roast beef in lots of pan juice is my bomb.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Delucacheesemonger
            kukubura RE: Delucacheesemonger Aug 18, 2013 10:53 AM

            Once we park the car we'll leave it put since we live in a city where you can't walk anywhere and want to revel in Philly's walkability. But I'll check out your city suggestion! Anything on the level of La Boheme Bourgeois? ;-)

          2. b
            Buckethead RE: kukubura Aug 18, 2013 08:58 AM

            I'd do the dinners at Vedge and Vernick, those are the two best places that you haven't been (that I know of). I love Noord too but it's not on the same level as those two places and unfortunately none of them is open for lunch. Sbraga is also excellent. I did read that Kevin Sbraga has a new TV show coming out so it's possible he won't be in the kitchen as much as he has been since he opened his restaurant.

            14 Replies
            1. re: Buckethead
              kukubura RE: Buckethead Aug 18, 2013 10:54 AM

              Thanks! Will definitely check those out!

              1. re: kukubura
                cwdonald RE: kukubura Aug 18, 2013 12:09 PM

                Vedge and Vernick are great suggestions. Reservations are definitely required, so act fast. Friday and Saturday tables at these restaurants are hard to come by.

                1. re: cwdonald
                  kukubura RE: cwdonald Aug 21, 2013 06:27 AM

                  Neither of those are really speaking to us. We have plenty of opportunities to eat roast chicken and stuff like that elsewhere (and at home) and we aren't looking for vegan. One thing we've loved in Philly are the bold flavors and points of view in the places we've been. We want food we're not going to get at home. Any other thoughts spring to mind, especially for a nicer place?

                  1. re: kukubura
                    caganer RE: kukubura Aug 21, 2013 06:54 AM

                    Cochon is good, especially for a pork fix - there's usually at least one extra porky special in addition to the regular menu. Definitely tends toward boldness.

                    1. re: kukubura
                      barryg RE: kukubura Aug 21, 2013 06:57 AM

                      Check out Fork and Serpico.

                      I havent been to Vernick yet but I dont think the food is what you think it is.

                      I also really like Cochon. BYOB. It's a nice place but overall on the more casual side.

                      1. re: barryg
                        cwdonald RE: barryg Aug 21, 2013 08:12 AM

                        Second Barry's comment on Serpico. You might throw in Cheu Noodle bar for a lighter meal as well. They are doing a good range of asian inspired flavors both as noodles and soups as well as mains.

                        If you have not done Zahav, I would go there.

                        If you like spicy szechuan style you have the han dynasty locations in old city university city and manyunk as well as E Mei in Chinatown.

                        1. re: cwdonald
                          kukubura RE: cwdonald Aug 21, 2013 02:42 PM

                          Which are the go to spots for hand pulled noodles? That could really hit the spot...

                          1. re: kukubura
                            cwdonald RE: kukubura Aug 21, 2013 02:45 PM

                            I would suggest NanZhou Hand Drawn Noodle House in chinatown. The other unique restaurant in chinatown is Rangoon, which is Burmese. If you are not familiar with burmese it is somewhat a cross between indian and thai types of foods and flavors.


                            1. re: cwdonald
                              kukubura RE: cwdonald Aug 21, 2013 05:54 PM

                              Awesome, thanks

                      2. re: kukubura
                        Buckethead RE: kukubura Aug 21, 2013 07:03 AM

                        Your loss.

                        1. re: Buckethead
                          kukubura RE: Buckethead Aug 21, 2013 08:11 AM

                          Hey, I'm not knocking anything! Sheesh! I didn't think Philly folks were sensitive like that. ;)

                          Thanks for the other recs, everyone! Will check them out!

                          1. re: Buckethead
                            Delucacheesemonger RE: Buckethead Aug 21, 2013 09:40 AM

                            As we bang heads on these places, l feel not his loss, but would be a waste of precious time and money to go to Vedge.
                            Was at Fork a while ago and their Peking Duck feast, must be pre-ordered, was wonderful.

                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                              cocobinga RE: Delucacheesemonger Aug 21, 2013 02:59 PM

                              I was in a similar predicament, and that duck feast really made my decision on where to dine much easier.

                              Trying to work in an East Passyunk grub crawl for the other night - Le Virtu and a few other places (Fond, Noord, or Will)

                          2. re: kukubura
                            Philly Ray RE: kukubura Aug 21, 2013 08:41 AM

                            For your "nicer" place, take a look at Fork (in Old City). It doesn't get a whole lot of talk on here, but I have heard nothing but good things about it, including a rave review in the Phila. Inquirer.

                    2. s
                      sylviag RE: kukubura Aug 21, 2013 03:25 PM

                      Vernick. Reserve now, if there is anything available.

                      Serpico would not be walking distance unless you are staying in the eastern part of center city. But it is amazing!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: sylviag
                        Buckethead RE: sylviag Aug 21, 2013 03:52 PM

                        OP has already rejected Vernick on the basis of "We have plenty of opportunities to eat roast chicken and stuff like that elsewhere"

                        1. re: Buckethead
                          sylviag RE: Buckethead Aug 21, 2013 04:39 PM

                          Sorry, I missed that.
                          If OP gets food like Vernick's at home, I'd be very surprised.
                          And I never had roast chicken there.
                          Did he look at the menu?

                          As to Noord - loved the people, the service, and the ambience. We wouldn't go back for the food.

                          1. re: sylviag
                            cocobinga RE: sylviag Aug 21, 2013 04:57 PM

                            Vernick's menu is somewhat ordinary on the surface (tartines, roast chicken, etc.). I'm sure it's excellent, though. The raw section of the menu is really appealing, as well as the small plates.

                            1. re: cocobinga
                              kukubura RE: cocobinga Aug 21, 2013 05:53 PM

                              Alright, I was tired when I wrote that. Didn't mean to diss anyone, I swear!

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