Locally owned restaurant for business dinner
I am organizing a business dinner in downtown Philadelphia near city hall for approximately 12 people. Being from DC, I am not familiar with the locally owned restaurants in Philadelphia. Ideally, the restaurant menu would appeal to a wide-range of diets and be white tablecloth. The dinner guests are from outside Philadelphia. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
I think the size of your party will present the greatest challenge. Are you looking for a private dining room? What price range?
One spot that I have heard very good comments about is the M Restaurant at The Morris House. Dine al fresco or in the lovely dinning rooms. If interested I would suggest a call first to understand their accommodations for your party. Locally owned, not sure but it does have a federal Philadelphia look and feel. http://morrishousehotel.com . The City Tavern could manage your group in a historic venue. My experience with the food has range for quite good to good enough. An interesting bar and reception area (sure there is a colonial term for this) with a peddle harpsicord. My guests love the place.
Those are great suggestions Bacchus. I was thinking along the lines of the locally owned Steakhouses like Barclay Prime (good selection of fish and other meats as well), Butcher and Singer (the old Stripe Bass space), or perhaps Amada (tapas) which has a private room.
The first two are owned by the Stephen Starr empire so I am not sure if they truly qualify as locally owned but they are not Ruth Chris or McCormick and Schmidt.
I am sure you could do a great meal at Zahav (modern israeli), but I think folks might find the menu a bit more restrictive there.
You have so many options in that lcoation that it would actually be helpful for you to provide some more narrow parameters. An excellent choice for business dinners, especially for out-of-town guests that maynot be familiar with the City is R2L in 2 Liberty Place. The views are stunning - hands down a guaranteed "Wow Factor", and rivate dining rooms are available.
An old standby for me when entertaining clients is Davio's on 17th Street - they do service the right way, and their food is consistrntly excellent. http://davios.com/phil/index.php
Hotel Palomar on 17th Street is the home of Square 1682, which was recently vited the bext hotel bar in the US (although I honestly prefer the hotel bar at Sofitel across the street). The restaurant is not huge, but nicely designed and the kitchen is solid. http://www.square1682.com/
Now if you want to impress with an "off the beaten path" option I cannot recommend Vedge enough. seriously - you won't miss the meat (believe me, we are OMNIVORES, and this is one of our favorite 'special occassion' places right now). http://vedgerestaurant.com/
Of course we also have your pick of Iron Chef/Top Chef options, which are always a great choice - Just check out any of Jose Garces restaurants, http://garcesgroup.com/restaurants/ ,several of which are in your general area . Morimoto's is very good sushi very well done in a very cool space, and I liked Sbraga, but have only been there once.
BTW - I definitely consider any Starr Group restaurant "locally owned", as Stephen Starr is where he is because of Philadelphia, and we get to claim his flavored theatricality as our own!