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Jan 1, 2014 04:15 PM

Birthday Dinner Help

Happy new year, all! My boyfriend has a big birthday coming up in a couple of weeks, and I want to take him to dinner (and, obviously, make reservations in time :)) My parameters are as follows: City preferred, any near suburb is fine; Meat-centric preferred, but no Brazilian steakhouses (we've done it before); No Asian cuisine (just a preference of his); Entrees between 20-40pp; and BYOB would be FANTASTIC. I know this opens a lot of possibilities and I have searched the boards for suggestions, but would love to know if anyone has hit a "home run" in a similar situation lately. Thanks so much!

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  1. If you want to make it more than just the two of you, invite a small group and go for the whole pig at Amada. Can't get much more "Meat-centric" than that.

    Additionally, you could do the Mesibah at Zahav or the duck feast at Fork.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray

      Those are actually all incredible ideas, especially Amada (pig being both of our favorite, in all its forms). Thank you!

      1. re: bmm5917

        The Mesibah at Zahav is a great idea. The lamb is really to die for.

        Although I love pork in all of its forms we found the whole pig (well little piggy) to be too gamey tasting at Amada when we ordered it but really liked the sides.

        1. re: bluehensfan

          Very good to know, on all accounts-super gamey would be an issue (for him, not me). Thank you!

        2. re: bmm5917

          It's been a couple of years, but I think you need to order the pig in advance, and pay for a minimum of 4 people (2 can get it, but you'll have a pig big enough for 4). Other's can correct me if I'm wrong.

          Either way, it is a ton of pig.

          1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

            You do need to order the pig in advance (just as you need to preorder the Mesibah at Zahav and the duck at Fork).

            But the pricing is now $225 for half a pig and $450 for the whole pig.

            1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

              You're right. I forgot about that. We had it for three people (well two adults and a kid) and were eating leftovers for days and days.

              1. re: bluehensfan

                LOL, we did the full pig for 8 people (it was a Chowdown ~3 years ago this board), and that was still a lot of pig!

        3. Another meat centric meal can be found at Zinc.. they have a 19th century duck press. You are served a whole duck (for 2(and it is "pressed" table side. Here is the description from the menu

          Wild Duck Presse - For two
          Two services, The carcass is pressed table side in our 1870 French silver press to release all juices. These juices are flambéed with Cognac and reduced to obtain a succulent sauce. The chef will first serve the breasts with potatoes and onions; and secondly, a petite salad with the legs and the wings

          This is really a fantastic meal and Zinc does not get enough credit on this board.

          Regardless let us know where you choose and how the meal turns out.

          1. Going more romantic, how about newly opened Le Cheri in Rittenhouse (Bibou's sister restaurant)? Lots of great meat/game dishes on the menu. We had a killer whole roast guinea hen stuffed with foie gras (I think this was special order).

            Based on a quick look at OpenTable, it seems like Le Cheri reservations are easier to get than for tiny Bibou.

            It's BYOB with a $25 corkage (considering the markup most restaurants put on wine, you'll probably still save money on a decent bottle). And actually, they have an extremely affordable wine list. I've been meaning to post on this, but we went on the last day they were BYOBing before their liquor license took effect, and I took a photo of the wine list... I'll have to run the numbers, but the markup looked to be at most 2X, which is a bargain.

            7 Replies
            1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

              Even more romantic, how about the Chef's counter at Bibou (BYOB, no corkage)? You should call the restaurant ASAP, but often no one wants the 2 seats at the counter because they look uncomfortable. Actually, they are the best seats in the house, very comfortable, and the chef will come out and talk to you.

              I also like it since the wine bottle lamp sitting next to you on the counter is from one of our more memorable Bibou wine dinners!

              1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

                I actualyl always find them super uncomfortable! I hate the metal thing that hangs down from the bar...the seats themselves are good.

                Anyway, we always get the tasting at a table instead.

                1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

                  A big second for either Bibou or Le Cheri.

                  1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

                    The view from the counter seats at Bibou (obviously back in the Pierre era, as he now spends most of his time at Le Cheri, and Ron Fougeray on the left is now the head chef):

                  2. re: PhillyBestBYOB

                    Thank you for this! We kind of decided (a little bit ago) to go just us, so this is awesome!

                    1. re: bmm5917

                      As I said, call as soon as possible. For Bibou, it's always best to talk to them rather than use OpenTable, because they are constantly sold out. I'm not sure if they put the 2 counter seats on OpenTable, but they very well may not since I often see them empty. Tell them it's for your boyfriend's birthday. Yuki and Charlotte are always very accommodating.

                      You can order a la carte, but the entire 7-course tasting at Bibou is only $70. That's a bargain for what you get, and in my mind would be super romantic at the counter.