BYOB recommendation @ Passyunk Square
Hi everyone - I would like to treat my mother to dinner in the Passyunk Square neighborhood. She is 91 yrs old and grew up in South Philadelphia. I think she would get a kick out of seeing it now. Can someone recommend a nice byob w/moderate prices; say $18-$23 entrees? She uses a walker or cane so a restroom on the same floor is kind of a necessity. Handicapped accessible is a big plus.
My suggestion would be Noord (http://www.noordphilly.com/menu.html), entrees there range from $19 - $29 but most are at the lower end of that and the portions are so huge there that I rarely get an entree unless I'm splitting it with someone. I usually go with one other person and we get 3-4 appetizers to share and maybe split a dessert. It's especially good for showing people what's happened to the Avenue over the last decade for several reasons:
- You can see the singing fountain from the dining room, and all the new places that have opened around it recently (Fond, Stateside, Chiarella's).
- It's a cuisine that is kinda hot right now and you don't see much of in Philly.
- The chef recently returned to Philly after running a popular restaurant in Chicago (a lot of great chefs have emigrated or returned to Philly in the last year or two).
Also, the chef is right up there with Charlotte from Bibou in that his personality is so welcoming that he makes the entire experience better.
And of course, the food is great.
There are a couple steps up to the front door but that's true of most places on the Avenue.
It's one of my favorites too, but I don't know if I would recommend Noord for a 91 year-old grandmother. The food is very unusual by typical Philly standards (Northern European). But as Buckethead says, the owner Joncarl is the nicest guy in the Philly restaurant business (sorry Charlotte!), and maybe that counterbalances things.
Fond is also excellent, and more typical New American cuisine. They also have a nice view of the Square.
Chiarella's, I haven't been, but it was on one of those restaurant disaster TV shows, and it looked like a disaster. Surprised they are still in business. Not sure if it's BYOB.
Stateside is too much of a bar for a grandmother (and not BYOB).
If you don't have to be right on the square, but further down on EPx, my favs are Laurel (impossible to get res), Will, and Le Virtu.
With a 91 year-old, something to consider is how noisy these places are, and they all can be very noisy. But Will would be a particularly good choice early on a Sunday evening. They do a $45 4-course tasting menu 5-9PM Sundays. I was there for a 5:30PM res last Sunday, and it was almost empty the entire time we were there. Fantastic food.
I posted some photos here:
Also, there is a EPx valet stand right on the Square, although I can never remember what days they are open (certainly Fri and Sat evenings). There's also one right in front of Le Virtu. But for an early, grandmother-friendly reservation, it's not generally difficult to find street parking right on EPx (there is also a lot midway down the street, but that always seems pretty full).
Thanks so much! Actually, it doesn't need to be right on the square. I just though it would be fun for her to see the changes in her old neighborhood. Because of the crowds and noise, we would probably go early in the evening on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. She's not afraid to try new things so, when I mentioned Noord, she was intrigued. My main concern is price and restroom accessibility. I'll have to take a look at Will, sounds very nice.
BTW, I went to Chiarella's last Saturday. Overall, not impressed.
If I was taking a 91 year old grandmother out? Paradisio.
Not where I would go, but I think she would appreciate the more upscale atmosphere and it retains the "neighborhood Italian connection".
Tre Scalini? I know it's been around for awhile, but the current location is rather new, surrounded by new places (if you can forgo the BYO aspect, Le Virtu is a great choice too on that same block). They have valet right in front if you need it, and I know they have most (maybe all?) of their seating on the ground level. Not sure of the prices, but I think they are pretty moderate. I think this place does a great job of blending the older and newer aspects of good dining. I'm sure she'll feel comfortable here.