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Graduation Lunch Center City Area

Any thoughts on a good spot for 10-12 people to sit between 1-3pm ? Most of the places I'd like to go to don't serve a lunch. Looking to avoid the chain-type places and tourist traps. It would be on a Friday...

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  1. Amada has big tables and a festive air.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sal_acid

      Just a brief comment on Amada. It had been one of our favorites as we always enjoyed their interesting and tasty selections of small plates. Last week at lunch everything ordered with the exception of the salad verde and the desert was not good. They offered a very limited menu for lunch that day, indicating that they are significantly scaled down for weekday lunches. Even the special cocktail was impossibly tasteless. We have loved dinners there and will return for their small plate offerings again some evening. Interestingly with few wait staff on hand the service was excellent.

    2. Book early (you already may be late... ). Oyster House on Sansom could accommodate.

        1. Lacroix is an option.

            1. Perhaps Le Cheri? They just started lunch service and if the weather is nice, they have that lovely garden.

              1 Reply
              1. BTW what institution is graduating?

                1 Reply
                1. re: cwdonald

                  Pretty much all of them this time of year : )

                2. What kind of crowd?

                  If you're catering to the college graduates themselves, and they're guys check out Dandelion.

                  If you're catering to a more worldly crowd, try Amada for something fun and different.

                  If foodies and appreciate French cuisine, Le Cheri is the way to go now.

                  Older crowd, Estia.

                  Ultra hip, Morimoto.

                  Hope this helps. Can't go wrong with any of the suggestions below, either.

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: dndicicco

                    It's a mix of Grandparents, parents, and Drexel's latest gift to the soon to be working (i hope) world. Is La Scala any good? Thank you all for the responses!

                    1. re: coldbeer

                      Not really - but more mediocre than outright bad.

                      1. re: lowereastrittenhouse

                        If you're thinking LaScala you may want to look at Barbuzzo or Little Nonna's.

                      2. re: coldbeer

                        La Scala is nothing special - but big, fairly comfortable and able to accommodate groups well - also the menu is broad and familiar - I would consider it a safe harbor for a group. Its not where I would take a group of foodies but...

                        1. re: JTPhilly

                          Yes...pretty much need a big table and safe options for college kids used to mac and cheese, but also something for the more sophisticated palates. I loved Barbuzzo, but remember it being a little cramped.

                          1. re: coldbeer

                            You might consider Beau Monde Creperie at 6th and Bainbridge. You can usually get street parking but there is a lot nearby and you can build your own crepes as well as have salads and some appetizers. I have always been able to feed everyone in the crowd there, but people with more sophisticated palates can make some interesting combos.

                            1. re: Bigley9

                              are those the Tavern on the Green guys?

                              1. re: coldbeer

                                No .. Tavern on the Green are the Beau Monde guys ;-) But yes...

                            2. re: coldbeer

                              Barbuzzo is indeed cramped. Little Nonna's does have a patio (and the foods not all that different) and you may be able to reserve it?

                              1. re: bluehensfan

                                Yes Barbuzzo is indeed cramped and that is a kind observation of conditions there. We love Little Nonna's , which is also tight, but some how it does not annoy us quite as much as Barbuzzo and Nonna's patio is now open.

                          2. re: coldbeer

                            Another thought: Roberto Cafe at 22nd and South. It's smallish but open for lunch; if you called in advance you could probably easily get a table for 10-12.

                            It's very good classic, simple Italian and surely would have something for most everyone (I've taken a lot of different friends from out of town there who all loved it.) Prices are reasonable and while the lunch menu is limited, they've always allowed me to order some favorite apps from their dinner menu as well. Also, not that far from Drexel.