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Zahav: lovely!

I'm not a critic, just learning as I go, but my impression:

Attentive service, clearing/cleaning of tables was continuous. Chose the tasting menu per recommendation of this board.

The salads and hummus as an introduction was just wonderful. Every salad was interesting and had so many different tastes and textures, my mind was spinning. My husband and I really enjoyed this and it set the tone for the meal -- exciting!

First entree: my husband had the fish chowder (Chraime) and I had the sheep's milk (Crispy Haluomi). I felt the Haluomi was a bit gummy but my husband disagreed. However, I am now addicted to the chowder. Just enough heat (the waiter told us the chef had to reduce the heat a bit bc it was too spicy for customers) and I want to have this for lunch at least once a week in the winter.

Second: I had the Chicken Freekah and my husband had the Stuffed Grape Leaves. The Chicken Freekah -- the taste sort of shocked me. It was familiar, but then very much not familiar in texture and taste. I commented that it was 'chicken oatmeal, but far better' -- definitely a favorite for me. The Stuffed Grape Leaves got a thumbs down from both of us, cold meat, eh.

Third: Swordfish (Gibralter) for my husband and eggplant for me (Galil). The swordfish was like the Freekah in the sense that it was almost like...comfort food, with an unexpected twist. We fought for every last chickpea. We both didn't like the eggplant at first, but then it grew on us -- the strong yogurt flavors started to appeal and before we knew it, it was gone. It is not a mild dish, but I liked that all the flavors were so unexpected.

Dessert: Chocolate Semifroddo for me - please, somebody tell Ben and Jerry's that they need to put this in a pint and sell it. with the salted kumquats.

I cannot wait to go again -- this was my kind of eating, lots and lots of distinct flavors, small dishes (in truth, they were not that small!)

oh wine -- again, just learning as I go: I had a Pinotage. Light, slightly fruity and again, just lovely!

Dec 30, 2009
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

12 year old twins who LOVE food

Thank you! these are good suggestions and I will keep looking throughout the week to check for more!

Aug 02, 2009
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Bagels - I am trying to locate the best bagels by region. Where can you get good bagels?

for bialys (and bagels) we like Elkins Park..right near the train station, I think Rollings?

Jul 30, 2009
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

12 year old twins who LOVE food

My niece and nephew are in town and its their birthday next Friday. They are far more daring in their food choices then most adults I know.

Their behavior in restaurants is excellent. Price (high or low) is not an issue.

ideas in Philly? Maybe Vietnamese?

Jul 30, 2009
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Caffe Casta Diva delish

oh and the lighting in the restaurant DOES make women look fab!

Apr 28, 2009
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Caffe Casta Diva delish

I am not an expert at describing food, but our experience at Caffe Casta Diva was very good. I dare say I liked it better than Matyson. My two cents:

Overall restaurant, noise, etc:

Great location in Philly, close to parking lots, we were seated right away, modern decor. Our two-top was next to another couple, but this turned out to be a big plus for us since we chatted with them over dessert and basically 'closed' the restaurant. Yes, a little loud, but I didn't mind. Our res were for 9pm by 9:30pm the noise level dropped significantly. The waiter was a little direct and maybe a little short but with a sense of humor. Our wine was opened very fast -- the waiter was rushed...I do think he could have slowed down a bit...he forgot to mention the risotto special, which was a bummer. One thing CCD should do is remind people its a BYO and cash only when they take your res. We knew this but others might not.

Was it just me, or was the bathroom super dark??? Cool round mirror though.

The timing between courses was great, no problems.

Food:

The rosemary bread was wonderful and I am embarrassed that my husband polished off two baskets. We knew what to do with the olive oil, but if someone did not...again the waiter wasn't guiding us. Fine for us...but...

I got the grilled artichoke and roasted red pepper salad. So delicious. My husband got the Caesar salad -- also very nice.

My husband had a special: veal chop with potatoes and green beans. Are you supposed to ask how you would like a veal chop cooked? I honestly thought so...they didn't ask, but it was pretty...perfect! Every bite was smoky and flavorful. My husband isn't a potato fan but they were eaten first because they were that good! The crimini (?) mushrooms were great and I stole most of them off his plate.

I had the mushroom ravioli special. WOW. A forkful of mushrooms and nuts, combined with the sauce and softness of the ravioli was a wonder. I wanted to lick the plate. I thought about it. The taste was mushroomy and cheesy and the tang of the 'balsamic-y' (lol, I am sure that isn't a word) sauce and the butter flavor...oy. The raviolis were soft but not so soft that they fell apart -- but it encouraged you to get it to your mouth as fast as possible --- no problem for me!

For dessert, I had a nice mint tea. My husband had the tiramisu, which was obviously homemade and lovely. Our waiter changed for dessert and she was calm and helpful.

The bill for two came to $87 -- why not mention this in tough economic times! I noticed CCD had a 'recession special' for weekdays.

I would go again and again...and again.

Apr 28, 2009
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Knife Sharpening - found - Philly burbs

The place on County Line is now a hardwood floor place -- but there is a sign on the door about knife sharpening. Next door is a very good sushi place, Harsume.

Apr 28, 2009
shelbyroo in Philadelphia

The Saloon in Philly?

Thank you! This was very helpful.

Apr 04, 2009
shelbyroo in Philadelphia

Best Sushi in the Philly Burbs

Harusame in Wynnewood is pretty good, love their orange rolls and spicy tuna. I do wish they seasoned their rice just a bit more. Shogun 3 in Havertown, Manoa shopping center, is also decent but again -- same underseasoned rice issue (maybe its me).

Good to know about Philly Lobster & Fish in Wynnewood -- I know where I am going for take out sushi tomorrow!!

Apr 01, 2009
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

The Saloon in Philly?

My husband always asks me what I know about The Saloon restaurant in Philadelphia. I know next to nothing -- anyone? Thanks!

Mar 31, 2009
shelbyroo in Philadelphia

Chinese food quest in the suburbs

I haven't seen my old post in a while, so it was interesting to catch up. I can't say we have any positive updates on good Chinese in the suburbs. These days we venture outside the suburbs and go to Lee How Fook. (Note: But good news -- for Japanese food, not Chinese, is Harusame opened in Wynnewood under new management and it is pretty good -- though I wish they would season the sushi rice!)

Mar 31, 2009
shelbyroo in Philadelphia

Decent student-friendly restaurants within about 15 minutes or so of Villanova

Sam's Grill in the Wynnewood shopping center. Consistent, good food, casual place. The Sam burger and the BBQ are popular choices for us, but in our opinion, there are few misses.

Mar 31, 2009
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Dakota Pizza on Lancaster Ave?

Next to the little Whole Foods there's a Dakota Pizza Company. I've heard a few good things about it (good pizza, decent cheese steaks). Anyone ever been?

Jun 27, 2008
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Great pulled pork bbq to take home?

Tommy Guns: I was so disappointed in their food, esp. their ribs

Jun 24, 2008
shelbyroo in Philadelphia

Lee How Fook, recommend your dish

July 4-14th

Jun 23, 2008
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Ribs in the Philly suburbs

Sam's Grill in Wynnewood has ridicously amazing ribs and BBQ chicken.

We need a new place though for ribs and chicken, so we can branch out a bit: ANY recommendations?

Jun 22, 2008
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Lee How Fook, recommend your dish

we're slowly eating our way through the menu: I am currently addicted to the orange beef, schezuan string beans, and brisket appetizer. We love the peking duck.

My sister is coming into town just before Lee How's closes for their vacation: any dish suggestions? Hot pots or rice platters -- or really anything that you just love?

Jun 22, 2008
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Breakfast and lunch for a pair of Philadelphians in SF?

We have an entire Friday and Saturday morning in SF; we are staying in North Beach.

We've done our research and have some definite ideas, but any suggestions for breakfast and lunch. We're not doing the GGB, but if you have any suggestions (pairing food with sights) with things to see...that would be great, but not essential.

We're not big drinkers but we'll eat just about any cuisine.

Saturday afternoon we are heading to Kings Canyon for a backcountry horseback trip so nothing too fancy as the clothes we're packing are casual.

Thanks!

Need lunch location near the Barnes Foundation (Merion PA)

Sam's Grill in Wynnewood is a nice place to stop for lunch. It is located in Wynnewood, across from the train station (Bed, Bath and Beyond is in the plaza). Great burgers (especially the SAM burger), quesadillas (esp. the shrimp and bbq), bbq chicken and sides. Borders is in the plaza too.

If you want to listen to some music and grab a bite, try Milkboy in Ardmore. They usually have a band playing on the weekend (check their schedule) and the soups and other lunch options are tasty, though limited. I love their white tea. NOTE: on weekend mornings they have "Sally's Music Time" -- not sure you want to have lunch watching toddlers dance to a "Cow, Chicken and a Pickle"...but it might be fun!

Oct 24, 2007
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

which restaurant? Branzino or Osteria?

thanks all. I think L'Angolos might be a tight fit. I'll go with Branzino...thanks for the tip about the upstairs room.

Oct 15, 2007
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

which restaurant? Branzino or Osteria?

In November, my Mom and Dad (New Yorkers and lovers of Italian food) are coming to PA and we are going out to celebrate my husband's 40th birthday. We are bringing our 1 year old son so we'll take the 5pm reservation. He eats at restaurants with us regularly.

I can't decide which restaurant - help us pick! Price doesn't matter, nor does BYOB/non-BYOB. But I'd say that service matters to my parents. We prefer the restaurant with the lower noise level (because of our son, not because of us). Thanks!

Oct 13, 2007
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Child-friendly in Philly

I think I am looking for something a little more...formal (maybe that isn't the word). It was an interesting restaurant to read about though!

Aug 17, 2007
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Best Sushi on Main Line/Manayunk/Delco??

Shogun 3 is family friendly.

Aug 16, 2007
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Child-friendly in Philly

I am treating my husband to a special dinner (40th bday) and we're looking for restaurant suggestions -- all about the food, not the decor. We love Tre Scalini (and they are so good to parents with babies!) but would like to try something else and it doesn't have to be Italian.

By the way, I don't mean child-friendly as in my child will be running around wrecking havoc and biting ankles -- he's a baby and will pretty much just hang out in a booster seat we bring from home. We'll usually take the earliest reservation possible.

Aug 16, 2007
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Best Sushi on Main Line/Manayunk/Delco??

Shogun 3 is decent

Aug 15, 2007
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Longs Asian in Wynnewood

it is not worth the trip -- in my opinion neither is Yang Mings or Sangkee

Jul 20, 2007
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

First time at Tre Scalini

Tonight was our first time at Tre Scalini at their new location (1915 E Passyunk). We had a very early reservation because we have a young son -- suprisingly, the restaurant was already packed!

I've read about this restaurant on this board for two years and finally I had a chance to go. What an absolute treat. We brought our 8.5 month old son who is now in love with the manager's 16 month old daughter; her mom, Francesca spent almost an hour with us, chatting. The staff was also very kind to my young son.

The food was simple and just delicious. I am sure many people on this board are familiar with the menu already, so I won't go into too much detail. Favorites included the white bean/calamari/mussell appetizer, fresh mix of seafood appetizer (which I could eat everyday), and the branzino with olives and capers. My chicken with onions and mushrooms was tender and flavorful. My dad (a New Yorker who came to visit from sunny Florida) had a terrific double expresso.

The only 'down' was the bread that came to the table before our meals...I am all for rustic bread, but they were basically hockey pucks.

I am ready to try another South Philly favorite...though I know I'll go back to Tre Scalini...

Jul 15, 2007
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Reasonably priced, delicious Thai in Bryn Mawr: Silk Cuisine

I found the prices at Thai Pepper pretty outrageous, so we've now been to Silk Cuisine in Bryn Mawr about 5 times.

We haven't been able to get past the same dishes: Red curry, green curry, the corn fritters, and the fried spring rolls!

The sauce for both curries is addictive, the vegetables plentiful, the chicken delicious.

My husband and I battle for the corn fritters.

The spring rolls are a real treat too -- but I wouldn't recommended them for take out as they get a little mushy on the bottom...I think the dressing from the little side salad makes the rolls mushy. That little salad, by the way, is also worth grabbing a fork for.

The price is certainly right. The street parking isn't great, but it isn't awful either. The ambience is nothing to write home about, but the friendliness of the staff has been consistent every time.

Sep 25, 2006
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Restaurant recommendations for a lot of people (15-20) that isn't Maggianos?

Just a follow up of sorts -- I decided to go with LHF -- thank you so much for the suggestion and I'll let you know how it goes.

Sep 08, 2006
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania

Restaurant recommendations for a lot of people (15-20) that isn't Maggianos?

Thank you so much for all the suggestions! I'll look into the options.

Sep 07, 2006
shelbyroo in Pennsylvania