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athena877's Profile

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Tea Shops/Cafes

I absolutely love Cafe L'Aroma on Newbury. Great coffee/tea selection and some amazing (and unique) pastries and other baked goods. I have done a lot of studying there recently.

I also like Athan's but it is fairly noisy and tables can be hard to come by depending on time of day.

Aug 08, 2012
athena877 in Greater Boston Area

big birthday, big night

No 9 park and L'Espalier are both great (and I haven't tried Menton to weigh in). If you want a true special occasion restaurant, I would go for L'Espalier - their service is second to none and they have a wonderful wine selection and great cheese options in addition to fantastic main courses. I LOVE the duck entree at No 9 Park and they also have excellent cocktails, but I think overall I like L'Espalier slightly more. Caveat - I was at L'Espalier within the past couple of months and have not been to No 9 Park for a couple of years.

Aug 08, 2012
athena877 in Greater Boston Area

Bistro du Midi or Troquet?

I love the cheese service at L'Espalier...and they were definitely not stuffy -they even put up with my request to have the cheese tray as an appetizer instead of one of the appetizers on the menu....L'Espalier is still my favorite restaurant in Boston (haven't tried Menton yet, though). Have not tried the Salon yet.

Aug 07, 2012
athena877 in Greater Boston Area

Bistro du Midi or Troquet?

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
C.Hamster - just wanted to check that you meant that the wine, atmosphere and service are better at Troquet not DM?
Thanks again...

Aug 07, 2012
athena877 in Greater Boston Area

Bistro du Midi or Troquet?

Hi everyone -

I'm trying to decide between Bistro du Midi and Troquet for a celebration dinner in a couple of weekends. I wanted a nice place with an upscale atmosphere (but not as fancy as Menton or L'Espalier - something along the lines of Mistral, Rialto, or No.9 Park), and of the places in Boston I haven't tried yet, these are at the top of the list.

Do people who have been to both (or people who have been to one) have strong opinions about which would be better? In addition to the food itself and a classy/romantic atmosphere (but NOT stuffy!) I really like cheese, dessert and wine, which are definitely factors in picking these 2 places.

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Aug 06, 2012
athena877 in Greater Boston Area

Craft vs Craftbar for dining alone?

Hey Chowhounds-
Coming into NYC for an interview, looking for a place for dinner on a Sunday night - am trying to decide between Craft and Craftbar. Looking for a place that's not stone cold quiet, but where I can do a little reading as a lone diner and not feel out of place (or stodgy)...recommendations?

Feb 14, 2011
athena877 in Manhattan

New Year's Eve NON-prix fixe options?

Hey everyone,

Have a couple friends visiting from out of town for New Year's...looking for a good dining option in Center City on New Year's Eve is tough b/c most places seem to be prix fixe for the night - anyone know of places with regular a la carte options? At this point any type of food is good, in the middle price range (up to $25 ish for an entree)...

Dec 27, 2010
athena877 in Philadelphia

Fine dining alone?

Thanks for all of the suggestions, everyone! I have actually tried many of these places - I love Lacroix and Matyson; I also think 10Arts, Meme and Zahav are great. I have not tried Chloe yet (though I keep meaning to) and James is also on the list. I'd like something a tad fancier (I don't think we really have the Daniel/Per Se type places in Philly so much, except maybe for Fountain) but not stuck-up...that's why I was thinking a steakhouse type place like Prime Rib or Davios (I love Barclay Prime and thought Butcher and Singer was pretty good)....keep suggestions coming, please!

Dec 09, 2010
athena877 in Philadelphia

Fine dining alone?

I'm looking for a nice restaurant for a solo meal. I've been to many of the really good restaurants in Philly with others such as Fountain, Vetri, Amada, etc and am looking for a good fine dining restaurant for a solo diner (something I haven't tried before). I'm more a fan of American or any ethnic food except traditional French (so not that excited about Le Bec-Fin). Thoughts I've had are: Prime Rib, Davios, James...what else comes to mind? I like a quieter (but not empty) place for a meal at a table instead of at the bar.

Dec 08, 2010
athena877 in Philadelphia

Lunch near HUP on Thursday

If you want to go a little further outside the campus (maybe a 10-15 min walk), Marigold Kitchen is incredible! It's in the first floor of an old house, with great service and yummy food.

I am also a fan of Distrito, but it can be expensive for the amount of food you get. However, I maintain that their "El Fuerte" dessert (chocolate cake, caramel and chocolate sauce, pretzel crumbs) is one of the BEST desserts I've ever had, and I'm a serious dessert person :)

Oct 04, 2010
athena877 in Philadelphia

Looking for early pre theatre Sunday dinner

Ernesto's 1521 Cafe (1521 Spruce) is very close to the theater. It's a small place (in the cozy sense, not in the really loud and annoying sense) with good Italian food (and amazing Tiramisu!)

Oct 04, 2010
athena877 in Philadelphia

Best slice of cake in center city?

I'm looking for a place to get a really good single slice of cake. I'm a fan of moist, dense cakes with really sweet, heavy icing (yes, I know some people may think this is disgusting, but I love it!). I love the naked chocolate cafe cakes, but they don't sell them by the slice. I do like the chocolate cake from Honey's but it's a little far...does anyone know of a good place to get a good slice of cake right in center city? I love cupcakes and know lots of good places but this time I'm looking specifically for cake instead. Your input is appreciated!

May 16, 2010
athena877 in Philadelphia

Ice cream in Philly cream.....
Here's my take on the options available in Center City:

* Capogiro: definitely the best in terms of interesting and innovative flavors (love the dark chocolate and the hazelnut baccio) , and the texture is creamy without being overwhelming (probably because it's gelato instead of ice cream). My favorite!
* Franklin Fountain: more "traditional" than capogiro in terms of flavors but the ice cream sundaes and the floats can't be beat!
* Scoop DeVille: really yummy mix-in combos are the highlight of this place. The flavors and toppings alone aren't that special, but mixed all together they are amazing!
* Sweet Endings: fro-yo with do-your-own toppings. The toppings are mostly fruit, so it's a healthy option, but the flavors of the fro-yo itself aren't anything to write home about
* Yogorino: more European-style, the fro-yo truly tastes like frozen yogurt (i.e. the tangy, not super sweet flavor of yogurt) instead of ice cream. The toppings are good, and it's not as heavy as other do-your-own topping places.
* Sprinkles: this might be kind of far because it's in University City, but I LOVE this place! Mix-and-match flavors of non-fat (but still tasty) fro-yo, and tons of toppings to choose from. Definitely better than Sweet Endings.

Have fun!

Apr 01, 2010
athena877 in Philadelphia

Nice dinner for one

Hi all,

Every once and a while when I need a break to relax, I treat myself to a nice dinner just for me. I'm looking for a really nice place that is quiet, classy, in center city, and where I will get good attentive service even as a party of one.

I think I've narrowed it down to Lacroix, XIX, or Le Bec-Fin.

I'd appreciate your comments, experiences at these places, or other suggestions! Thanks!

Apr 01, 2010
athena877 in Philadelphia

Falafel in Philly?

Looking for a good falafel and/or schwarma place in philly...thanks!

May 28, 2009
athena877 in Pennsylvania

Top 5 Boston Restaurants

Top 5 overall (my opinion):
No. 9 Park (Beacon Hill)
Mistral (Back Bay)
Salts (Cambridge)
Meritage (Boston Harbor)
Clio (Back Bay)
(haven't tried L'Espalier yet, probably also the best...)

By neighborhood, other excellent restaurants are:
NORTH END: Prezza, Mamma Maria, Carmen, Taranta
THEATER: Pigalle
BACK BAY: Sorrelina, Sel de la Terre
CAMBRIDGE: Rialto, Dali, Orinoco
KENDALL: Eastern Standard
OUTSIDE BOSTON: Blue Ginger (Wellesley)

May 18, 2009
athena877 in Greater Boston Area

New to Philly, please advise

I'm going to be living at 2400 Chestnut and working at Penn

May 11, 2009
athena877 in Pennsylvania

New to Philly, please advise

I'm moving to Philly from Boston in June and wanted some advice on restaurants and bakeries- specifically, how to find places similar (or better) than my Boston favorites. I have a few specific places that I'm very sad to leave, so I'd appreciate any suggestions on places that compare with:

* Flour Bakery (scones, muffins, sticky buns, cakes are out of this world!)
* Party Favors (cupcakes and cakes with thick buttercream frosting...)
* Rosie's Bakery (thick fudgy, not cakey, brownies)
* Mistral/Sorrelina (upscale but not rediculously priced italian/mediterranean)
* Zaftig's (Jewish diner-style eatery)
* Christina's spices in Inman square (cheap and extensive selection of bulk and bottled spices)

And also any cute coffee shops that are NOT too loud and have nice areas for sitting and reading (a la Uptown Espresso in Boston)

And of course, any of your general favorite restaurants - on my visits to Philly I've tried Zahav, Amada, Parc, and Fork as well as a small Afghani place in Penn's Landing and had good experiences at all...

Thanks so much!

May 11, 2009
athena877 in Pennsylvania

Nice Italian in Denver

Hi everyone,

Looking for a nice (kinda upscale) Italian restaurant in Denver - from what I've read some of my top choices are Barolo Grill, Luca D'Italia, and Il Posto. Would appreciate input on these three (which is best) and any other suggestions...Thanks!

Mar 17, 2009
athena877 in Southwest

Graduation dinner

For a super nice dinner I'd suggest Clio
For very very nice: Mistral or Sorrelina, Rialto in Harvard Square, Icarus, Pigalle, or one of several steak places including: Abe and Louie's, Capital Grille, Ruth's Chris
For very nice (slightly less expensive): Prezza in the North End, Taranta in the North End, Sel de la Terre

Feb 11, 2009
athena877 in Greater Boston Area

Dining alone in Denver?

I'm coming to Denver for a conference and wanted some suggestions for restaurants that would be good for dining alone. I found a bunch of restaurants with menus I like, and wanted input on the atmosphere - for dining alone I either like (a) really quiet places or (b) mildly crowded places but not super noisy, where I can people watch (i.e. Balthazar in NYC). I'd appreciate advice on which of these places fit that description (don't mind paying up to ~30 for entree, but want to avoid places w/ prix fixe...): Barolo Grill, Le Central, Ninth Door, Cuba Cuba, Yanni's, Fruition, Rioja, and any other suggestions people have? Thanks!

Feb 11, 2009
athena877 in Southwest