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dave80jc's Profile

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At the conclusion of my restaurant week experience, I just wanted to say....

My girlfriend had the same app as you at Bliss, and I agree that it was good. She commented that she would have been happy having a larger portion of that for her entree.

I also had the octopus and the baklava at Estia. The food was really good, but what we loved was the atmosphere of the place itself. We were at a table right near the windows which were opened, and since it was a monday there was almost no foot traffic and the night was beautiful.

Sep 28, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

At the conclusion of my restaurant week experience, I just wanted to say....

A big thank you to everyone on this board for their recommendations.

I went to 4 places - Estia, Alma de Cuba, Mercato, and Bliss. Couldn't have been happier with the places that I picked.

Estia was absolutely beautiful (the restaurant itself) and we had such amazing service.

Alma was good - the first time that I have ever had Cuban food and I would definitely go back. I also tried ceviche for the first time so that was a bonus.

Mercato was my favorite place - I had the filet and my gf had the Lobster and Shrimp pasta which was fantastic. Perhaps the fact that we weren't getting charged for drinks and that it was also my birthday made it even better. My gf has been to Italy and she did nothing but rave about the food.

Bliss was also good, but my least favorite of the four. I don't know if I would go back there (only because there are so many other places to try), but I definitely wasn't disappointed.

I am so happy that I took advantage of the RW specials this time around (missed the last few since moving to Philly). Now we can't wait for February.

Sep 28, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Is Vetri worth the money?

I am going to try Osteria probably sometime later this month or early September so I wouldn't want to go back there again. I am taking her out to Tinto tomorrow night. I was torn between Tinto/Osteria but I decided that since I am going to Helium after dinner that I'd rather just go somewhere that we can walk right around the corner so Tinto was the choice.

I'm looking for more of a "special" place for her birthday....some place really nice and classy so hopefully she likes it. Oh and I told her that I was taking her out to this place but wasn't sure what day to go because on one day they had a la carte or tasting menu and on her birthday it was only the tasting menu. She seemed to like the idea of the tasting menu so I'll stick with Saturday.

Thanks for all of the replies everyone.

Aug 02, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Is Vetri worth the money?

Thanks for all of the replies. I think that I am going to try and make a reservation for there after all. I was looking on the website and they only offer the tasting menu on Saturday nights (her bday is on a Saturday) so maybe we'll go on that Friday. Also, I looked at the menu for Lacroix and I'm not sure that she would like their food as much, so if I can't get the reservation for Vetri then I'll go with the Fountain. I don't understand why, but I have to wait until the day that is exactly 2 months before when I want to go to make the reservation?

I'll report back afterwards and let you know what I thought.

Aug 01, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Is Vetri worth the money?

I am planning reservations for this fall - my girlfriends birthday is in October. I was thinking of taking her to Vetri or maybe Lacroix or the Fountain. Is Vetri worth the money or would it be better spent at one of the other places?

I am guessing a meal would be somewhere around $300 for two? Is that out of the ballpark or with tip, tax, and drinks would this be about right?

I have been doing some reading and I hear a lot of people raving, but also a lot of people that say that its overpriced, food portions are too small, etc. However, it seems like a very romantic, special occasion place so that is why I was looking to go there. Do the portions seem small in general, or is this really only for the tasting menu?

Jul 27, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Tinto

Two questions. How much should I expect to spend at this meal (not that its an issue, just curious), and would I be ok wearing nice dark jeans and a nice polo shirt?

We are going to Helium Comedy Club afterwards so this should be a fun night.

Jul 24, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Planning early for next restaurant week....opinions/feedback appreciated

Webpage in above link now shows the fall 2007 participants.

Jul 24, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Tinto

I made reservations for Tinto for next Friday night. Anything that's a can't miss on the menu?

I'm really excited....looking forward to this meal since I have heard/read nothing but good things about it.

Jul 23, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Planning early for next restaurant week....opinions/feedback appreciated

I didn't see Barclay Prime on the list.

Jul 22, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Planning early for next restaurant week....opinions/feedback appreciated

I called them earlier today to ask a question and they definitely told me that the main dining room requires a jacket

Jul 19, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Planning early for next restaurant week....opinions/feedback appreciated

Ok so reading over the recommendations so far, I'll cross out 5) Upstares at Varalli and add 5) Estia. I'll also remove 2) Amada and add 2) The Prime Rib.

I will definitely go to Amada at some point just not during RW. I think I'll go to The Prime Rib on my birthday. Ironically, it is also my girlfriends mother's birthday as well (we share the same, so maybe I'll invite her parents to come to that one. Thanks for pointing that place out Silvia. Question about the restaurant though - should I definitely eat in the main dining room? I don't own a jacket (although I probably should) so I'd have to buy one beforehand and I saw on the website that you need one in the main dining room.

If the food is good at Tangerine, I'm inclined to keep that one on the list because my girlfriend will be fine with the small portions and because I'd make reservations for Friday night there so we could go out to the bars afterwards.

List now looks like this:
1) Alma de Cuba
2) The Prime Rib
3) Mercato
4) Tangerine
5) Estia

What about Washington Square?

Jul 19, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Planning early for next restaurant week....opinions/feedback appreciated

Link to restaurants available to save time:

http://www.centercityphila.org/restau...

At least I am assuming that these will be the ones anyway. I guess the link lists the ones that participated in the last one so I just used this list to make my choices.

Jul 19, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Planning early for next restaurant week....opinions/feedback appreciated

Ok well the last time I kinda forgot about restaurant week (plus I am an accountant so I was starting to get busy at work anyway) but now I'm looking ahead to the next one coming up in September. Since my birthday is also during this week and because we missed out on the last one, I have decided that my girlfriend and I are going to one restaurant each day and I want to get my reservations in EARLY since I always procrastinate and then never get what I want.

Here are the 5 that I am thinking about making reservations for:

1) Alma de Cuba
2) Amada
3) Mercato
4) Tangerine
5) Upstares at Varalli (if I can get a window seat overlooking the Ave of the Arts)

Other possible choices are Cuba Libre (if no Alma reservations), El Vez, Estia, Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, Susanna Foo.

I have been in Philly for two years now and haven't really experienced much of the dining experience of the city, so I am just looking to try some new places and see how the atmosphere/service/etc. is without breaking the bank.

The only places that I have eaten in the city are Overtures, Matyson, and Valanni - all of which were nice. I live in Manayunk so most of the time I just grab something there.

Now my questions.....which restaurant should I go to during my birthday night (Wed) and are any of the ones that I mentioned to be avoided?

Thanks.

Jul 19, 2007
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Birthday dinner recommendations in Philly

Ok so I have reservations for both nights this weekend. Friday night (her birthday) we are going to Overtures. Saturday we are going to the Reading Terminal Market for a while and then dinner at Matyson. I wanted to have one night where it was more quiet so that's why I chose to go with the recommendation of Overtures for Friday and then I think I am taking her to Helium Comedy Club on Saturday night so I wanted something a little more casual and in the area and with all of the reviews on this board that is why I chose Matyson.

I just have two other questions now. Is Matyson a place where we wouldn't feel uncomfortable if we wore jeans and a nice sweater or nice button-down shirt? I guess I just wanted to be more comfortable at the comedy club and would prefer wearing this if we wouldn't be out of place. The other question was if anyone could give me any good recommendations for wine, as I do not drink it (beer only usually) and have no clue what to get, although I did tell her that we were going to a BYOB so she could pick out a wine that she likes.

Thanks for all the advice so far and I'll let you know how it turns out.

Oct 10, 2006
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Birthday dinner recommendations in Philly

What about these places?

Ristorante Panorama
Positano Coast

These were recommended to me by people that I work with so I thought I'd get your feedback first before really considering them.

I was thinking that maybe I should stick with italian because her favorite food is Penne Vodka. Panorama looks pretty nice inside and the food looks reasonably priced but I'm not sure how expensive the meal will be with the flights of wine - perhaps someone could elaborate more on that concept. Do they basically choose a recommended wine for the type of food that you get or how does that work? Thanks again for everything.

Oct 05, 2006
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Birthday dinner recommendations in Philly

Thanks for the recommendations so far...I really appreciate them. What type of place is Matyson? I see that a lot of people on this board seem to like it and I looked at the menu and it looks ok and actually seems reasonably priced as well. My main question was regarding the atmosphere and would we be overdressed if we were wearing say like dress pants and a nice button up shirt for me and something similar for her. Sorry I'm probably sounding kind of dumb but I don't go out to eat that much in the city so I don't really know. I just remembered reading a review in which the reviewer said that they felt it was more on the casual side than some other places and not as appropriate for a special occasion.

Oct 05, 2006
dave80jc in Pennsylvania

Birthday dinner recommendations in Philly

I am looking for places to take someone out for their birthday next Friday or Saturday night in Philadelphia. The neighborhood doesn't really matter that much but I was thinking more along the lines of Rittenhouse, Old City, or Center City. I guess I am somewhat open to the type of food although I know that I don't want anything asian. Maybe something like American, Spanish, or Italian. I'd like to try to stay in the price range of something less than $150 for everything including tip and drinks. I have read several reviews about the quality of food at various restaurants but I guess the reason that I am asking is that I think that for an occasion dinner I would be more inclined to put an emphasis on the atmosphere than having the absolute best food possible. In other words, I am looking for something that's more romantic/quiet but still worth going to as far as the eating is concerned as opposed to a noisier place even if the food is better.

I also need to find a place for good dessert as I may possibly take her out to dinner on Friday night and then some place else for dessert in the city on Saturday. Suggestions are welcome and very much appreciated.

Oct 04, 2006
dave80jc in Pennsylvania