Philadelphia restaurants for dinner

I'd be very grateful for any Philly restaurant recommendations for a fancy dinner for 2 seniors. Continental menu. They are very hip and love great food but spicy cuisine, colorful neighborhoods, scantily clad waitresses, um, not so good. It's an anniversary so the attention needs to be on them and not the surroundings. Thanks so much for any ideas.

  • Posted by: Pegeen
  • October 21, 2013


Pegeen October 23, 2013
Bevi, I have to phone Eastern State to get some wheelchair info and will ask about any food places across the street. Thanks for the tip! It would probably be better than eating at the cafe at the Barnes museum.
Bevi October 24, 2013
Pegeen, it's the OCF Cafe directly across the street on Fairmount. The food is good, the coffee is great, and the staff is ever present and very helpful. the space is large and pleasant, with full views of the ESP.
Pegeen October 23, 2013
For any Philly area folks, if you don't already know about the Halloween fear-fest at Eastern State Penitentiary, you might want to check it out. Warning: scary.
Pegeen October 23, 2013
Yes, ATG, Fork got very mixed reviews.

I've plowed through these great suggestions plus the other Hotline thread mentioned above. Thanks so much everyone for the input - very helpful.

I read a lot of menus and reviews, phoned a few places and the final choice is Bistrot La Minette. (When do you add a T to the end of "Bistro"?)

I would gladly have sprung for Vetri but when I spoke with the restaurant, they explained the weeknight menu would be Chef's choice which, after discussion, was not going to be too broad. That just wouldn't work with my two seniors. After all was said and done, Bistrot La Minette seemed perfect. My guests love French cuisine, not too formal or informal, and they'll have plenty of choices to accommodate their food preferences. And it's budget friendly compared to a lot of other venues.

We're doing the Barnes museum first, then maybe a short twirl around Eastern State Penitentiary (where Al Capone hung out for a while in a cell with Oriental carpets - they watch Boardwalk Empire, so I thought they'd get a kick out of that). Then on to our great dinner.

Thanks again everyone - very helpful to get your advice.
Bevi October 23, 2013
The Barnes will rock your world. Be prepared for artwork overload as you exit!
There is a cute lunch spot directly across the ESP - if anyone can give the name, that would be great.
LucyS October 23, 2013
So glad to hear you picked Bistro! I love it. I hope you enjoy your meal.
ATG117 October 22, 2013
I highly disliked fork. The service was horrendous and the food, really very subpar. I would second vernick and fitter. I've also enjoyed twenty manning, but as a second option.
LucyS October 22, 2013
Here's a previous thread that might be helpful!

To my previous answer I will add: Bistro La Miniette is my favorite at the moment. Bibou is also a great, traditional French restaurant. Two places where I’ve had great meals (in Queen Village and it’s usually not hard to get a reservation) are Ela and the Mildred. I wasn’t as crazy about Amada, Amis, or Zahav, but I’ve only been to each once. Vetri will be amazing I’m sure but I haven’t made it – so expensive! If you want more inventive/experimental then Sbraga is really good. I’ve heard great things too about Fitler Dining Room and Vernick, near Rittenhouse, but haven’t been able to get a reservation yet. I love Philly restaurants, let us know what you decide!
Pegeen October 22, 2013
Thanks everyone - it will be fun researching these. Fork sounds good too though the reviews of food vs service seem very mixed. I'll be taking them for this dinner late next week and will try to let you know how the meal goes. ChezHenry, yes, the Black Bass is a lovely stop during a drive in Buck's County but I haven't yet seen their renovation. And wouldn't it be wonderful if you could hire the ladies at Canal House to do a private dinner!
ChezHenry October 22, 2013
We wish there were better choices in Bucks! Ive owned a home in Solebury for 15 years. The best, by far, is Brian's in Lambertville. Amazingly reasonable, beautifully prepared 3 course Prix Fixe dinner, BYOB, make a stop at Philip's Mill Wine store in Stockton prior. The only other choice is the Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville, right on the Delaware River. Beautiful setting, ask for a table with River views. Brians is french in its leanings, the Black Bass more nouveau American, and they have a full bar and reasonable wine list. The Bass was recently gutted and renovated, its very nice.
ATG117 October 21, 2013
LE virtu, vedge, barbuzzo, zahav, bistro la minette (for great French).. On the square, theres parc, which is your standard bistro--good food, but nothing special. Dandelion is also good and right in the middle of rittenhouse square.
em-i-lis October 22, 2013
I LOVE bistro la minette! zahav, tho rather dark and loud, is delicious. amada is great too!
LucyS October 22, 2013
I've been trying to make it to Barbuzzo! And Bistro La Minette is my absolute favorite. The chef there did a dinner at Cook, where they have people to do dinner and cook in front of you, and it was so fun and delicious.
Pegeen October 21, 2013
ChezHenry, since you know the Bucks County area, any particular recommendations in New Hope or Lambertville? I could take them there instead of staying in Philly.
usuba D. October 22, 2013
Agreed, go to Lambertville. Best selection of restaurants in the area
ChezHenry October 21, 2013
Vetri might be a tough reservation to get. Three other gret choices are Marc Vetri's Amis, Barclay Prime for Steak, and La Castagne for elegant Italian. I own a home in Bucks County PA, and have dined out alot in Philly. Be forewarned, these are expensive eats, strangely so for a town like Philadelphia, dinner for 2 can easily top $200, depending on drinks?
ChezHenry October 21, 2013
Vetri is a perfect choice. The space was the original Le Bec Fin, small, intimate townhouse. I celebrated my wifes 40th there, I won some serious points!
Pegeen October 21, 2013
jimmyray, Vetri is exactly what I came up with in my initial search. Thank you!
jimmyray October 21, 2013
Meant to say "Vetri," not vetting.
jimmyray October 21, 2013
Vetting would be a great choice. Research it to make sure it fills the bill.
Pegeen October 21, 2013
p.s. Or serious French menu. Italian could also work. Or as I mentioned, continental.
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