When it comes to fine dining, Philadelphia offers patrons a wide variety of choices. For some, an upper-echelon selection like Volver may be in line with the evening activities. For others, a choice such as the Fountain may be more to their liking. Whatever your tastes and ambiance preferences, there is sure to be a venue suitable in the City of Brotherly Love. Serious foodies who love a great meal, or who swear by a certain chef will appreciate the plethora of choices available to them here.
Well-known city restauranteur Jose Garces shines at yet another venture, Volver and Bar Volver, located in the Kimmel Center and offering a new experience in dining where tickets are purchased instead of reservations. If Japanese is what you're in the mood for, Morimoto shines as a stand-out option. French food in line with your vision of upscale dining? Perhaps a visit to Treemont will complete your evening in style. Steakhouses do not take a backseat when it comes to fine dining, with a list of quality establishments coming to mind. From appetizer to salad to entree, dessert and even drinks, the venues in Philadelphia stack up to any choosy diner's palate. Come experience the variety and the quality there is here.
Gracing the East Passayunk neighborhood is Le Virtu, a restaurant inspired by all of the best qualities of Abruzzo, Italy. From farm-fresh ingredients obtained from nearby Lancaster, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the way they serve their dishes to their great culinary traditions, it is a true dining experience. Dishes range "from sea to mountain" and combine traditional favorites with dishes that present ingredients in entirely new and exciting ways. For Italian cuisine done with a fresh take, along with the option to enjoy that delicious meal outside in the fresh, warm-weather, don't miss the opportunity to dine at Le Virtu. (215-271-5626)
This BYO bistro serves up French-inspired cuisine to South Philadelphia diners looking for a fresh alternative to fine dining. Chef Nicholas Elmi, who has cooked at other top Philadelphia restaurants like Le Bec Fin, fills his menu with just fourteen choices, comprising four courses. The a la carte menu is available on weekdays. With room for just 24 in his eatery, the atmosphere and the experience is both intimate and personal. Whether you're starting out with the melon and yuzu potage, moving on to the arctic char, or digging into the roasted walu, your taste buds will awaken and thank you. End with chef-chosen cheeses and local honey. ((215) 271-8299)
Capital Grille - Philadelphia
From inspiring seafood dishes to amazing steak options, the Capital Grille delivers a solid dining experience to patrons in Philadelphia. Located next to City Hall, this traditional mainstay is a great place to fill up on food as well as conversation. Get an order of the lobster cakes or delve into a Kona steak that's cooked-to-order. Sample the lobster bisque, compliment things with an order of truffle fries and snag a cocktail to boot. Desserts will end your meal with a sweet and decadent wave. Try some of the delicious coconut creme pie or a piece of their creme brulee. (2155459588)
Located on the 19th level of the Park Hyatt, this striking restaurant and lounge is just the place to savor a good meal, entertain a business client or raise a glass for a special occasion. Come here with the intention of spending a special night out, be it with coworkers or a special someone or two. A beautiful marble bar adorns the interior, and three cozy window seats give it romantic appeal. There are also places to step out and view the city, so don't miss them. Choosing among the 19 specialty cocktails may be tough, but nothing else at this lavish spot should be. Have a seat on one of the rich brown banquettes, and sip a martini over candlelight. The food, the drinks, the view all combine to make this venue a top-notch choice. (215-790-1919)
Butcher & Singer
Feel free to break out your faux furs and finest cuff links when heading out for an elegant meal at Butcher & Singer. This restaurant, located in swanky Rittenhouse Square, features soaring ceilings and oodles of old Hollywood glamour. Service is known to be impeccable, and the dishes are out-of-this-world delicious. Begin your culinary experience with classic cocktails and scrumptious crab cakes followed by the dry aged porterhouse, perfectly charred on the outside and oh-so-juicy on the inside. Patrons visiting here also unanimously recommend the blissful baked Alaska with homemade banana ice cream to finish off your meal. It's hard to go wrong with a lineup like that! (215-732-4444)
Moshulu is an old 1905 four-master ship, now docked on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Of course, part of the charm of this establishment is that fact that it is indeed, a ship that one can eat on. Walking aboard and taking a seat on a ship is certainly a unique experience, and one that deserves to be experienced at least once. The Moshulu pays off with gorgeous scenery inside as well as up on top of the boat where one can watch the lighted boats leaving and arriving. The romantic table settings, great wine selections and desserts also add to the evening, which is sure to be one that won't be forgotten. (2159232500)
Neon colored booths lit from within, wavy bamboo walls and ceilings, and funky little tables in the lounge give this restaurant a super stylish, modern atmosphere. You may recognize chef Morimoto from his Iron Chef days, or even from Nobu in NYC. The menu he has assembled includes a number of entrees, including several dishes from Nobu, but for a truly unique Morimoto experience, you must order the Omakase. Make weekend reservations well in advance, and expect to make an evening of it; this is a dining experience, after all! In a place like this, however, anticipation and savoring your meal makes it all the more enjoyable! (215-413-9070, 267-238-3660)
With only 35 seats, this nationally acclaimed restaurant is booked one to two months in advance, so call way ahead for reservations. Chef-owner Marc Vetri prepares elegant "new" Italian cuisine, served only as a prix fixe menu for $135. Seasonally rotating entrees include unusual meats like chestnut fettucini with boar and cocoa, baby goat with freshly stone milled polenta and Texas antelope with squash and amarone sauce. The signature dessert, chocolate polenta souffl�, sounds wacky, but it's quite good. Business dress appropriate. Vetri closes for one week in January and two weeks in August, so call ahead if you're thinking about dining here during those months. (215-732-3478)
Lacroix At the Rittenhouse
At LaCroix you can build your own bloody Mary or allow yourself to be treated to a sparkling cocktail while dining on graceful Sunday buffet brunch entrees and salads like edamame hummus with naan bread; assorted caviar and house-cured charcuterie; and chestnut pot de creme. During the week, the buffet table at this four-star hotel-restaurant is laden with breakfast meats, smoked salmon and house-made granola, though smaller appetites will appreciate the a la carte options. Courses are served slowly with attention to detail and meant to be savored. They offer everything from small bites, to smoked fish and caviar, to hot stations which allow a tour of the kitchen and of course: the desserts and specialty chocolate. (215-790-2533)
Volver sets itself apart from the very beginning. Here, one buys a "ticket" rather than making a reservation, and "performances" are limited to 2 a night. Enter the stylish and relaxing upscale setting, and be prepared to escape from everything. Enjoy a multi-course meal complete with wine pairings like you've never tasted before. Begin with Siberian sturgeon caviar, deviled-egg duck liver mousse, or carnitas popcorn and move onto salads with live-lettuces from Jose Garces' garden. Then perhaps sample the Wagyu beef cooked on embers or the Monterrey Bay squid. Dessert finishes this exceptional experience off in style with carrot cake, blossoms and berries, or chocolate-in-textures. Dinner will not be cheap, but it will certainly be memorable. ((215) 670-2303)