Philadelphia is a foodie heaven. While there I had a chance to sample a broad spectrum of their cuisine. Here are some of my favorite discoveries:
La Colombe Torrefaction – the coffee shop just off Rittenhouse Square does a brisk morning business. Most people take out, but the free internet and beautiful Italian china does attract a number of people to dine in. It’s a great place to relax, read a paper and get your morning java kick.
Jones – like a Jetson’s diner it’s near Independence Park and a great place to stop for lunch. It has the hip decor of a lounge and a down home Philly menu full of pierogies, matzo ball soup and make your own salad. You actually order your salad by checking off ingredients on a checklist, mesculun? check! The staff is friendly and the service is fast. Expect to wait if you arrive a noon, its a favorite lunch spot of the local business crowd as well.
Rouge – is a thriving hotspot overlooking Rittenhouse Square. That means it’s loud and it’s packed. Famous for their insanely huge (and delicious!) 1/2 lb. burgers and truffled french fries, it’s a great place to have lunch. Dripping Gruyere cheese, it’s the only burger you’ll ever eat with a fork. Try to score a sidewalk table if the weather is good. Great for people watching.
Twenty Manning – we were greeted by the chef himself when we arrived. It was the perfect beginning to a wonderful meal. We started with cocktails, I just had to have at the Geishatini, (basically a cosmo with plum wine, yum!) and then moved on to appetizers. My chive and pork potstickers were delicious, but the TravelGuy’s heirloom tomato soup with coconut gelato was divine. You’d never think to pair the tastes, but believe me it really works. Our entree was venison meatloaf made with foie gras, so rich! We finished the meal with the banana cake. We can’t wait to go back and experience this restaurant again. It was truly that good.
FriSatSun – on everyone’s list of must tries. It’s not got a lot of atmosphere, but the food was excellent. We had the special wild mushroom ravioli which arrived in a sauce so savory I almost licked the plate. Our entree was Cornish game hen stuffed with Italian sausage, pears, walnuts and tarragon. It was like Thanksgiving dinner done one better. All wines on their menu are priced just $10 over cost, so you are encouraged to imbibe and enjoy!
There are so many other neighborhoods and dining experiences to try. My list is limited by the fact that I was on foot. However, the neighborhood I was in was like a little slice of SoHo. Charming and packed with al fresco dining. I’m sure I’ll have to go back and try more things now that I know it’s such a great food town.