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Philadelphia Suggestions,"Brag-Worthy" Restaurant


shelly59
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At the beginning of the school year I made a deal with my now 16 year old nephew that if he pulled an A average each marking period I would take him to a really cool "brag-worthy" place in Philly. Well, he came throught (YEA!!!) and it's time to pay-up. :biggrin: So, he is a fairly sophisticated foodie and, being 16, is looking for bragging rights as well. Money is no object. I welcome any suggestions.

Thanks.

Edited by shelly59 (log)
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I'm told the food at Delilah's (the strip club, not the RTM soul food place) is pretty good. If you could smuggle him in, it would DEFINITELY be bragworthy for a sixteen-year-old boy...

... but I'll let somebody else chime in with more useful suggestions.

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I'm told the food at Delilah's (the strip club, not the RTM soul food place) is pretty good.  If you could smuggle him in, it would DEFINITELY be bragworthy for a sixteen-year-old boy...

... but I'll let somebody else chime in with more useful suggestions.

:laugh: It certainly would be bragworthy. And his mother would KILL me. :raz::laugh:

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I'm told the food at Delilah's (the strip club, not the RTM soul food place) is pretty good.  If you could smuggle him in, it would DEFINITELY be bragworthy for a sixteen-year-old boy...

... but I'll let somebody else chime in with more useful suggestions.

:laugh: It certainly would be bragworthy. And his mother would KILL me. :raz::laugh:

Ah, just ask mom if she really wants to encourage good grades or not...

Anyway, I don't really know what places would be bragworthy to a 16-year-old (have you asked him?), but Morimoto seems like a good bet. It has the celebrity thing going for it; sushi impresses a lot of people; and the kids nowadays like Japanese stuff.

Alternatively-- and if the kid is a little adventurous-- why not see if you can't get somebody to set up an offal tasting menu? I think Cochon can do that for you, and I bet there are other places. Ansill, maybe? Your nephew would be able to tell all his friends about all the odd organ meats he tried.

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Another vote for Distrito. And if he really likes sushi, take him to Fuji in Haddonfield. Better than Morimoto and will arrange a kick ass omakase for you with appropriate notice. Sit right at the bar and have Chef Matt Ito take you through your meal. That would impress anyone...

Katie M. Loeb
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Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
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Almost no 16 year-olds are foodies but they do appreciate the highly unusual, so Delilah's is not far off base.

Someplace with a belly dancer or Hooters, yes, Hooters, or an upscale equivalent, if there is such a thing. 25 years ago my wife and I went to the Ritz in Newport Beach in CA and there were paintings of nudes on the wall.

Buddakan, Pod or one of those Argentinian places where they come around with meat on a stick. If he may bring a friend, so much the better.

If food is more important than the bragging rights, take him to a high end place worthy of its reputation and arrange for him to go back to the kitchen and meet the chef. La Croix is set up for that I'd bet Marc Vetri would also be game.

BTW, you're a cool aunt!

Edited to add: I just checked out the Distrito website. He'd probably like it!

Edited by Mano (log)

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Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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I guess the issue is what sort of restaurant provides bragging rights to a 16-year-old? Even if nephew is a big ol' foodie, I doubt his buddies will have heard of, or care about, Fuji or Distrito.

I like Mano's idea of a place where he can go backstage, as it were, and meet the chef. That'd be pretty neat, I imagine.

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Honestly, if the criterion is "bragging rights," the best place I can come up with is Morimoto, i.e. owned by a big-name celebrity chef. Sit at the bar, get the omakase. It will impress his friends because there is at least a chance some of them will have heard of it, and it will impress him because the food is good and sitting at the bar is fun.

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

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When my son was 16, quantity was the most important part of his diet.

Rodizio is the thing. They'll keep bringin' it!

Combining ideas, take him with some buddies to Picahna in NE Philly. They'll eat like kings, and the cost for several will be less than for two at Fogo.

Edited by Mummer (log)

Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

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Food trumps bragging by a long-shot. Our agreement was that if he made the grades we would go to the best place food-wise. Naturally if he can get both... :cool: , but he really enjoys going out to good restaurants. Meeting the chef would be awesome.

Vietri looked like a place he would love, especially if he got to go behind the scene and meet the Chef. The Tasting Menu looked like a wonderful experience as well. I wonder if they would do it for just 3 of us?

Trying to find out if he likes French food as LeCroix looked nice, too.

I really am appreciative of the responses. I would NEVER have come up with meeting the chef and I know that is something he would go for in a big way as he is contemplating going into a Culinary program for college, or Chemistry, he is torn right now! :huh:

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Vetri is a very good choice, because it will be be both good and impressive, and it's an intimate-enough space that you might end up interacting with the chef just by accident. That being said, if chatting with Marc Vetri in particular would make or break the experience, you should mention this when you reserve and ask if it can be arranged.

Marc Vetri is much more likely to be in the Vetri kitchen on any given day than most high-profile chefs are in theirs, so your odds are good, but he does bounce between there and Osteria, and surely occasionally has other commitments, so you never know for sure. This is true of all restaurants with "name" chefs. The restaurant has a Chef de Cuisine that would surely be there, if meeting "the chef" is the goal.

As for Lacroix, you can indeed get an impressive dinner there (although some recent reports have been mixed) but I'm not sure I'd call the menu "French."

If that's what you're looking for, there's of course Le Bec Fin, which, for better or worse, has changed concepts such that you don't have to spend a bazillion dollars on a prix fixe extravaganza. As with Lacroix, recent reports have been uneven, but dinner there certainly would be impressive, and brag-worthy (and from your perspective, not necessarily ruinously expensive, especially if you stuck to ordering a la carte.)

But some of the other ideas, like Rodizio, or high-end sushi, might be even more appealing to him, you should probably ask! If he is indeed a foodie, he might have some place he's been dying to try.

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

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When my son was 16, quantity was the most important part of his diet.

Rodizio is the thing.  They'll keep bringin' it!

Combining ideas, take him with some buddies to Picahna in NE Philly.  They'll eat like kings, and the cost for several will be less than for two at Fogo.

I must second Charlie's suggestion. Here's a link to a thread I started a while ago:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...4377&hl=picanha

Your 16 year old nephew will love this place as long as he is a meat eater. Non stop dizzying array of meats all wonderfully prepared.

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Vetri if the food is most important. Morimoto if the bragging rights are. Le Bec Fin is also a high-end extravaganza with chandeliers and a dessert cart and another trappings of luxury, so is probably unlike anything he's had before. (And since he's 16 you don't have to worry about the ruinously high wine pricing.)

Brunch at Lacroix seems like it would also be sumptuous, and isn't part of the buffet set up in the kitchen?\

Regardless of what you choose -- what a lucky nephew, and what a great reward for a job well done!

Cooking and writing and writing about cooking at the SIMMER blog

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i notice you're in delaware. if you're okay with outside of philly, gilmore's in west chester is an excellent choice, as is the birchrunville store cafe, which has a 6 course tasting menu. i rank the birchrunville store cafe tasting menu as one of the best meals i've eaten.

"The perfect lover is one who turns into pizza at 4am."

Charles Pierce

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Another vote for Vetri here. For my father's birthday last year, we asked the maitre d' to arrange a tour of the restaurant after dinner, and they were only too happy to do so. This included the kitchen as well as the wine cellar and charcuterie room. Vetri himself was out of town, but chef de cuisine Brad Spence was generous enough to spend a few minutes talking to my dad even though service was still going on.

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Wow, thanks so much for all the input. :biggrin:

After speaking with my sister, I reached out to Vetri and they could not have been nicer. We have a reservation for the 9:30 Grand Menu seating on the 24th of this month. I did let them know that he was very interested in meeting Chef Vetri, but if Chef Vetri is not available that night, I am sure that my nephew will be just as thrilled to speak to the Chef de Cuisine.

I am keeping Le Bec Fin, Fogo, Buddakan,b Fuji, etc., in my back-pocket. He still has 2 more years of high school to go. And a birthday coming up! :wink:

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Wow, thanks so much for all the input.  :biggrin:

  After speaking with my sister, I reached out to Vetri and they could not have been nicer. We have a reservation for the 9:30 Grand Menu seating on the 24th of this month.  I did let them know that he was very interested in meeting Chef Vetri, but if Chef Vetri is not available that night, I am sure that my nephew will be just as thrilled to speak to the Chef de Cuisine.

  I am keeping Le Bec Fin, Fogo, Buddakan,b  Fuji, etc.,  in my back-pocket. He still has 2 more years of high school to go. And a birthday coming up!    :wink:

Are you taking applications for additional nephews/nieces? If so, where should I send mine?

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