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DiPalma/Vetri


Kim WB
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Hi..going to a wine tasting at Hyatt@Penns landing..a last minute schedule change allows us to dine out afterwards, rather than head back to Princeton. Tried to get into Vetri's, I'm on the wait list. Using the Zagat, I made a reservation at DiPalma's...its close by the Hyatt and the Manager at the Hyatt, a bus associate, reccommended it a while ago.

Looking for Opinions...four people, 8:30 ish reservation, not ethnic or fish eaters, ( the men, at least), so while steakhouse is always an option, I thought an Italian place with a strong list of STuscan's might be anice finish...your input, please!

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Hi..going to a wine tasting at Hyatt@Penns landing..a last minute schedule change allows us to dine out afterwards, rather than head back to Princeton.  Tried to get into Vetri's, I'm on the wait list.  Using the Zagat, I made a reservation at DiPalma's...its close by the Hyatt and the Manager at the Hyatt, a bus associate,  reccommended it a while ago.

Looking for Opinions...four people, 8:30 ish reservation, not ethnic or fish eaters, ( the men, at least), so while steakhouse is always an option, I thought an Italian place with a strong list of STuscan's might be anice finish...your input, please!

How about Panorama? Italian food, 100+ wines on tap oops I mean cruvinet. It's at Front and Market, so it's not too far from your hotel either.

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in addition to fact that it's not as high end,

panorama probablt wouldn't be as good after a wine tasting.

don't know that you can fully appreciate a 100 + wine by glass list right

after going to a wine tasting.

no doubt it does have some super tuscans buried in there somewhere though.

don't dine high-end italian (or high-end at all) enough to comment with authority.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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thanks you..looking for an upscale,  high end place

If by "upscale, high-end" you mean novel Italian-themed cooking, you're not gonna find much approaching Vetri here.

If, on the other hand, you mean $$$ Italian, you might try Il Portico, in "Restaurant Row" along Walnut Street. I haven't been in a few years, but it was quite good. Maybe Katie can weigh in; she's across the street.

Il Portico in CitySearch

And if you mean classic, old-school Italian, I'll throw in a pitch for La Buca. Very charming, below-street mainstay just off Washington Square. It does feature fish, prepared tableside, but veal and beef dishes are also excellent. And the orecchiette (usually with chard, I think) is outstanding. And, they have an excellent cellar focusing on Super Tuscans.

La Buca

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Kim:

Are you attending the "trade" tasting in the afternoon, or the public tasting in the early evening? I'll definitely be there in the afternoon and will probably stick around for a bit of the evening festivities too.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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And if you mean classic, old-school Italian, I'll throw in a pitch for La Buca.  Very charming, below-street mainstay just off Washington Square.  It does feature fish, prepared tableside, but veal and beef dishes are also excellent.  And the orecchiette (usually with chard, I think) is outstanding.  And, they have an excellent cellar focusing on Super Tuscans.

Yeah, what's up with La Buca anyway? They've been there for like forever-- but I never talk to anybody who eats there. And I live nearby-- but I never see anyone going in. I'm fully prepared to believe that it's a good restaurant, I just wonder who eats there...

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Kim:

Are you attending the "trade" tasting in the afternoon, or the public tasting in the early evening?  I'll definitely be there in the afternoon and will probably stick around for a bit of the evening festivities too.

We have tix to the public tasting, but the private reception before hand. However, the clients we are bringing may not be able to leave Princeton earlier in the day to make it to the earlier reception, so we might just be at the general tasting. We will not stay long...and hour and a half, tops. The general admission tasting is so ridiculously crowded, in past expereince, so if its the same we won't linger.

Il Portico is an option, but we've been before. Ideally, I'd like to stay int he Penn's landing area..thst's why I was looking for specific Dipalma info..but we've tried a few times to get into Vetri, and I put our name on the wait list just in case the opportunity arose.

Cinghale, when you say " won't find much approaching Vetri here", do you mean DiPalma or Panorama?

When I say high end, upscale, I mean men in jackets, quiet, grown up atmosphere, service oriented, well prepared food, strong wine list. Highend and upscale are such generic, subjective terms, I should not have (over!) used them! :smile:

thanks all.

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Kim:

Frederick's on Front Street is quite "grown-up" and seems like it suits your criteria. It's about five blocks or so away. I'd also suggest La Veranda which is just a little further north on Delaware Avenue. It's a bit of a "family" restaurant, if your family is in the cement or trash business, if you get my drift, but it's supposedly quite good and also seems like it fits what you're looking for.

I'd still go to Panorama, even after a wine tasting, and just not do flights of wine. You won't find a better selection of wines by the glass ANYHWERE, and the wine list itself is excellent. I'm very fond of their lamb Bolognese pasta. It's not super formal or stuffy, but still a very nice restaurant.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Kim:

It's a bit of a "family" restaurant, if your family is in the cement or trash business, if you get my drift, but it's supposedly quite good and also seems like it fits what you're looking for.

Katie, that is a very amusing description! :smile:

So, I'm not hearing anything about DiPalma's...I'll assume Zagat's raves are misplaced. Frederick's sounds like the winner so far, although I was unable to find a review or website...

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Cinghale, when you say " won't find much approaching Vetri here", do you mean DiPalma or Panorama?

When I say high end, upscale, I mean men in jackets, quiet, grown up atmosphere, service oriented, well prepared food, strong wine list.

Haven't been to DiPalma, I eat often at Panorama. It's just that Vetri, IMO, is nearly sui generis here in Philly -- Italian or otherwise.

La Buca is certainly "grown up". Some might say "tired"; others, "retro" or "old-school". I'd say it's more "classic". Men in jackets? Waitstaff in jackets. Much of their staff has been there for years. And the atmosphere is distinctly "adult" -- it's generally quiet, easy to carry on a conversation. The food is not novel or super-creative, just very well executed. And again, they pride themselves on their cellar. I'm no wine geek, but I've sampled through many of their Super Tuscans and have always come away happy.

And as far proximity to the Hyatt, it's closer than Vetri. La Buca is off Washington Square, which is next to Independence Hall.

Andrew: I think they draw an older, WashWest/Soc. Hill crowd, diners less concerned about restaurant buzz than consistently good food.

Katie: If Frederick's has the live music, that can be a pain, no? And my one visit to La Veranda left me unimpressed. I agree on Panorama -- but it's the wild mushroom risotto that's killer!

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[ It's just that Vetri, IMO, is nearly sui generis here in Philly -- Italian or otherwise.

Thanks, ther was a lot of helpful info in that post, and I'm getting a more clear idea of each place...but, umm.....what does sui generis mean? I'm guessing generic?

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umm.....what does sui generis mean? I'm guessing generic?

Inimitable, one-of-a-kind, an unicum. Nothing else quite like it ... in Philly (again, IMHO). There are many fine restaurants here, just that no one cooks quite like Marc Vetri (and soon, Bryan Sikora -- again, again IMHO).

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umm.....what does sui generis mean? I'm guessing generic?

Inimitable, one-of-a-kind, an unicum. Nothing else quite like it ... in Philly (again, IMHO). There are many fine restaurants here, just that no one cooks quite like Marc Vetri (and soon, Bryan Sikora -- again, again IMHO).

Wow, I'm glad I asked, a nd will persevere to get in there, eventually! Most likely not Thursday,, but hopefully soon!

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Kim:

Here's a link to a review of Frederick's. It seems they get good marks for food, mixed reviews on service. No specific mentions of the wine list.

I'd still stick with Panorama of the choices you've given, other than snagging that miracle last minute reservation to Vetri!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Katie, I hate to drive you crazy, or anyone else for that matter, and this will sound like a snobbish question...but if you knew our clients,a nd our limitations, you'd understand...Will there be a chance of anyone in jeans at Panorama? And are their tableclothes?

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there is a reasonable likelihood of someone in jeans at panorama.

and i'm pretty sure they have tablecloths, if not something better like really nice table surfaces.

even though it was years ago that i dined there, would've noticed something particularly gaudy like lack of tablecloths on an unappealing surface.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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Kim:

I've not seen anyone in jeans, per se, although Panorama is located at the Penn's View Inn, where there may be toursits staying that are dressed more casually than a suit (khaki trousers and collared shirt). I've always seen folks looking at least "business casual" there, and certainly in the dining room proper, but perhaps a phone call to their front desk will reveal whether they actually have a dress code, and if it is enforced. They certainly do have tablecloths and nice china and glassware. Lots of exposed brick walls. The room with the 120 bottle cruvinet is the coolest place, IMHO, and gives you and your guests an idea of the depth and breadth of the wine selection available there. I've often seen groups of what appear to be business meetings going on in there.

Are these clients that uptight that they'd rather eat mediocre food with other stuffy "suits" than have a truly memorable wining/dining experience even if there's some fool in jeans across the room? You are a far more patient lass than I am. I'd tell them to loosen up! :wink:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Are these clients that uptight that they'd rather eat mediocre food with other stuffy "suits" than have a truly memorable wining/dining experience even if there's some fool in jeans across the room?  You are a far more patient lass than I am.  I'd tell them to loosen up!  :wink:

LOL..to give you an idea, the client's wife's favorite Philly restaurant is Striped Bass..but her husband finds it too "modern". ??? Go figure. He likes quiet, white table clothed places with elegant place settings, dark panelled walls, rich fabrics, and unobtrusive waiters. Nothing funky, modern or casual. If I have to pick food over decor, for this guy, decor would win..that's why I was trying to find a restaurant that had great food, and this kind of elegance. I really appreciate your help.

Kim

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Are these clients that uptight that they'd rather eat mediocre food with other stuffy "suits" than have a truly memorable wining/dining experience even if there's some fool in jeans across the room?  You are a far more patient lass than I am.  I'd tell them to loosen up!  :wink:

hey katie,

call me a blasphemer but,

remember not everyone is as into food as we are.

some just eat to live.

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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thank you all again...I've printed out info on Frederick's DiPalma and panorama...I'm going to insist that my husband make the final decision..and our driver is from Philly, he moonlights for a limo company on days off, so he is also usually a good source of info. thank you, thank you!

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Kim:

Please don't fail to report back on your Vetri dinner. And of course whether it was up to snuff with your fussy clients :wink:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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