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A Last Supper


oldcityoldie
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After many years living, drinking and dining in Center City Philadelphia, my husband and I are up and moving to Europe! His birthday is coming up and I want to use this last "big" dinner out to the fullest. We have hit all the "hot spots" several times (i.e. All Starrs spots, Django, Mattyson etc) and many more of the lesser knowns. I'm thinking some place with great food and a great, celebratory vibe, but above all I want it to be noteworthy and memorable! If you had one last dinner (for a long time at least) to have out in Philly where would it be?

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Deux Cheminees

The Fountain at the Four Seasons

Lacroix @ the Rittenhouse

Le Bec Fin

The Ritz Carlton

La Famiglia

Fuji in Cinnaminson, NJ for an omakase blowout of hedonistic proportions and to bring wine of my own choosing to go with it

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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Tony Luke's. I can't imagine anything more essentially Philly. :wink:

Oh, wait--you wanted a full-blown, pull-out-all-the-stops, memorable, sit-down, full-dress dinner?

I'd second Katie on the Four Seasons--all the other places on her list, I'm still waiting to try--and I'd add Susanna Foo to her list.

I'd add Striped Bass too if it weren't for the fact that I ate there before it got Starred. I imagine, though, that it's still spectacular.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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I'd agree with Tony Luke's, but I'd take the sitdown dining choices in the other direction from most people so far.

I'd figure you'll have awesome French and French-influenced food in Europe, so why not go with what you might not find in Europe?

(This may not be what you were thinking, so feel free to hammer this nail sticking up down.)

I expect Latin American and most African foods to not be well-represented, and I expect Asian cuisines to be represented but probably not as popular as in the US. I may well be wrong.

Pasion, Tierra Colombiana, Los Catrines, Azafran, La Lupe, Dahlak

The Smoked Joint, NanZhou Noodles, Xe Lua, Fuji (Cinnaminson)

(Bluezette/Delilah's)

And if you really like, you can go to that other Delilah's...

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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All the recommendations above are excellent restaurants. If it's one big blowout you want, then any of those mentioned (Deux Chiminee, Le Bec Fin, Lacrois, the Fountain, etc. -- will be suitably celebratory and memorable.

But all are local manisfestations of European culinary traditions. If it's Philadelphia you wish to commemorate food-wise (or at least, American food you will be hard-pressed to find good examples of in Europe), then I think you should look elsewhere.

One possibility that gets scant attention on this board is Jack's Firehouse. It's a fun place, the food is very well executed and inventive All-American. And what can be more Philadephian than a rowing scull suspended over the bar mere blocks from the Schuykill?

Pasion! If you haven't been there, you'll hate yourself for flying across the Atlantic without stopping here first.

Twenty21. Another wrongly neglected restaurant. Better salmon (or California wines) are hard to find in town. And this has got to be one of the more dramatic spaces around. More of a West Coast than Philadelphia sensibility. The only thing European about it is the extensive single malt list.

I'm a little reluctant to recommend one of my favs in town, the Sansom Street Oyster House. It's menu is emblematic of Philadelphia, but I'll admit even with its re-do a few years back the dining areas are not the most conducive to celebrations . . . unless you order lots of lobster!

Or, how about your favorite steak house?

I'm sure others can contribute ideas for other celebratory but less Euro-centric restaurants beyond the few I've mentioned. And you might want to consider taking a short trip to one of the better Delaware river inns up New Hope/Lambertville/Stockton way. Their menus may be too Continental, but the setting should overcome that infirmity.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Thank you all so much for your input! We've been to most of the places recommended (Four Seasons, LaCroix, Le Bec), but the one place we have not been is Pasion. I tend to agree with the postings saying that we are going to have access to our fair share of fantastic French food and other European cuisines, but will sorely miss the Latin American influenced fare, so I think Pasion is a good pick! Of course we will pay Tony Luke's a visit before leaving...just maybe for lunch!!

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yeah, pasion is a good choice, definitely. if it were up to me i'd go downscale before leaving philadelphia in general, but you said fancy, and that's why i thought of lacroix.

my theory is this: you can eat well for a lot of money almost anywhere, and especially in europe. eating great and with so many varieties for cheap isn't as easy everywhere. i'd definitely hit tequila's, plaza garibaldi, cafe de laos, the train, tony luke's, dinic's, pearl's etc. before heading out of town.

edited to say: not that tequila's is downscale. it's decidedly not. i'm going next week and i can't wait. man i wish they'd take reservations though.

Edited by mrbigjas (log)
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striped bass best restaurant in philly hands down the food is unreal.

The food is still very good, albeit the menu slightly different than it used to be. The room is still spectacular. The service is not at all as it used to be and I speak from knowing staff that worked under both regimes and quit because the standards were so much lower they chose not to be associated with it any longer.

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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Said it before, will say it again-- I've been to Pasion numerous times and last year's visit was among the most disappointing meals I've ever had. The place has slid down hill...

On the other hand, I'd strongly recommend Lolita. Of the places I miss most since moving away from Philly, that's near the top of the list. Others: Chloe, Rx, and Morimoto.

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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My last meal(s) in Philly would take place at the RTM, starting at the Down Home Diner or the PA Dutch place for breakfast, continuing to eat everything in the place--soft pretzels, ice cream, smoothies, fried chicken, fried seafood, a cheesesteak, topping it all off with Dinic's roast pork (and one final stop at Bassett's for a shake to go!).

John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

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What a heart-breaking thread. I had a "last supper" in Philly (I don't remember where it was) and I was sure I would not be back. Leaving Philly broke my heart instead, and I came back with my tail between my legs. If I could live anywhere in the world, anywhere, it would be Philly.

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What a heart-breaking thread. I had a "last supper" in Philly (I don't remember where it was) and I was sure I would not be back. Leaving Philly broke my heart instead, and I came back with my tail between my legs. If I could live anywhere in the world, anywhere, it would be Philly.

If I might ask, where were you born and raised?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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When I moved from Philly to Seattle (less drastic than moving to Europe) I tried to focus on distinctly Philly food -- or at least food that my new town wasn't going to be as good at (Italian in my case, though not in yours, and also Jewish deli fare) -- before I left. I get back once or twice a year now and it's always a race to fit everything in.

I agree that I'd definitely spend my last Saturday -- and did spend my last Saturday, and spend some day every time I return -- eating my way around Reading Terminal.

I also agree that Mexican/Latin American food is not generally well done in Europe, so that'd be something to get before you leave. How about La Tierra Colombiana?

I also made sure to go to Carman's, Standard Tap, and Taconelli's, not because you can't get stuff like that elsewhere, but because they're so darn good.

That said, I never went to Lacroix before moving, but I went there for a celebration meal on a trip back, and it sure was good.

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