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Philadelphia Hotel/restaurant


davebr
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Im visiting In the later part of Janurary and I am looking for a great/cool Hotel with a great/cool restaurant. I have never been to Philadelphia. The only thing I have ever heard of is the Rittenhouse. The only restaurants I have heard of are Stephen Starr's. Are any of his places in a hotel? I do have one reservation for Saturday night at Morimoto.

Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

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The Rittenhouse hotel/Lacroix restaurant is indeed the most obvious combination. If it matters, both the hotel and restaurant are pretty pricey.

None of the Steven Starr restaurants are exactly in hotels, (I don't think the Barclay is a hotel right now, is it?) Pod is directly adjacent to The Inn at Penn, so that it's almost a hotel restaurant (but the non-Starr restaurant Penne is actually in the building.) I don't think they'll let you sleep at Morimoto...

While there are plenty of restaurants in hotels here, few of them are especially noteworthy. The exceptions might be: Panorama, in the Penn's View Hotel, renowned for its huge by-the-glass wine selection; Restaurant M, in the Morris House; and as you already know, Lacroix in the Rittenhouse.

You certainly wouldn't know it from their website, but Chef Lacroix is not directly involved in the restaurant any longer. We haven't had too many reports on the work of the new chef Matt Levin, but there's been some good buzz.

What else? The Four Seasons, I guess...

But to get back to your initial premise, Im not sure if any of those is a "great/cool" hotel, although both the Penn's View and the Morris House are small and charming. I think we might be lacking in cool hotels.

But we have plenty of great restaurants, feel free to ask for more advice, just give us some guidelines and we'll be happy to help!

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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But we have plenty of great restaurants, feel free to ask for more advice, just give us some guidelines and we'll be happy to help!

What are the "Must eats" from casual to fine dining? What is the Reading Terminal Market?

Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

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best hotel restuarant in the city is the Fountain room in the Four Seasons hotel. It is really pricey, but Martin Hamman hands down is the best chef in the city.

As for the other must eats, try Vietnam. And Cappo girro, Tria is very good. Ansils, Gayle are also very good. Vetri is excellent But also very pricey.

The Reading terminal market is a great place for people who enjoy food and it is a good stop to get a snap shot of Philadelphia.

Edited by matthewj (log)
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great/cool hotel with a pretty cool bar would definetly be the sofitel. easy access to everything in rittenhouse square and restaurant row on walnut street. i have stayed several times and always had fun time.

can't speak to the restaurant there, but with so many great options within walking dustance why bother?

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I second the Sofitel for a great/cool hotel in a fabulous location. It puts you in great walking distance of boatloads of great restaurants and other attractions, and the hotel itself is really great. The hotel restaurant is french (Chez Colette) and is good, but not great. Nearby places that are fun:

Tria--great for snacking with a little wine and cheese if your not in the mood for a full meal. Great people-watching in a fun location right off Rittenhouse Square.

Matyson--a small BYOB with interesting, creative food and great desserts

Starr's Alma de Cuba is nearby.

There are casual little Italian places all over the place. I'm fond of La Viola, another BYOB. Caffe Casta Diva is also great.

You pretty much can't go wrong staying in that part of town.

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The Rotunda at the Ritz Carlton is one of Philadelphia's greatest/coolest spaces. I had an excellent meal at the Grill there, also.

Capogiro gets my "must eat" vote.

Charlie, the Main Line Mummer

We must eat; we should eat well.

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My grandmother always stays at the Rittenhouse when she comes to visit and loves it there--it's her big treat once or twice a year. The rooms are quite gorgeous and spacious and the service great. She never ate there, though, except for room service breakfast which only got a mediocre review from her.

But the nice thing about there, or any of the other hotels in the Rittenhouse Square area, is that there are tons of wonderful restaurants all within walking distance, no matter what your prefernce in style, food, BYOB vs. interesting wine lists, etc. I'd say your best bet is to simply read through the many restaurant threads here and see what strikes your fancy.

As for the other must eats, try Vietnam.

Some of us would argue (forever, I'm sure), that Vietnam Palace is better... :wink:

sockii

__________________

| South Jersey Foodie |

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another hotel option is the warwick. more or less across the street from holly's reccomendation of the latham.both roughly the same price range. both a bit less expensive than the sofitel and not quite as "hip", but decent places. the warwick actually has a wonderful lobby to hang out in, and a decent bar.

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Some friends stayed at the Latham just a couple of weeks ago, and said that it was fine, if a little worn around the edges. You're right, Holly, that it's in a great location for food, but the the much newer Sofitel is only a couple of blocks away. For what it's worth, both the Sofitel and Latham seem to often have pretty good deals on rooms, especially on weekends. More budget left for eating!

Just a few steps up Sansom Street from the Sofitel is the Creperie Cafe, where I'd be pretty often if I were staying in the neighborhood. As noted, that location is not far from Tria, Matyson, La Colombe, Striped Bass, Brasserie Perrier, Le Bec Fin, snackbar, about 150 Italian BYOBs....

As for the don't-miss Philly eats, that sounds like a good topic of its own, if it isn't already!

But my shortlist would include:

For food that's not specifically Philadelphian, but would likely be highlights of your dining, I'd suggest snackbar, Amada, and Ansill, all three small-plates kind of places with very interesting cooking. Those are places I'd take foodie friends if they were visiting today.

In the more typically Philly zone -

The Reading Terminal Market for a general tour, but also a stop at DiNic's for a Roast Pork sandwich, a pretzel at Fisher's, and ice cream at Bassett's.

Don't even think about leaving town without trying Capogiro for gelato and sorbetto. Yes, even in January...

Get a cup of coffee at La Colombe. .

John's Roast Pork for a cheesesteak, because hey, you're in Philly, you might as well try the iconic sandwich, and it might as well be a good one. Or just get another roast pork sandwich... If you can't make it during their odd hours, Tony Lukes is not a bad fall-back.

A real Philly Hoagie - I vote for Sarcone's.

Try one (or more) of our inventive BYOB's: Matyson, Marigold, Django, Mandoline, Bistro 7... grab a bottle of wine from the State Store, check the Chairman's Selections for bargains.

A real South Philly homey Italian place: Marra's, Ralph's, Villa di Roma, etc for basic hearty Italian-American food. That's more of an authentic Philly experience than a dining thrill, but places like that can be good, especially if you don't get a lot of that style where you are.

There are also plenty of places that are more Italian than Italian-American: Melograno, Cafe Casta Diva, Radicchio, etc... Vetri has been mentioned more than once in national magazines as perhaps the best Italian restaurant in the country.

For a showy event of a meal, the Steven Starr places can fit the bill. If you're already planning on doing Morimoto, you'll get the experience, with a cool setting and good food. If you want to splurge, Le Bec Fin is classic, old-school French. Lacroix is a lovely space, and perhaps before you get here we'll hear more reviews of the food. Their $85 Sunday brunch is a pretty great way to kill a day eating...

Rangoon in Chinatown for Burmese food: partly because it's pretty hard to find most places, partly because it's just plain good

If you want other tasty, inexpensive ethnic eats, Philly's got good Vietnamese, Laotian, Malaysian, Sichuan, Ethiopian, and recently, Mexican.... If any of that sounds good, ask for details!

That's where I'd go. I'm sure others will chime-in with some other good ideas.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Club Quarters is a business hotel located in the Rittenhouse area (17th and Chestnut). The rooms, while not distinctive, are pretty nice and the location - near Rittenhouse - is central similar to the others previously mentioned. The advantage of it being a business hotel is that the rates are typically lower on the weekend...I've booked a few times through Hotwire and got some great deals at Club Quarters both in Philly and NYC.

The building is also home to Davios which bills itself as a northern Italian steakhouse. While I have never eaten in the restaurant itself, I did just have my rehearsal dinner for my wedding in their banquet space and found the food and service to be outstanding and even if you don't want to have an entire meal there, they have a great bar to have a drink and some appetizers - they make a mean philly cheesesteak spring roll.

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Another hotel option is Rittenhouse 1715 (I think it was formerly the Rittenhouse B&B), which is a recently refurbished boutique hotel. While I've never stayed there, nor can I imagine it's cheap, it is in a great spot for eats.

Within two blocks, you'll find two of the better burgers in the city: Good Dog's roquefort stuffed version or any of a variety of burgers at Monk's.

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  • 10 months later...

I didn't know where else to put this post but I had to post this somewhere.

Karen and I were in center city last night just sort of wandering about. We went to XIX for the oyster plate and were wondering where to go next. She suggested the Ritz, for another drink at another hotel bar; I remembered that my friend Keven Sbraga is the executive chef at the Grill and thought it would be nice to go say hello.

We went in and sat at the (closed) bar, waiting until he had time to come over and say hello. First of all the service is perfection itself. Everyone with hellos and smiles and "can-i-help-you"s trying to make sure that we were taken care of. Very refreshing when you haven't had that in a while. The room itself is a bit stuffy, but such is the nature of a fancy hotel. Kevin came over and while we were catching up Karen and I mentioned how much we love french food. He said "I've got something for you" and all of a sudden we had a full setting of silverware in front of us and the sommelier was asking us what she could bring.

First was a pate. The absolute best pate we've ever had. It was thick and moist and mild but flavorful. I forget everything that was in it but I know it had chicken liver and ground pork, bacon on the outside, served with pickled white beets (sliced thin like pickled ginger in a sushi spot) and dijon. Stunning.

Then escargot! It was our second favorite escargot we've ever had (you can probably guess the first). Served in the tiniest Le Creuset pots they stayed warm until we'd finished the dish (about a dozen). Herbs, butter, garlic, almost a buttery fondue like 20Manning's Kiong used to serve.

Then a perfectly textured saffron risotto. I can't remember what else was in that.

It turns out that these were the leftovers for a tasting menu for a restauranteur for an upcoming french bistro for a new hotel for a certain park.

Who knows how these things go, but wherever he ends up I will be first in the door. It was the best meal I've had in a long time and I've been thinking about it all day. I'm not sure what- if anything- he has left, but it might be worth stopping by if you're in the neighborhood. Karen and I just picked the right place to stop at the right time. Chef Sbraga will only be at the Grill at the Ritz for another month. If you do go, say hi and tell him I said he's doing a great job. Trust me, he'll laugh.

--

matt o'hara

finding philly

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the rittenhouse is nice but the bar is not, The Latham is nice for a room thats comfy and the best location to everything. Plus the doorman wears a funny horseback riding outfit. My room at the latham was very nice, from what I remember and very close to nightlife and restaurants. A nice bar is le bar lyonais downstairs at le bec fin if it is not crowded--- also the bar at the Prime Rib with the piano player is quite nice

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I've stayed at the Sofitel, but never eaten there. The Sofitel is probably one of the nicest hotels I have visited. My family and I booked a suite, which had a lot of space. I liked the location, too. Our rooms was very quiet, and high up in the hotel.

I have not eaten at any of the Philly hotels. My favorite places are in Reading Terminal Market. Definitely try a roast pork sandwich with greens and provolone at DiNics. Take the time to see the Dutch folk making baked goods and pretzels. A lot of people like to watch candy being made at Mueller's, too. I really enjoy a good gyro from Olympic in the RTM, too.

Have fun, and continue to ask questions here. Everyone is nice and helpful!

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The Four Seasons and the Ritz Carlton are the best hotels in Philly. I don't know if I would call them cool, but the service is next to none. In my opinion, the Lowes hotel is a great, cool hotel, in a great location at a decent price.

The one thing I have to ask is why are you not going to Vetri? This is in many peoples opinion, includng Mario Batali's, the best Italian restaurant in the US. Don't get me wrong, I loved everything about Morimoto, but Vetri is one of my top five in the world.

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I've had several mediocre meals at the Ritz and several fabulous ones at the Four Seasons. I've stayed at both several times too. FS is just fine, what you'd expect. RC is the least ritzy Ritz in the chain. Staff is well below the chain's par. Something has been wrong there since it opened.

RC has a beautiful bar, though.

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