Center City District’s annual Restaurant Week is coming to Philadelphia September 13-18th, and 20-25th, and it looks to be the biggest one yet. Not only will the majority of the top restaurants throughout the city be offering the usual 3 course dinner special for $35, for the first time ever many will be offering a three course lunch special for as low as $20. The Reading Terminal Market is set to feature cooking demo’s that will showcase the talents of Valanni’s Executive Chef John Strain, Smokin’ Betty’s Executive Chef Gregory Aversa and a few others. And for the first time ever you will be able to keep track of Restaurant Week’s Twitter Feed for the newest menu additions – Philly Restaurant Week Twitter.
But while you might be interested all of that, the main thing you want to know is what places to go to. So here’s a look at some of the best bet’s for this year.
Chifa – Chef Jose Garces has been earning a lot of praise in the Philadelphia circuit. But since he’s set to be featured on the next Iron Chef (Jose Garces on Iron Chef) the rest of the world will be taking notice soon. and when you try things like Chifa’s Empanada with jumbo lump crab and a sweet chile reduction, the rack of lamb with ginger, quinoa, and pickled cucumber; and it’s Chaufa Rice with chorizo, mango, edamame, and soy glazed scallops; you’ll realize just how deserving that praise is. Chifa
10 Arts by Eric Ripert – Jose Garces isn’t the only Philly chef to be recognized by TV. You might of seen Jennifer Carroll, the Cuisine Chef of 10 Arts, on this years season of Bravo’s Top Chef. And since their hand picked menu includes an heirloom tomato with fresh ricotta and a 24 year old balsamic vinegar, seared diver scallops with chorizo and a potato lemongrass emulsion, and a green tea rice pudding with cantaloupe and a yogurt elderflower sorbet; the reason why is understandable. 10 Arts
LaCroix at the Rittenhouse – Lacroix has been dubbed one of the best restaurants by Esquire, Gourmet Magazine, and the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. And it has been ranked among Conde Nast’s Restaurant Hot List. And since it’s Restaurant Week menu includes a cured pork loin with whipped potato and parmesan, trout w/ heirloom tomato, black garlic and heart of palm, and a Chocolate Hazelnut Panini w/ dulche de leche ice cream; you’ll understand why it earned such acclaim. Lacroix
Zahav – Michael Solomonov and his Israeli Restaurant were a prime choice for Best Of Philly 2008. And it has been mentioned in the pages of Esquire, and Bon Appetit, to name just a few. Course selection like it’s Hummus-tehina, Fried Kibbe with Tahini (lamb, bulgur wheat, pine nuts), and The Red Sea (salmon, pomegranate, cous cous) are sure to send you to the holy land. Zahav
Xochitl – This Mexican restaurant has been ranked #20 among the top restaurant of Philadelphia by Philadelphia Magazine, and #46 among the top bars of Philadelphia by Philadelphia Weekly. and it has been mentioned in the likes of Gourmet and Bon Appetit. And once you sample its delectable Sopes (Duck, goat cheese and chorizo on fresh masa tortillas with black beans), Ensalada de Higos ((Cinnamon-smoked figs with frisee, blue cheese and chipotle-jamaica vinaigrette), Bistec Azteca (Skirt steak a la plancha, with papaya-manzano mustard and chayote salad), and Tres leches cake with fresh berries; you’ll understand why. Xochitl
Noble an American Cookery – Noble is the newest offering by Bruno Pouget, the former owner of the successful Caribou Cafe. He has teamed with Todd Rodgers to bring in an exclusively North American wine and beer list, with 25 wines and 25 craft beers hand-selected to elevate each guest’s experience. And he teamed with Chef Steven Duane Cameron, who has worked his way through a series of increasingly prestigious chef positions, from working the line as a cook in the U.S. Virgin Islands to studying food in Barcelona to an apprenticeship at Kansas City’s acclaimed 40 Sardines, and culminating in his role as executive chef at Surf City, New Jersey’s wildly popular Blue. it is one of the newest restaurants to grace Philadelphia. And it’s first Restaurant Week menu features Roasted Bluefoots (kabocha, mizuna, dried tomato, pumpkin vinaigrette), a pan roasted wild east coast striped bass with purple potato salad and virgin sauce, and chocolate & peanut butter with PB marshmellow and berry sauce.Noble
But since their are well over 30 participating restaurants among a list thats constantly evolving, there’s a whole lot more places to check out. and thats why you need to go through the list and make reservations on Open Table (Open Table Philadelphia).