Monday evenings can be dull and dreary, dinner spent on the couch after an exhausting first day back to work. Or they can be cause for celebration. As can Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday … you get the idea. Shake off the normalcy of weeknight dining and try something new during Center City District’s Restaurant Week, September 12 – 17 and 19 – 24.
The concept is well known: head to one of the city’s favorite eateries and indulge in three courses for a steal of only $35. Some locations even make the fun last all day, with similar lunch specials for $20. At such a ridiculously low price, its the best time to try that new spot you read about or take a risk on an exotic cuisine you’ve never had.
The list of participating restaurants is long — there are more than 100 spots to choose from — and the menus available inciting. How’s a gal to choose? Tastefully, of course.
Haute Living Philadelphia’s must list?
Butcher & Singer. The grown-up steak joint makes the perfect business lunch, or a great romantic escape with the guy from accounting. Classic cocktails deserve timeless dishes, so order the Caeser salad, Butcher Burger and creme caramel. Butcher & Singer is located at 1500 Walnut St., 215.732.4444, www.butcherandsigner.com.
Fork. The Old City stand-by can do no wrong, and a healthy lunch there still feels indulgent. We’d go with the roasted beets with goat cheese, house-made pappardelle with oven-roasted tomatoes and broccoli rabe then the late summer panna cotta. Fork is located at 306 Market St., 215.625.9425, www.forkrestaurant.com.
Sampan. This Asian hot spot is one of the city’s most popular after-work hangouts, so why not head over just a bit earlier. A large menu means endless possibilities, but may we suggest edamame dumplings with truffle and sake broth, a lobster roll with yuzu and chive and shrimp friend rice topped with kim che? Sampan is located at 124 South 13th St., 215.732.3501, www.sampanphilly.com.
Barbuzzo. Less than a month old, this Mediterranean space is already getting quite the buzz. If you haven’t had the chance to try it yet, why not take advantage of this gracious deal, since the ladies of Barbuzzo are offering four courses for their guests. Wed opt for the chicken liver crostini, sheep’s milk ricotta with figs, grilled bronzino and Meyer lemon tiramisu. Barbuzzo is located at 110 South 13th St., 215.546.9300, www.barbuzzo.com.
R2L. With skyline views of the twinkling city below, this newer establishment has an autumn-inspired menu that will make you want to jump a hayride. Squash and chestnut soup, beef short ribs with fava beans and sour cream and walnut apple pie. R2L is located at 50 South 16th St., 215.564.5337, www.r2lrestaurant.com.
Tweed. Another Midtown Village gem, this one outfitted in the latest men’s fashions. But don’t think everything here is buttoned up. Let loose with a supper of cheesesteak croquettes, a lamb burger topped with yogurt, dill and cucumber and a Boylan’s root beer float, made with root liquor ice cream. Tweed is located at 114 South 12th St., 215.923.3300, www.tweedrestaurant.com.