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It depends what you are looking for. Amada is nice. Jose Garces has 5 (I believe) places in Philly. All are small plate, high quality. The latest, called Garce's Trading Co., is Quince St. (between 11th and 12th) St. at Locust (a 10 block walk, but a nice walk). It has a PLCB store in it so it is essesntially a BYOB.

If you want a steak place, Try Union Trust which, I believe, is the best steak house in Philly. Ask for "X"...tell him Ratso sent you.

Society Hill also has great small place called "James" which is a 4-5 star place on 8th street.

Restaurants in Philly are like sex. Even a bad one is wonderful. While in the area, take a quick 55 minute drive to Atl. City to the Borgata to Bobby Flay Steak. Tell them Ratso and/or Xavier sent you. You WILL get a table.
Last edited by stevedunn
PLCB opened a small 60 degree, glass enclosed mini store. Customers can sit at a table, get some food and go into the "store" and pick out a bottle of wine. Server will open it and the restaurant supplies high quality stem ware. No charge from the restaurant. You pay for the wine separately to PLCB cashier; very easy. If you want a cold white, they have some in a cooler. Naturally, some otherrestaurants are pissed and have instituted a lawsuit. This place is very consumer friendly, albiet a bit pricey for food.
Back in the lovely 60s of a dreary Denver after the heatwave in Philadelphia. Thank you for the recommendations. We had Sunday brunch at Valanni. The food was great but they could have changed the Eurotrash music during the daylight hours. We had dinner on Sunday at The Wooden Nickel, comped at the hotel, to make up for the cockroach in our room that scared my wife. The food wasn't terrible but I was glad that we didn't pay for it. Monday, we had dinner at Chifa. While the food was great, the wine list was not anything special. I had the Miolo NV Brut from Brazil. On Tuesday, we had the Catalan Express lunch (soup and one plate) at Amada. Good food but not as inventive as Chifa. Wine list was a bit better. I had the 2008 Marques de Alella Pansa Blanco (Xarel-lo). For dinner we went to Zahav. The food was terrific and the wine list was the most interesting of the bunch; mostly because half of the 50 or so selections are from Israel, which I know nothing about. I had the Pelter Unwooded Chard from Galilee. Finally, on Wednesday we had cheesesteaks from Jim's before went to the airport. Overall, I think Chifa was my favorite food-wise, but I would rather explore the wine list at Zahav more.
Ron, Your list of restaurants hit a lot of Garces. I like Amada and Tinto, but I agree that Chifa is unique. It is Andean food with a Chinese twist as it represents the large Chinese immigrants in Central/South america in the late 1800's. Wine was not a big thing there. Jim's Steaks are OK. There are better in Phila. Hope you had a nice experience except the roach.

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