It's Worth Getting Sloppy For This Grilled Cheese Taco
La Famiglia is one of Philadelphia’s many self-proclaimed “best Italian restaurants,” and while we hesitate to proclaim any single Italian eatery in the city better than all others, Famiglia certainly knows what it’s doing. This typically pricey restaurant has entrees that hover around the $30 range, so it’s quite a steal to get three courses for $35 here during Restaurant Week. To make the most of the deal, the filetto di manzo (typically $40) is a great option, and don’t forget to start your meal with the mozzarella alla Milanese -- also known as deep-fried prosciutto and mozzarella.
Though newbies may think they’d find SOUTH on, say, South Street, it's actually up on North Broad where you’ll find this jazz bar and restaurant serving refined Southern comfort food, including gumbo, fried lobster, and grits. The restaurant week menu offers specials such as lamb shoulder with bucatini pasta, veggie jambalaya, barbecue short rib, and signature buttermilk fried chicken, among other options -- but you can’t go wrong with four-cheese mac & cheese terrine to start. Save room for apple pear cobbler, or one of the three other unique desserts.
Bud & Marilyn’s has been holding it down at 13th & Locust for some time now, and the fried cheese curds, frosé, and oversized confetti cake certainly have something to do with it. For Restaurant Week, diners can choose from several entrees including pork chops, cauliflower steak, or miso-glazed salmon, and can take a shot at the chocolate pot de creme cake for dessert. And don’t forget to immediately load up on the fried cheese curds.
Stephen Starr’s Old City staple can cost a pretty penny, making it all the more alluring during restaurant week. Most restaurants offer intriguing lunch specials, but the Buddakan option is truly a power lunch for the ages: you can choose three items for a build-you-own bento box, with dishes such as dumplings, spring rolls, Kobe beef sliders, and wasabi tuna. For dinner, scallion pancakes and short rib join the appetizer menu, while the sea bass with butternut squash and haricot verts shines on the second-course menu. You’ll want to order the “dip sum” donuts for dessert, even if you end up bringing them home as leftovers.
Harp & Crown’s usual menu puts an emphasis on small, shareable plates, so the Restaurant Week options give diners plenty of chances to try just about everything; for the standard $35 deal, you can choose seven dishes and dessert. Definitely go for the chili-flaked Brussels sprouts, as well as the lamb meatballs and fig toast, but get ready for some bigger plates, too: truffle pizza with bacon, ricotta gnocchi, flat iron steak, and diver scallops are all at your fingertips.
Sampan is giving restaurant week diners another chance for multi-course menus at a fraction of the cost, especially for big groups ready to share. Though you’ll get a choice for seven dishes, make sure everyone in your party agrees, because they’ll be served family style for maximum sharing. The crab wonton taco is a favorite from the Cold & Hot menu, while Peking duck in a scallion bun is one of the best meat options Sampan offers. Sides of shrimp pad thai, kimchi fried rice, and crispy Brussels sprouts are also available.
Washington Square West
This cozy BYOB on Spruce Street is the perfect place to hole up on a frosty January night, so pack a couple bottles of Cabernet and go to town. The PEI mussels are a perfect start to the meal, though you should try to resist filling up on that mouthwatering grilled sourdough if you can manage it -- you’ll want enough of an appetite left to savor the winter veggie risotto or spicy crab bucatini, for the ultimate in highbrow comfort food. For dessert, the Nutella cannoli or tiramisu may call your name, unless you’re looking to be a bit more adventurous and try the pistachio gelato. And don’t forget, it’s cash only!
Like most expensive steakhouses participating in Restaurant Week (others include Morton’s and Ocean Prime), Butcher and Singer’s usual entrees are not exactly affordable to the average person; this is a place where an 8-ounce filet will typically run you $42. During Restaurant Week, though, that same filet is on the menu served with the side of your choice, and after a crabcake appetizer no less. Though the options are a bit more limited compared to other Restaurant Week menus, the ritzy ambiance and special pricing give you the full experience for a steal.
The Little Lion offers not three but four courses this Restaurant Week, letting you eat even more for your dollars -- and that’s really the goal here, isn’t it? After your choice of one of four starter salads, you can try a cheese plate for your second course before moving on to short rib mac & cheese, kale pesto pasta, blackened catfish, or one of the other handful of entree options. The chocolate mud jar joins the ranks as one of the best jar desserts in Philly (it’s a thing), with chocolate mousse and Oreo crumble.
Washington Square West
Indeblue offers a chef’s tasting menu for dinner anytime, but Restaurant Week gives you the chance to try a similar concept for a bit less cash. Served family style -- so, again, make sure everyone at the table is ready to eat the same dishes -- you can select a total six courses for your meal, including chili crab toast, spicy oyster pao, or braised lamb shank. For dessert, you don’t have to agonize over decision making anymore: a trio sampler is headed your way, and it involves cinnamon pumpkin ice cream.