Grace & Proper gives South Philly a piece of European bar culture, big on vintage feels and upscale comforts. The space is all about seasonal drink specials, well-crafted classics, and other approachable provisions, all curated to make you feel like you're at a corner cafe in Lisbon. Help yourself to a meat and cheese plate with manchego and cured pork loin and tack on a few other dishes from a smattering array of delectable bites like burrata-topped meatballs, braised pork loin, and gruyere-fueled onion soup.
Nobody makes it quite like grandma, which is no more true than at this restaurant serving Northern Thai fare with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Try Thai-style beef meatballs covered in a sweet-savory sauce, or the New York strip steak made with grandma’s special steak sauce. The spot offers a collection of small plates so you can try a bit of everything, from grilled sticky rice and pork to fish cake made with coconut milk and brown sugar. Make sure to ask about the daily specials, because you never know what grandma may have whipped up.
How to book: Via SpotOn
Her Place is the always changing, always welcoming dinner party we didn’t know we needed. The restaurant manages to pull off the perfect blend of a laidback dinner party vibe with nuanced, unexpected fare. The prix-fixe menu updates every couple weeks and follows the creativity of chef Amanda Shulman and her team. Some past highlights include sour cream and onion sweetbreads with caviar, buttermilk fried crab, and French onion soup lasagnetta with truffles. It can be tough to snag a reservation here, but you can always try your luck on Monday evenings when the restaurant is walk-in only.
How to book: Via Tock
For the most fancy of occasions, consider a night of fine dining at this sky-scraping French restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The new restaurant is located on the 59th floor of the Four Seasons, right in the heart of Center City. Lofty views go with a lofty price tag of a $218 tasting menu, the likes of which includes six land and sea dishes like golden ossetra caviar and cured sea trout. The $198 “earth-based” selection is a vegetarian-friendly version that’s no less opulent.
Slavic-inspired European dishes are the heart of Restaurant Aleksandar, which elevates an already-warm atmosphere with statement artwork and story-forward dishes. Chefs Montana Houston and Ja’mir Wimberly-Cole craft a menu of highbrow land, sea, and soil dishes with Slavic twists, like the braised Hungarian short rib made for two served with chermoula, mushroom conserva, and other seasonal additions. In addition to draught beers and wines by the bottle, you’ll also find unexpected craft cocktails like the 11:11 with gin, bergamot liqueur, cocchi rosa, and smoked lavender.
Tulip Wine Bar has been quick to charm Philly diners thanks to its intimate, neighborly atmosphere and grade-A supply of Italian-focused fare and perfect companion wines. Stop in to warm up over big plates of Thai-inspired linguini and mussels, lamb ragu, and cacio e peperoncino, as well as smaller accent dishes. Created in collaboration with Wayvine Winery & Vineyard, the cozy corner restaurant also offers a careful list of wines by the bottle or glass, plus local beer and craft cocktails.