Where should we go if we have guests from San Francisco?
Jason Sheehan > Farm and Fisherman. Anyone coming here from the mecca of the farm-to-table movement is automatically going to be thinking cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches, so throw them for a loop with a brilliant, locally sourced and totally seasonal dinner cooked by a chef who trained with Dan Barber at New York’s Blue Hill and brought all that knowledge and passion back home to Philly. Josh Lawler can out-Chez Panisse Chez Panisse any day—but what’s even better is that he can do it without half the pretension.
Where can I go for a good business dinner without getting fired for spending too much of the company’s money?
Jason Sheehan > Jose Garces’s ode to up-jumped American dining, JG Domestic, on the ground floor of the Cira Centre, is the obvious answer. But the smart money here—pun very much intended—goes to Davio’s in Rittenhouse. It’s not the cheapest place in town, but it’s cheaper than any of the other straight-up meat temples. And while there are certainly steaks on the menu for that one pompous ass in your group who insists that no business dinner is complete without a filet mignon, you can order something more interesting—and significantly cheaper—from the heavily Northern Italian menu. Just skip the Philly cheesesteak spring rolls. No one will take you seriously if you order the Philly cheesesteak spring rolls.
What Philly BYOB would you suggest for impressing out-of-town friends with the good that can come of our state’s archaic liquor laws?
Trey Popp > Modo Mio in Northern Liberties is the perfect place to haul out some of the more unusual bottles from your wine cellar. And if you want your friends to be impressed by your knack for finding a gut-busting value (and willingness to eat tongue), bring them along for the $32 four-course turista menu.
What’s the best place in the city to eat for less than $75 for two people?
Sure, you could hit any number of solid BYOBs and sneak by for around $30 per person. But you’d probably have to share an appetizer or skip dessert, and who wants to eat that way? Instead, go to Cheu Noodle Bar in Washington Square West, where your ordering can be as unrestrained as Ben Puchowitz’s multi-culti cooking. A pork belly bun, a brisket noodle bowl, the best chicken wings in town (mmm, black garlic … )—and you’ve still got enough cash left for a can of beer or an off-the-wall juice concoction.