Dessert cart at Le Bec-Fin — Two grand, gilt-rimmed, wheel-able, entirely flabbergasting tiers of exactly what you imagined dessert would be like when you grew up.
1523 Walnut Street, 215-567-1000.
Paccari all’amatriciana at Melograno — These oversized rigatoni pose problems: You’ll ignore your date once they arrive, and it’ll be a bit embarrassing when you lick your plate. But the fresh tomato, the kick of pepper, the crisp cubes of house-cured pancetta — they’re totally worth a few faux pas.
2012 Sansom Street, 215-875-8116.
Fish and chips at Pub & Kitchen — Both fish and chips are expertly fried in this version of a pub classic, but it’s the unusual sweet, creamy, mushy peas that really make the dish.
1946 Lombard Street, 215-545-0350.
Turkey reuben at Rachael’s Nosheri Deli — A more virtuous version of the truly naughty original, it’s still got the works — toasted rye, Swiss, Russian, lotsa ’kraut — but subs in house-roasted turkey for corned beef, so you can eat more and call it even.
120 South 19th Street, 215-568-9565.
Octopus at Saloon — Run to Saloon for this year-round special whenever the cooks there get their hands on it. It’s perfectly tender and tossed in a light, tangy dressing with our favorite ingredients — tomatoes and arugula.
750 South 7th Street, 215-627-1811.
Japanese sea bass at Fish — This delectable dish is a seafood magic trick: The skin is perfectly crisp in spite of the fact that it’s served in a fragrant clam broth with pops of heat and zings of citrus that sparkle on your tongue.
1708 Lombard Street, 215-545-9600.
Heirloom corn chowder at 10 Arts — Chef Jennifer, for this sweet and creamy, earthy and smoky corn chowder, you’ll always be Top Chef in our hearts.
10 South Broad Street, 215-523-8273.
Tuna tartare at SeaBlue — A modern take on the tableside tossed salad, this sesame-oil-infused, mint-muddled, pine-nut-mashed, pear-tossed mound of pure ahi protein is heaven for carbo-phobes. Try a $6 portion during happy hour.
The Borgata, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, 609-317-1000.
Square sushi at Zento — Ignore the wasabi. Unhand the soy sauce. Get a bite-size block of rice built around barbecued eel, sweet plum paste and avocado, and topped with a rosy slab of tuna (or salmon) and a squeeze of chili-touched mayo. Pop it, unadorned, onto your tongue, and experience two cubic inches of total umami.
138 Chestnut Street, 215-925-9998.