Web Original: Critic’s Notebook: I’ll Be Back

Guess what question I’m most often asked at cocktail parties? “What is the best restaurant in Philadelphia?” (I refer seekers to the Best of Philly issue, of course!)

But it’s also a question I’ve asked myself many times. It’s so hard to pin down just one place. Recently, I’ve started thinking about it another way, thanks in part to a question posed on Chowhound.com. Someone asked the group, “Where will you go back again (and again)?” This query brought my personal bests into focus. For me, the answer is Ansill, and more recently, Zahav.

There are certainly many other excellent restaurants, many called out in the Chowhound thread. But for me, Ansill and Zahav do the things I most crave: small plates of intensely flavorful food expertly prepared. Both places have the setting I seek out: polished, but comfortable and relaxed.

Where you go back is a highly personal — a matter of taste. So, where do you go back again (and again)? Leave your picks in the comments section, and maybe we’ll all discover some new favorites.

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  • Larry

    This past Sunday, I had my first dinner at Slate Bleu in Doylestown. It was the type of meal that, the next day, I almost hesitated to eat and put something else on my taste buds because whatever I ate would be a comedown. Service was excellent. For those people who have never been to Doylestown, it is charming with museums and a great downtown area. Slate Bleu is a few blocks from the primary downtown area, but well worth the walk or ride.

  • Pat

    I'm a BYO'er-my top returns-Modo Mio, Rylie, Pumpkin and the Mercato. Always great, with changing menus, so it's never quite the same restaurant but always the quality you can count on!

  • John

    We get to Lacroix at every opportunity, and it is the restaurant of choice for all special occasions for us and all of our best friends. Creative, delicious food, a great wine list, and excellent service. Can't beat that. We also love Gayle, Tinto, and Melograno. All of these are places we return to again (and again).

  • lisa

    We love Mercato, Matyson, Buddakan and Amada

  • michele

    kisso sushi is the best on earth and consistently perfect…eating at chicks cafe and wine bar never disappoints.