For the Love of God, Don’t Buy Davio’s $95 Picnic Basket

Davio’s Philly/Facebook

While summer doesn’t officially start till next week, it’s definitely picnic season in the city’s parks and green spaces. Lounging on the grass for some al fresco dining is the perfect way to enjoy a lazy afternoon or break up your workday.

The folks at the Center City location of Northern Italian steakhouse chain Davio’s think so, too: They’re offering picnic baskets loaded up with sandwiches, salads, desserts, and sparkling or still water for two through August. Call an hour beforehand and you can swing by their location on South 17th Street — just two quick blocks from the excellent greenery and people-watching at Rittenhouse Square — to pick up your basket.

Which costs $95.

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The Best Cafes (and Restaurants) to Bring Your Laptop and Eat an Actual Meal

The Cusco Sandwich at Plenty Cafe

The Cusco Sandwich at Plenty Cafe

Maybe you’re a freelancer with a few hours between meetings downtown and you want to keep up the productivity. Or there’s construction in your office building and you can’t get anything done with power tools grinding away upstairs. Or you work from home but you’ve reached the point at which you’ll freak out if you don’t leave the house today.

You need a spot to get work done — school, freelance, creative, or just catching up on email. You also need to eat, and as tasty as the croissants and cookies at most coffee shops are, they’re not exactly brain food.

We’ve rounded up some of Philly’s favorite spots to camp out for a few hours (or more), eat a real breakfast or lunch, crush your task list. For our purposes, we’ve stuck with Center City and adjacent neighborhoods; we also made free wi-fi for customers and an actual food menu (however brief) a requirement.

And for when the workday spans meals, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite trendy spots where you might spend a working lunch (and maybe happy hour afterwards) while chowing down on a more substantial, chef-driven menu.

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Russet Is Your Perfect Date Night Restaurant

Salami Toscano

Salami Toscano

Russet could easily be the most adorable restaurant in Philly — quaint service in a Philadelphia brownstone, plus gorgeous, hyper-local dishes by Andrew Wood. The entire dinner experience through and through is delightful — romantic, too, especially with these Friday Date Night menus.

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What We Need Right Now: Veda Reviewed

Veda1

It started with the naan. With that crisp bite and barely risen chew, its weirdly rustic Rorschach shapes and delicate, lacy swirls of golden-brown clarified butter. The naan— that’s what won me over.

Admittedly, I already liked Veda a lot. From the minute I sat down, the minute I smelled it. But that naan? That’s what cemented it. So simple, so utilitarian and so right. I want it every day.

But caring so much about naan is pointless, I know. Naan is everywhere in Indian food. There isn’t an Indian restaurant anywhere that doesn’t offer one or two or 12 varieties, sometimes good, sometimes not. To go bonkers over naan is like going bonkers over the hamburger buns at McDonald’s.

And yet still.

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Who’s Building Philly: Alon Seltzer

One of Alon Seltzer's Rittenhouse Savoy studio makeovers. | Apartment photos: Brian Lauer

Alon Seltzer’s own Rittenhouse Savoy studio was one of two makeovers that wowed viewers during Zillow’s “Tiny House Week.” | Apartment photos: Brian Lauer

Before the “tiny house,” there was the Rittenhouse Square efficiency apartment.

These shoeboxes for urban cliff dwellers enabled singles and others whose desire for urban living exceeded their need for space to take advantage of all the city had to offer: parks, cafés, shopping, culture, you name it. When the city was your living room, why bother with one of your own?

That attribute makes these efficiencies and studios popular with a younger set even now. But there’s a hitch: Back in the 1950s, when most of the apartment buildings containing these units were built, they weren’t terribly efficient in the way they used their limited space. And their appearance had likewise become dated.

Enter Alon Seltzer with his repair kit. Read more »

The New Rival Bros. Coffee Bar is Tall, Dark and Handsome


At 6 a.m. this morning, Damien Pileggi and Jonathan Adams opened up their second Rival Bros. coffee bar inside the Touraine (1528 Spruce Street) and it’s straight-up stunning.

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A Hawaiian Restaurant Finally Opens in Philly Tomorrow

Poi Dog/Official

Poi Dog/Official

Kiki Aranita and Chris Vacca’s adorable Hawaiian food cart Poi Dog has come a long way since it first started doling out spam musubi and mochi nori fried chicken on Philly street corners and festivals. In its four years roaming the Philly food truck scene, it became Philly’s premier, and lone, Hawaiian option — no other chef or restaurateur in the city (besides chain-Hawaiian Roy’s, which closed back in 2010) ever gave a crack at the Pacific Island cuisine. But Aranita and Vacca saw a void in Philly’s food boom, and filled it full of Hawaiian plate lunches, tacos and Filipino desserts.

And like we promised back in December, they’re opening their first brick and mortar tomorrow at 102 S. 21st Street (the old Rotisseur space).

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Jawdropper of the Week: Live Like Royalty in Rittenhouse for $4.99M

2004 Delancey St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | Images via Century 21 Veterans

2004 Delancey St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | Images via Century 21 Veterans

It seems that futuristically modern homes are all the buzz lately. So, when we stumbled across this historically exquisite townhome in Rittenhouse Square, we were both refreshed by its rich beauty and taken aback by its enormous size.

Situated on a tree-lined block of the most desirable street in the neighbhorhood, the property boasts six bedrooms, five full bathrooms, two powder rooms, nine fireplaces, a solarium, a gymnasium, a library, an au pair or in-law suite, and a two-car garage, amongst other things. The foyer’s 15-foot ceilings highlight the home’s original woodwork. To your left is a formal front parlor followed by a dining room, which is currently being used as a family room. Read more »

What $500K Will Buy You in Rittenhouse

130 S. 18th St. Unit 606, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND image via Coldwell Banker Preferred

130 S. 18th St. Unit 606, Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND image via Coldwell Banker Preferred

It’s no secret that Rittenhouse is one of Philadelphia’s most prestigious neighborhoods. So when we went searching for Rittenhouse properties currently on the market that fall somewhere near the $500,000 range, we weren’t exactly sure what we’d find. Would this budget be enough to live comfortably?

Here’s what we found: while there are several nice options in the neighborhood that are on budget, most of these options are small (and not necessarily suitable for growing families). However, if you don’t need much space to live happily and only plan to live with one or two other people, these options could work and do come with some nice amenities – not to mention their close proximity to just about anywhere in Center City.  We’ll let you be the judge, though. Take a look at what we found below. Read more »

Trinity Tuesday: Three Plus Two in Rittenhouse for $499K

1710 Manning St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND images via Zillow

1710 Manning St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 | TREND images via Zillow

A trinity house is already a rare commodity in Philadelphia, so it’s not every day we come across one that has five floors of space.

In fact, this five-floor trinity that maintains some traditional features might be the only one of its kind. Located just one block from Rittenhouse Square, built in 1750, and recently renovated, it is a great space situated on a quiet block. This home is pretty legit from a historical standpoint, too – it’s even listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Properties.

Updates to the property include a renovated kitchen, two renovated full bathrooms, central air, and new plumbing and electric. The living room showcases gorgeous hardwood floors, a fireplace, recessed lighting, built-ins, and a lighted picture nook. Read more »

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