Sande Friedman has bought and sold a lot of wine as the Di Bruno Bros. wine buyer. Now, in collaboration with some of her favorite wineries, Friedman helped create two new bottles — a barbera-zinfandel blend from La Clarine in California, and Rosé of Carmine, with WayVine Winery & Vineyard in Chester County — with stellar results. 1730 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, dibruno.com/9th-street-bottle-shop.
Because sometimes all the people you know are busy or awful or both, there's DanDan. The menu features a long list of small plates, soups, noodles and vegetables that encourages grazing, and if you're looking to be left alone, the far-less-crowded upstairs dining room will give you space to enjoy your own company. Who knows? Maybe you'll meet some better friends while you're there. 126 South 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102, dandanrestaurant.com/.
For decades, you had to rely on the waiters to recite what's available. Now they've finally gotten menus, but don't bother: We'll just tell you that you want linguine with the "primo" sauce (a combination of pork ragu and oil-and-garlic sauces), some baked clams, an antipasti salad, and a veal chop cooked on a real charcoal grill. Or, if it's Wednesday, ask for the whole veal breast special, something we can't even find in Philadelphia. 800 Kuser Road, Trenton, Trenton, NJ 08619, homestead1939.com/.
Sure, Whole Foods has its problems. But it’s hard to argue that the new Center City store’s Restaurant Row is anything but amazing. After all, you can get ramen from Cheu Noodle Bar, hummus from Dizengoff and okonomiyaki fries from Wiz Kid in one place (plus some local beer to wash it all down). 2101 Pennsylvania Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130, wholefoodsmarket.com/.
Some advice: Don't tell your kids that this year-old theme park is for children, or you'll have to fight them for the wheels of the real backhoes, dump trucks and excavators that can be driven and operated in a giant dirt pit. Instead, send them off to the rides, through the ropes course or to the stunt show, and catch up with them later. 100 Pinedge Court, West Berlin, NJ 08091, diggerlandusa.com/.
Of all of the theater groups in Philadelphia, it was Seth Rozin's 27-year-old company that was the most ambitious and thought-provoking last season, which featured only world premieres, including Christopher Chen's Caught and Jen Silverman's The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane. Then there's the exciting news that InterAct is getting a new home inside the Drake on Spruce Street. Interacttheatre.org..
If you want to play a little pool while you drink with your friends, go to Buffalo Billiards. But if you want to master the art of pool and compete with some of the best players in the region, head to this formidable hall in South Jersey. As for the beers, you can BYO and stash 'em in the house refrigerators. Bonus: Play is incredibly cheap just $5 an hour on Friday and Saturday nights. 600 North White House Pike, #1, Somerdale, NJ 08083, facebook.com/FatAlbertsBilliards.
Hoping to erase or at least shrink that post-baby bump? Head to Lithe's Cinch class, during which haramakis (belly bands) worn around the waist help new moms focus on their core while keeping the entire midsection compressed during an hour of transformative bar and mat work. You'll tighten, tone and slim the entire area between the ribs and hips. Screw you, mom jeans. Lithe Method; see website for locations, 00000, lithemethod.com/.
Youve heard the hype, the rumors about mysterious owner/operator Le, the jokes about the dress code and the hidden door. But forget about that. All you need to know is that in an age in which the mustachioed and be-vested cocktail slinger has risen to the same level of cultural importance as the celebrity chef, Hop Sing Laundromat opened as one of the best cocktail bars any of us had ever been to, anywhere. And since then, it has only gotten better. 1029 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, hopsinglaundromat.com.
The $12 Sunday evenings start with ballroom dance lessons where you get the hang of the footwork required to make your waltz graceful, your rumba saucy, your tango smoldering. After that, the dance floor turns social. But what we truly appreciate is the group's dress code "Positively no jeans or shorts or grungy sneakers permitted" which makes the whole affair more A-list than DWTS. Grace Church, 19 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033, dancehaddonfield.org/.
Its big. Its jubilantly gaudy. Its Pepto-Bismol pink. Its loud, its young, and its walls sparkle with glittery wrestling masks. You can literally swing from the rafters. (Some seats are actually swings.) Yes, its sensory overload especially the too-good-to-be-true steak nachos but Jose Garcess foray into the street food of Mexico City is also the most fun weve ever had in a restaurant. 3945 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, philadelphia.distritorestaurant.com/.
Sometime in my mid-20s, three faint but distinct lines decided to plant themselves on my brow, stretching from temple to temple across my forehead like a fence without posts. I sometimes stand under the harshest light in my bathroom, dapping on a variety of products to see if with the right combination they might plump back out, like little troughs just waiting to be filled. They never do. Well, they never did, I should say Five years ago, on the advice of a friend, I went to Rescue Rittenhouse Spa's Danuta Mieloch, a Polish-born aesthetician who worked in Paris and Manhattan before opening Rescue here nearly a decade ago. Her facials are the only thing that has ever made the lines fade to near-nothingness. I realize this sounds absurd, especially because we're not talking about injectables or lasers or anything you've seen on Real Housewives. The magic comes courtesy of a non-invasive, utterly relaxing 60 minutes filled with exfoliating, a little microdermabrasion, and lots of moisturizing. The result is Beyonce-level luminosity and smoothed-out skin. One glows no exaggeration for weeks. Chances are good that I'm not writing anything you haven't read about or experienced yourself: Danuta (or Dana, as she's known to clients) long ago became an instant Philly classic. Friends told friends, and suddenly you had to wait six months to get an appointment But Rescue the closest thing I've ever found to redemption for all those sunburns in my youth is always worth it. 225 South 17th Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103, rescuerittenhousespa.com/.
Leave it to Amy and Leo Voloshin (the impossibly hip duo behind Philly’s powerhouse print-design firm Printfresh) to pack 30 of the city’s best indie artisans – vintage vendors, jewelry designers, ceramists, stationers, artists and more – into rotating locations around Fishtown. In-the-know shoppers (3,000 of them came to the first one, but you can expect up to 5,000 at the next) can discover the coolest makers on the scene, then pretend they knew about them all along. Catch the next one on September 8th behind Suraya restaurant. Frankford Ave btwn Girard Ave and Oxford St., Philadelphia, PA 19125, fishtownflea.us.
After a too-long and stressful day, your walk home suddenly feels romantic. The sun's going down, and someone is crooning "Stand by Me" in Rittenhouse Square. You approach a crowd gathered around a clean-shaven 20-something busker who cycles through the Temptations, Sam Cooke and the Beatles. You notice a gorgeous stranger. Your eyes meet. And suddenly you forget why you were so stressed out to begin with. Riley is that good. (That he once took on Licenses and Inspections for the right to sing in the park doesn't hurt.) phillymag.com/news/2012/09/04/philadelphia-street-performers/.