A couple of years ago, Tiffin raised the bar for Indian food in Philadelphia. Its longtime chef, Rakesh Ramola, has jumped ship and opened this astoundingly good BYO just five minutes over the bridge raising the bar even higher. The decor and service could both use work, but with such stellar plates coming from the kitchen, it barely matters. Our favorites: the several varieties of naan, tandoor-cooked meats and lamb chops, and all of the vindaloos, with the kheer or halvah for dessert. 619 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08107, indebluerestaurant.com/.
The running world is rife with high-tech gear, logos and marketing flash, but sometimes, don't you just want to focus on the basics of your feet hitting the pavement? That's why buying shoes (and browsing through a manageable selection of accessories like water bottles, and some shorts and tees) is so refreshing at this low-key shop, where the owner is a runner herself and totally gets it. 1729 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, rittenhousesports.com/.
Whether its the dreaded Playstation 3 red light of death, a scrambled screen image or a console that overheats, the experts here will fix up your childs gaming system before he starts exhibiting symptoms of serious withdrawal. Theyll also give you hope that maybe, just maybe, your kid can build an actual successful moneymaking enterprise out of that Halo addiction. 111 South Easton Road, Glenside, PA 19038, classicgamejunkie.com.
Pat Szoke first experimented with pork on the way to developing this memorable dish, but his pivot over to lamb necks which are even richer than the shoulder landed him an instant classic. Its simple: lamb necks braised in red wine and rosemary-accentedtomatoes, topped with creamy house-made ricotta and then served with grilled baguette rounds. Warning: When the bread is gone, you might find yourself licking the cast iron skillet the gravy comes in. 1401 East Moyamensing Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19147, theindustrybar.com.
You've never been to the 17th-century-style Japanese house and garden in Fairmount Park? What kind of Philadelphian are you? Come for the monthly traditional chado tea ceremonies, to see the just-restored Sakura Pavilion from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition, or simply to stroll the grounds and feed the koi. Psst: The summer camps for kids-taiko drumming, origami, calligraphy, kimono-dressing-are the chicest in town. Horticultural and Lansdowne Drives, Philadelphia, PA 19131, shofuso.com/.
Vive la charming private back room big enough for you and 19 of your closest friends! The $45-per-person family-style French meal is perfect for those who've finally come to appreciate the classy charms of wine over Jager, leather over vinyl and gteau l'opra over Fudgie the Whale. 623 South 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, bistrotlaminette.com/.
When you see the private room so prettily set, when your guests get to make their choices from the three-course menu you handpicked, when the servers keep the wine a-flowing, when the Madagascar chocolate cake (with peanut nougatina) comes, and when you finally get the bill (just $20 a head?), you'll be so glad you threw that luncheon here. 306 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, forkrestaurant.com.
Sixteen years at Saks and eight before that at Nan Duskin and Lisa Korn is still as fashion-obsessed as ever. The secret to her coveted status as one of the 5th Avenue Club's top sellers? Could be her elite buying access to every designer out there (even ones the Bala Cynwyd Saks doesn't carry). Could be that when it comes to that Oscar ball gown you just have to have, she'll be absolutely relentless until you're in it. 2 Bala Plaza, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, saksfifthavenue.com/.
It turns out that shad used to be hugely important to the Delaware River economy, a fact our quirky friends in Fishtown (where else?) exploit with their annual Alosa sapidissima-feteing festival at Penn Treaty Park. It's true that Lambertville has been doing a shad festival for decades, but the city's is cooler: We've got shad la Johnny Brenda's and some of the best bands around, lots of local crafts (love the bottle-cap cuff links!) and craft beers, and perhaps our favorite part valet bike parking. Penn Treaty Park, Delaware Avenue and Columbia Street, Philadelphia, PA 19125, fishtownshadfest.net/.
When the folks at this Old City space claim that their gallery is Philadelphias freshest new venue for the new contemporary art scene, theyre really not lying. The one-year-old gallery exhibits some wonderful works in genres from realism to figurative to pop surrealism, and the art is priced to sell. This month, check out the newest show, Semiotic Weapons, featuring works by 11 local artists. 109 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, archenemyarts.com.
Not only would we happily sweep every single product off the Chantecaille counter and into our handbag if we could; we would also go see product specialist and makeup artist Dionne DiLullo every time we had somewhere special to go, just so she could give us that signature smoky eye that keeps clients coming back again and again. The Plaza at King of Prussia, 170 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406, chantecaille.com/.
It's beautiful stuff, sure but that you will, probably for the first time in your entire adult female life, actually be wearing the correct size of beautiful stuff when you come out of this friendly little boutique is why you should go now for a mental and literal pick-me-up. An Oprah moment aha! is almost guaranteed. King of Prussia Mall, 160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406, myintimacy.com/.
Tongue-in-cheek Treehouse claims to grow all its produce and coffee and espresso beans on its roof and milk its own cows up there! It also includes this warning on its website: "Caution, we have lost a couple cows over the edge of the building. So heads up when you park out front." The most laid-back, kid-friendly, Bible-studying, guitar-picking mom-and-pop place to nurse a cuppa joe with some homemade pastry in the entire Philly 'burbs. 120 West Merchant Street, Audubon, NJ 08106, treehousecoffee.net.
A carefully curated menu with both local and exotic cheeses whittled into bites so twee, so perfectly paired, they could come only from Aimee Olexy. Though opinions are still being formed as to the excellence and survivability of the new Starr/Olexy collaboration (see this month's review on page 184 for our take), there's no question that Talula's Garden is currently slinging the best cheese in town. 210 West Washington Square, Philadelphia, PA 19106, talulasgarden.com/.
In the wake of the debut of the Halston miniseries on Netflix, Katy Kane — the shop’s owner and an Antiques Roadshow appraiser — sold out of the ’70s designer’s looks in 24 hours, drawing interest from here to Hong Kong. She finds her pieces through private house calls; browse her proverbial closet online, then visit her appointment-only studio in New Hope. Recently acquired: designs from Jackie Kennedy favorite Sybil Connolly. 1stdibs.com/dealers/katy-kane.