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.