We ate dinner out a lot in July. I am definitely not a paid food critic, but I like to talk about good food that we find and here are a few places I recommend if you’re in the Philly area:
1. Parc: A french place by the famed Philadelphia restaurateur Steven Starr. I celebrated my birthday at this restaurant with wonderful friends. Parc is one of Starr’s first Philly restaurants but I’d never had dinner there before. It was a casual and fun place to eat great French food. It’s right next to Rittenhouse square, so you’re in the heart of everything Philadelphia, too.
We had an enormous shellfish platter and gazpacho and a cheese plate, and I had scallops for dinner. Sherpa was able to get gluten-free food with no trouble (he had duck). One thing I liked particularly were the interesting cocktails. The French 75 was a recommendation that did not disappoint! I ordered macarons for dessert, and then they also came out with a pot de creme with a sparkler in it for my birthday – fun times!
2. Half Moon: a restaurant in Kennett Square known for its wild game meats. This is a destination that Sherpa had talked about many times, and it’s off the beaten path for us so I planned a surprise day trip for Sherpa’s birthday that included wine tasting at Galer (Go there! Beautiful tasting room!), Flickerwood, and Paradocx and then dinner at Half Moon. Their food was excellent, and they had a gluten-free menu. We had a wild game sampler: kangaroo, alpaca, and rabbit sausage. I had buffalo soft tacos and also a buffalo burger, and Sherpa had an elk burger. We had a flourless chocolate lava cake for dessert, too, and then I didn’t need to eat for days. We were able to sit on the upstairs open air patio, which has its own bar and had beautiful hanging plants all over, and the weather was perfect. One tip: don’t go for the wine. I ended up choosing a BEER – egads! – after tasting the wine.
3. Sips Bistro & Bar: a new French place in our own little Phoenixville! We ate here last night on their 6th day in business. Sherpa had gotten to know the owner, Fabien, and was helping a bit with getting the restaurant going. Sips opened in the building that used to be the Moon Saloon, which was apparently an unsavory yet very beloved bar. The building is beautiful and it has been unoccupied for a long time so it was amazing to see it occupied again and hear what kinds of improvements they made. We sat outside on the patio and had salade au fruit de mer and salade de chevre chaud. I chatted with Fabien en francais, which always makes me happy. Our server spoke French, too, and it turns out we have a lot in common because we were both English and French majors in college. I can see us spending a lot of time there. They are BYOB – for now – so go check it out and bring a bottle!