Thursday August 30
It's another beautiful day today in Philadelphia and there's nothing I'd rather do than take a walk around Rittenhouse Park, one of the five original open-spaced parks planned by William Penn in the 17th century. There are plenty of park benches where you can sit and people watch, and all around the square are high rise residences, luxury apartments (like mine!), office towers, popular restaurants, and shopping (Barney's Co-Op!).
I stopped by Hip City Veg to get my favorite Crispy Hipcity Ranch sandwich that is like a super delicious fried chicken sandwich except there's no chicken - it's 100% plant based! All of their food comes wrapped in compostable materials and it's super easy to grab something and take it to the park to eat.
Hip City Veg
Now after my last, long day at the office (who am I kidding - I played on Pinterest all day!), it was time for a really good meal. I'm having a hard time deciding between one of my old favorites, and a new restaurant I've been dying to try - so I'll tell you about both!
Tinto Wine Bar is near Rittenhouse Square and it is so much more than a wine bar! The restaurant is another brain child of my favorite Philadelphia chef, Jose Garces, and it immitates the pintxos bars found throughout Northern Spain. Depending on your mood, they have formal seating areas with warm lighting, a long bar that is lively and attentive, and smaller lounge areas for cocktails and catching up with friends. We slid into a cushioned booth and started with sangria (the best I've had in Philadelphia) and the chef's tasting of charcuterie and cheese. We then moved to an amazing bottle of tinto (Pesquera per our waiter's recommendation) and shared the following small pintxo plates: shortrib bocadillos (sandwiches), albondigas (meatball brochettes), duck confit montaditos (canapes), green beans, and crab. The duck confit montaditos were so delicious that I hurried to consume way more than my fair share. It was just so delicious!
Tinto Pintxos y Vinos
And I have to mention a restaurant I visited more than once, Friday Saturday Sunday. Any restaurant that’s been in business 38 years and maintained a sense of humor fits my bill! I first visited the restaurant at the recommendation of a local (the one and only Emma Oswald) when a college friend of mine visited Philadelphia. I was immediately taken by its charm. The wait staff isn’t your usual set of waiters – they seem like buddies or friends with an excellent list of specials on a chalkboard. As I had my share of reasonably priced wine with little twinkling Christmas lights surrounding me, I found the food to be delicious and unique. The pate is great, the mussels are cooked in the usual garlic white wine broth but with special touches (like Andouille sausage!), the jumbo lump crab cakes had lots of fresh crab and texture, and the fish special is always delightful and lightly baked / grilled / fried (cooked perfectly). I’ve since taken two different client counterparts to the restaurant and they also enjoyed it. Don’t miss the bar upstairs – they have lots of tasty little bites and the wine list boasts “the finest wines at the fairest and squarest of prices.” Like button!
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
A 2012 Open Table Winner!