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Philadelphia is one of the most famously written about cities in the United States. The name is attached to everything from popular foods like the "Cheesesteak" and "Cream Cheese" to popular movies like "Rocky" and the aptly titled Academy Award winning Tom Hanks' drama, "Philadelphia," to the supposed naval "Experiment" that took place during World War II with the city serving as the source for the supernatural teleportation of a U.S. Navy Destroyer. And, of course, Philadelphia is a name that's synonymous with famous sports teams such as the Eagles and Flyers, 76ers and Phillies, not to mention home to the most famous Franklin in the world.

Founded in 1682 by an English Quaker named William Penn, the city began life as a modest parcel of land located near the Atlantic Coast. It developed rapidly throughout the 18th century, soon becoming the cultural center of the New World. Philadelphia symbolizes the birth of the nation, giving rise to the most significant events in American history. It is a city rife with tradition that dates back to the American Revolution and the famous July Fourth declaration as well as the serving ground for the U.S. Constitution and temporary national capital prior to Washington D.C. at the end of the century.

Philadelphia, sometimes referred to simply as "Philly" and sometimes as the "the City of Brotherly Love," is the fifth largest city in the United States with a population of approximately 1.6 million. Headed by such prominent institutions as Philadelphia, Drexel and Thomas Jefferson Universities, it is also one of the largest college/university towns with more than 120,000 students studying within the city limits alone and nearly 300,000 total in the metropolitan area. Philadelphia's economy is heavily based on manufacturing, refining, food, and financial services, and the city also has its own stock exchange. Founded in 1790, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PSEX) is the oldest in the United States.

The climate in Philadelphia is temperate, with four seasons. Summers tend to be hot and often humid, with July and August temperatures peaking at around 85 F. Fall and spring are mild and generally the most pleasant seasons. The rainfall pattern is generally spread throughout the year, with about a week's worth of wet days per month. Winter months are typically cold, with low temperatures dipping into the mid-to-low 20s from December to February. The amount of snowfall is unpredictable and varies from winter to winter.

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Located one block north of the Independence National Historical Park is the Independence Visitor Center (6th and Market streets; 215-965-7676; www.independencevisitorcenter.com), your first stop prior to setting forth towards all the area sites and scenery. Housed inside this architectural showpiece are informative displays and computer kiosks, along with experienced staffers to help tourists explore America's Most Historic Square Mile as well as the entire region. There's also a cafe and a gift shop selling souvenirs and park publications, a spacious atrium and three theaters showcasing a variety of geographical and historical films at specific intervals throughout the day.

The Independence National Historical Park comprises 40 buildings on 45 acres of Downtown (Center City) real estate with approximately 20 buildings open to the public. Independence Hall (215-965-2305; www.nps.gov/inde), the birthplace of the United States where the Declaration of Independence was adopted, and the Liberty Bell, housed in a 13,000-square-foot, $12.4-million glass pavilion that's 235 feet long and 50 feet wide, are situated between 5th and 6th streets at Chestnut Street. The Park was overhauled not long ago, with some $300 million poured into new attractions, renovations and landscaping. A section of the park where Benjamin Franklin's home once stood is dedicated to teaching about Franklin's life and accomplishments.

Located in the heart of Philadelphia's history-rich Old City neighborhood, settled among hip art galleries and fashionable restaurants, sits Elfreth's Alley (2nd St. between Arch and Race streets; 215-574-0560; www.elfrethsalley.org), a National Historic Landmark and the nation's oldest residential street. A total of 33 houses built prior to our nation's birth line the Alley, one that since 1702 up the present has been home to thousands. Each year the Alley welcomes visitors to stroll along the cobblestones and experience the 18th-century homes and take a tour of the Alley Museum.

There are plenty of ways for the family to experience Philadelphia. It has a variety of attractions for all different age groups and mixes easily navigable neighborhoods with a variety of educational and family-friendly activities.

Known as America's first zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo (3400 W. Girard Ave.; 215-243-1100; www.philadelphiazoo.org) opened in 1874 and is home to an impressive array of animals numbering nearly 2,000 from around the world. Spread out among a charming 42-acre Victorian garden with tree-lined walks are a number of not-to-be-missed attractions: The PECO Primate Reserve features ten species of primates that include Sumatran orangutans and lowland gorillas, the Carnivore Kingdom counts giant otters, snow leopards and rare white lions as its main attractions, and the Rare Animal Conservation Center showcases tree kangaroos and blue-eyed lemurs. Walk among tree-flying birds or catch an aerial of the zoo from their perspective by way of the Zoo Balloon, which lifts passengers 400 feet into the air.

Adventure Aquarium (1 Riverside Dr., Camden, NJ; 856-365-3300; www.adventureaquarium.com), which opened in May 2005, effectively replacing the New Jersey State Aquarium as part of a massive renovation project, serves up some 200,000 square feet of marine and wildlife for visitors to explore. Walk within chomping distance of crocodiles, gaze at 20 species of African birds and study thousands of spectacular fish at the West African River Experience. Afterwards, turn your attention to the bigger fish in the Shark Realm, where a 40-foot underwater tunnel takes you to the center of their domain. Additional highlights include the state-of-the-art 4-D Theater, the Jules Verne Gallery, which features the rare giant Pacific octopus, and Penguin Island, surrounded by a 17,000-gallon swimming pool for the island's 20 resident birds.

Visitors with a penchant for history will find more than they can imagine in Philly: The most historic square mile in America; more than 90 museums; countless Colonial churches, row houses, and mansions; the oldest arts museum in the country. It is a city where Americans declared, then defended their liberty and developed the ideals of the American Dream, all of which are on full display at every angle.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-763-8100; www.philamuseum.org) is the third largest museum in America and features vast collections of varying backgrounds that embrace styles from East Asia, Europe, Indian, and Himalayan cultures, Modern and contemporary, as well as American art with collections that include works by native Philadelphian artist Thomas Eakins. On the upstairs level, time travel through more than 80 period rooms from the Mediaeval cloister to the Indian temple through and to 19th-century Europe. Founded during the nation's first centennial in 1876 as a museum of decorative arts, the museum soon outgrew its quarters in Fairmount Park's Memorial Hall. A new building would open in 1928 inspired by the ancient Greek temples and a long set of steps that one of Philadelphia's famous, if fictitious, sons would ascend and make famous some 50 years later (Rocky).

Just off the Avenue of the Arts, The Library Company of Philadelphia (1314 Locust St.; 215-546-3181; www.librarycompany.org) specializes in every aspect of the history of early America and Philadelphia. Continually changing exhibits may include such works as Pennsylvania German Broadsides, George Mark Wilson photograph collection and the Zinman Collection of Early American Imprints, among many more drawn from its half-million rare books, 75,000 graphics and 160,000 manuscripts. The library is a main repository of old prints and photographs of Philadelphia and its neighborhoods. The Library Company still pays homage to Ben Franklin, its original founder and creator of subscription libraries. When Philadelphia was the U.S. capital, it was, in effect, the Library of Congress. It is now the only major Colonial library still intact. The Library Reading Room and Exhibition Gallery operate from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. weekdays.

A pristine example of beautiful Colonial architecture, Christ Church (20 N. American St.; 215-922-1695; www.christchurchphila.org) is a historic treasure bordered by a tree-lined brick path, a small park and a cobblestone alley. The building was constructed between 1727 and 1744. Benjamin Franklin raised money for the tower and steeple, which was added in 1754, thus making it the tallest building in America until 1856. Inside, the English-inspired design is crowned by the main chandelier, which was brought over from England in 1744. Seating is by pew instead of on open benches and George Washington's seat is marked with a plaque. Hours of operation are Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The nearby Christ Church Burial Ground features 1,400 markers representing the final resting place for many prominent leaders including Benjamin Franklin as well as a number of Revolutionary War heroes. Tours of both the Church and Burial Ground are available.

Consisting of 62 neighborhood parks contained within 9,200 acres, Fairmount Park (www.fairmountpark.org) is within walking distance of every Philadelphia resident and provides a variety of opportunities for outdoor sports and leisure in any season. Visitors seeking refuge from the big city environment can choose to walk, jog, hike, bike, or horseback ride on one of the park's many trails. The Fairmount Park system has a number of scenic horse trails and open cross-country terrain for riders. Take a rowboat on to the river or take to the courts for a game of tennis, basketball or even bocce. For more casual recreation, a Victorian-style trolley offers tours of the Colonial-era mansions that dot the park landscape.

The city of Philadelphia operates several municipal golf courses in the region offering plenty of variety and superb quality. In the West Philadelphia area five miles outside of Center City, Cobb's Creek Golf Club (7200 Lansdowne Ave.; 215-877-8707) set a standard long ago as the site of the first public golf course in the Greater Philadelphia area. Today, it houses two 18-hole courses, the Olde Course and the Karaking Course. The Olde Course, established in 1916, was designed by renowned course architect Hugh Wilson, who also designed the acclaimed Merion-East Course in nearby Ardmore, and was ranked as the #6 Best Municipal Course in the U.S. by Golfweek Magazine. The tree-lined Philadelphia landmark offers a challenging layout that's lent to its namesake creek and lengthy holes. The Karakung Course is the shorter of the two courses, yet retains the character and charm of its sister course, while also offering new challenges that include smaller greens and quick elevation changes.

Philadelphia has a tradition of inns, bed-and-breakfasts and European-style hotels for all tastes and budgets. Whether you're looking for a romantic escape, a luxurious five-star retreat or a memorable family vacation, Philadelphia is well prepared to accommodate.

Offering luxury, location and a laundry list of special programs and amenities' selection to accommodate a variety of tastes, Loews Philadelphia Hotel (1200 Market St.; 215-627-1200; www.loewshotels.com/en/Philadelphia-Hotel) offers plenty for the whole family. Fixed in the heart of Philly's renowned City Center, travelers are never more than a few minutes away from the city's local attractions and historic sites, including Independence Mall, Liberty Bell Pavilion and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Its 583 guestrooms include 37 suites include the expected business accouterments outlined by high ceilings and soaring views. Special programs like Loews Loves Kids and Home Sweet Home ensure plenty of inclusive family fun activities that cater to kids of any age and provide the parents with a variety of home-style comforts that range from ergonomic pillows to air purifiers to in-room putting greens.

The Hilton Inn at Penn (3600 Sansom St., University City; 215-222-0200; www.theinnatpenn.com) is in the heart of The University of Pennsylvania campus. The AAA four-diamond award-winner offers 238 rooms geared towards the business traveler with a "virtual office" set up of dual phone lines, dataports, Internet access, and voice mail. Each room also offers Web TV, plush terry cloth robes and luxurious bath amenities. It's housed in a block-long, six-story brick area called Sansom Commons that includes a University Bookstore and trendy college shops and cafes in a location across from the Penn campus. The Penne Restaurant and Wine Bar as well as the Living Room Lounge, which is a fully stocked library where complimentary afternoon coffee and tea are dispensed, will make guests feel at home.

Located a few steps from the fashionable Rittenhouse Square, Rittenhouse Square Bed and Breakfast (1715 Rittenhouse Square; 215-546-6500; www.rittenhousebb.com) is among the city's best incarnations of a small, European-style luxury hotel. The inn is located at the heart of Center City on one of Philly's most desirable districts, yet gives away a serene setting on its tiny, tree-lined street. Set in a renovated 1900s Philadelphia carriage house, the richly decorated lobby exudes a European-styled grandeur. Its deluxe rooms are designed for ultra luxury and convenience offering guests plush robes, marble bathrooms, triple sheeting with nightly turndown service, computer workstations with Internet access, and 24-hour concierge service. Guests also enjoy a complimentary wine and snack reception each evening in the lobby.

Built in 1983, the Four Seasons Hotel (One Logan Square; 215-963-1500; www.fourseasons.com/philadelphia) on Logan Square offers pristine views and a beautifully renovated interior to accentuate its perennially award-winning quality and comfort. Among its eight-story structure sit elegant guest rooms that are furnished in faithful reproductions of the Federal period that feature plush chairs and carpets with rich colors throughout, bathed in overall luxury. The rooms all have windows or private verandas with views of the brilliant interior courtyard. The five-diamond award-winning hotel offers 364 guest rooms, including 96 suites and is also home to the acclaimed Fountain Restaurant and Swann Lounge.

Philadelphia has many charming neighborhoods, which spawn a wide variety of shopping experiences. Chief among them is Antiques Row, located on Pine Street in an area between 9th and 12th streets. A row of a different sort is known as Jewelers' Row, the country's oldest diamond district, which is centered on Sansom Street between 7th and 8th. Large for a city of this size, this area offers more than 350 retailers and wholesalers.

For a taste of the unusual, shop on South Street, located south of Society Hill and one of Philadelphia's most hip neighborhoods. Mixed in with the bizarre are some very nice boutiques where shoppers are guaranteed to find one-of-a-kind items.

Located about an hour from the big city, Peddler's Village (41 Peddler's Village Rd., Lahaska; 215-794-4000; www.peddlersvillage.com), offers a casual shopping experience that offers small town, Colonial charm, with more than 75 specialty shops, restaurants and 71 room inn are situated throughout the village across 42 acres of landscaped grounds and winding walkways. For families, the Village includes Giggleberry Fair, a 10,000-square-foot entertainment center comprised of The Grand Carousel, a faithfully restored merry-go-round; Giggleberry Mountain, an obstacle course and maze; Discovery Land, featuring a moon bounce and interactive waterway; The Game Room, and the Painted Pony Cafe. In addition, Peddler's Village hosts a variety of festivals year round, including the popular January Sales Event, July's Celebration of Freedom and The Apple Festival, one of many themed weekends held every year in November.

Originally founded as the American Music Theater Festival, the Prince Music Theater (1412 Chestnut St.; 215-972-1000; www.princemusictheater.org) is a renovated 450-seat picture palace that hosts all original productions. Musical theater is presented in all major forms, including opera, musical comedy, cabaret, experimental theater, and film. Drawing upon operatic and popular traditions as well European, African, Asian, and South American forms, the Prince encourages new voices and styles of presentation.

Named from an Indian word for "where we go to drink" that was attributable to the location at the Schuylkill River, the Manayunk Brewery and Restaurant (4120 Main St.; 215-482-8220; www.manayunkbrewery.com) has capitalized on both concepts, offering patrons a relaxed atmosphere on the riverfront for fine food and spirits. Located in the historic wool and cotton mill that is situated on the mouth of the Manayunk Canal, the restaurant serves amazing views of the river while its menu features a variety of fare, from steak and seafood to sushi, seasoned with a city to city specialty rub, where Chicago's brick oven meets Missourian baby backs. Pair up with one of Manayunk's choice lagers or ales from their on-site brewery, which sports at least a half dozen varieties on tap. The brewery is a popular nightspot owing to its busy Main Street location in the historic Manayunk district, and features live music and late night weekend menu.

Housed in a dramatic glass and steel structure highlighting Philadelphia's acclaimed Avenue of the Arts are two prestigious concert halls created to serve the public's performing arts interests: Verizon Hall, a 2,500-seat cello-shaped theater made to order for the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Perelman Theatre, a 650-seat chamber music and dance hall with rotating stage. Together they comprise the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Broad and Spruce streets; 215-790-5800; www.kimmelcenter.org). In addition to the Orchestra, the center hosts additional Resident Companies that include the Pennsylvania Ballet, Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. The theater box office is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and free, guided tours of the center are offered from Tuesday through Sunday at 1 p.m.

Philadelphia Trolley Works and 76 Carriage Company (215-925-8687; www.phillytour.com) operate buses that resemble 1930s open-air trolleys for travelers to take in all the sites of the historic city. Guides point out all the highlights along the way as you make 20 total stops that feature Fairmount Park, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Museum of Art, and Antique Row and along the 90-minute ride that begins at 5th and Market streets or your hotel. All Day passes are available for purchase on board the trolley and come in a variety of pricing options.

See the city in a Phlash (www.phillyphlash.com), a quick and easy connection between the Center City attractions and most downtown hotels. It is one of the best ways to get around to 19 key locations in the center. It's a quick hop-on, hop-off service for travelers seeking a quick and pleasant way to move through the city. Direct connections are available to area subways and rail lines. The service operates every 12 minutes and runs daily between the months of May and October.

By purchasing the Philadelphia Pass (www.philadelphiapass.com; 888-567-PASS), visitors gain access to 20 of the city's top attractions including the National Constitution Center, Atwater Kent Museum, The Academy of Natural Sciences, National Liberty Museum, Independence Seaport Museum, Longwood Gardens, Philadelphia Zoo, and plenty more.

Philadelphia - Official Visitor Site


Alma De Cuba

Against a backdrop of high ceilings, tropical palms and gleaming wood, Alma De Cuba conjures up visions of pre-Castro Cuba in all its scintillating glory. Entrepreneurial executive chef Douglas Rodriguez offers a menu of modern Cuban classics in the making. Red bean soup with pumpkin and chorizo, toasted sweet corn empanada, octopus escabech, and crisp roasted pork with traditional sour orange mojo served with congri and sweet plaintains are just a handful of the house specialties. Head to the atmospheric downstairs lounge for a pre- or post-dinner libation. The mojitos, a creation of rum, sugar, lime juice, seltzer, and fresh mint are outstanding.

Alma de Cuba
1623 Walnut St.
(215) 988-1799


Amada

Chef Jose Garces has the magic touch with a host of restaurants from Philadelphia to Chicago to his credit, but his flagship is in the heart of historic Philadelphia. Amada offers more than 60 tapas, small plates that will delight and satisfy. The regional cuisine of Spain is featured in authentic dishes that rival home. Entrees are rich and robust, including the lobster paella served with fava beans and the chicken and chorizo paella served with artichokes and tomato salad. Sides of grilled green onions and parmesan artichoke appeal as do the many hearty dishes direct from the grill—lobster, shrimp, lamb, and chicken. The festive room with its natural wood environment and generous portions all add up to a great time.

Amada
217-219 Chestnut St.
(215) 625-2450
www.amadarestaurant.com


Buddakan

You don't have to be hip to fit in at Buddakan, but it helps. Wear black and you'll blend in at this always busy modern Asian fusion eatery, one of the hottest tables in town. Start with a sake martini, and let your server make suggestions. The Pacific prawns with spicy tomato salsa, delicate edamame ravioli, Asian Caesar salad with cashews and broiled Japanese black cod with miso glaze all come highly recommended. Under the watchful eye of a ten-foot high gilded, golden Buddha, a serene presence overlooking the onyx-topped communal table, allow yourself to be enlightened. Be advised: portions are meant for sharing and the food is served family style like at your average Chinatown cafe. But there's nothing average about Buddakan. It's the coolest.

Buddakan
325 Chestnut St.
(215) 574-9440

www.buddakan.com


Capital Grille

Downtown Philadelphia's Capital Grille is renowned for its dry aged steaks, oversized portions of fresh seafood and outstanding customer service. The restaurant is decorated ala Ernest Hemingway--lots of dark gleaming woods and animal trophies hanging on the walls. Besides its burgeoning 24-ounce Porterhouse specialty steaks, Capital is also known for its award-winning wine list of more than 400 international offerings. It's not a dining experience designed for the budget-conscious consumer, but it certainly is a satisfying meal of hearty proportions. Don't leave without trying a Stoli-Doli; vodka infused with fresh pineapple is the restaurant's signature cocktail.

Capital Grille
1338 Chestnut St.
(215) 545-9588

www.thecapitalgrille.com


City Tavern

City Tavern, the city's first fine dining experience, made history as the tavern that fed and watered our founding fathers during the Continental Congress. A modern replication of the original 1773 restaurant right down to the servers' tradtional-style suits, City Tavern serves fine Colonial-era cuisine highlighted by authentic West Indian pepper pot soup, tavern pork pie, stewed rabbit, smoked chicken hash, and pork tenderloin in oatmeal stout. Located in Independence National Historical Park, City Tavern also serves a mean pint of George Washington Ale, an exclusive brew not found anywhere else.

City Tavern
138 South 2nd St.
(215) 413-1443

www.citytavern.com


Fountain Restaurant

One of Philly's most nationally acclaimed restaurants, Fountain Restaurant at the Four Seasons offers a fine and traditionally French dining experience accentuated by gorgeous views of the Swann Fountain in nearby Logan Circle. The restaurant's interior is engulfed in elegance where wainscoting and shades of gold trim accentuate the intimate lighting to bathe each diner in a warming glow. An evening at the Fountain Restaurant has special occasion written all over it, from the arrival of a scallop topped with salty gems of ossetra caviar to the savoring of a creamy Mont Briac cheese paired with a fig tartlet in an aged Balsamic vinegar. Every note of flavor is a pleasant resonance, and the service and surroundings make every single diner feel like a VIP.

Fountain Restaurant
One Logan Square
(215) 963-1500
www.fourseasons.com/philadelphia/vacations/dining_53.html

Le Bec-Fin

Georges Perrier could have set up shop anywhere, but he opened his world-class French restaurant Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia more than 30 years ago and has stuck with the city ever since. And it's proven the perfect match for the city and the AAA- and Mobil top-rated recipient. Le Bec-Fin is the premier French dining experience from the letter-perfect food to its opulent surroundings of a late 19th century salon setting bathed in marble and silk. A seasonal menu that may include cassolette of snails in a champagne and hazelnut garlic butter sauce, poached salmon in olive oil, veal medallions and sweet bread with celeriac, porcine and white asparagus fricasee natural jus, is served with a European-style attention to detail.

Le Bec-Fin
1523 Walnut St.
(215) 567-1000
www.lebecfin.com

McCormick & Schmick's

While seafood is always on the menu at McCormick & Schmick's, where more than 30 varieties are featured, your best bet may be to try one of the offbeat seasonal fish featured on the menu, like blue nose bass, wild sturgeon, grey cod, chum salmon, and wild coho salmon, along with tasty cold water shellfish like West coast oysters, Manila clams, Alaskan King and Dungeness crab. A dense, nutty carrot cake is a favorite for dessert and chocolate is ever present--used in cakes, tortes and creamy mousses. Located in the heart of the city directly across from City Hall, M&S serves up a comfy dining experience of comfort foods set within a lofty space and affordably priced menu.

McCormick & Schmick's
1 South Broad St.
(215) 568-6888

www.mccormickandschmicks.com

Morimoto

Morimoto, Masaharu Morimoto's collaboration with Philly restaurant scene stealer Stephen Starr, delivers East-meets-West cutting edge Japanese fusion cuisine. Morimoto was the executive chef at Nobu in New York as well as a star of the Iron Chef cooking show on the Food Network. Best bet: the omakase, a multi-course chef's tasting menu available for lunch or dinner to experience the many exotic mixtures present in the main dishes. Expect to be surprised by just about everything you find including such stalwarts as Morimoto's tempura and the Kobe shortribs and yuzu poached lobster. Be prepared to be wowed by both presentation and the restaurant's striking design, accented by bamboo ceilings and pale light illumination.

Morimoto
723 Chestnut St.
(215) 413-9070
www.morimotorestaurant.com

Morton's of Chicago

Morton's of Chicago is the original; at least it's the oldest continuously operating beefhouse in town. Morton's boasts a large bar with televisions tuned in to sporting events, a clubby dining room that accommodates 100-plus and private dining for up to 100, plus a happening crowd for happy hour. What's not to like when the cart rolls out with your choice of perfectly cut steaks, giant lobsters and chops made to order, then accompanied by sizable side dishes like creamed spinach, one-pound baked potatoes and sauteed wild mushrooms? While the vegetarians and the non-carnivores of the world will be pleased with the non-meat dishes, it's the beef that is the draw here--porterhouse, sirloin, rib-eye, filet mignon. If it's steak, Morton's serves it, all USDA prime and aged at least two weeks.

Morton's of Chicago
1411 Walnut St.
(215) 557-0724

www.mortons.com

Pod

The Jetsons collide with Japanese pop culture at Pod, a tres chic eatery, with its white walls, shiny red foam couches, light-up bar stools, and lizard lounge music. Best of all are the three elevated egg-shaped rooms that let diners change the mood lighting with the push of a button. Then there's the conveyor belt sushi bar where lines of delectable Japanese dishes like miso-glazed sea bass and sesame-crusted scallops slide down and around an oval seating area until they're chosen. The Kaiseki Express menu offers a variety of stir fry and sushi combinations delivered to your table in 15 minutes. The food's good, nouvelle cuisine goes Asian, but the show may be even be better.

Pod
3636 Sansom St.
(215) 387-1803
www.podrestaurant.com

The Prime Rib

If you like your steak with a side of sophistication and glamour, The Prime Rib can oblige. One of the few "jacket required" restaurants in town, this throwback to the '40s is truly where the elite meet to eat meat. A motif of sexy Vargas babes, fresh flowers and ebony paneling, with a jazz trio keeping the beat in the background, all set the stage for a first-class experience that's received top honors in Zagats. The portions are huge and priced in kind. From the garlicky clams casino to the oversized prime rib, perfectly cooked and big enough to feed a family of four, this restaurant is what steakhouse dining for grown-ups is all about.

The Prime Rib
1701 Locust St.
(215) 772-1701

www.theprimerib.com

Twenty Manning Grill

The City of Brotherly Love loves to pamper its visitors with unexpected delights, and one of those is the lovely Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. This quiet enclave leads to a number of great restaurant finds, including one of the newer ones, Twenty Manning Grill. This classic bistro exudes charm and sophistication in a comfortable setting that begs diners to stay and relax with its varied menu. Start with a Caprese salad or the raw bar, move on to burgers—all varieties from tuna to bison—or try the daily special entrees. Charbroiled beef sirloin noodles are a house favorite in a restaurant that serves seasonal classic fare. Top it off with a berry cobbler or just relax with the great wine list in the pretty tin-roofed room.

The Prime Rib
261 South 20th St.
(215) 731-0900

www.twentymanninggrill.com

Vetri

There are 35 seats to be had at Vetri, his intimate Italian restaurant located in an historic townhouse that was the original address for Le Bec-Fin. You may wait at least that long in days when calling in a reservation. Vetri's is a charming dining experience that's lent to consistency and courteous service. The seasonal menu features classic and contemporary Italian dishes, Start on spinach gnocci with shaved ricotta or almond torellini with white truffle sauce, then try pappardelle with venison sausage and seckle pears, or pistachio stuffed rack of lamb served with artichoke stew. Continually ranked among the top three or four Philadelphia restaurants, Vetri's offers a surprise around every corner, including the extra virgin olive oil that gives the lavender gelato an extra shimmer.

Vetri
1312 Spruce St.
(215) 732-3478
www.vetriristorante.com



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