+ Creperie Beau Monde/L’Etage: French Food, European Night Life
Off the beaten trail, and nestled in South Philadelphia this French sensation offers an experience unlike any other. A savory lunch or dinner at Creperie Beau Monde is something unique. From hearty buckwheat crepes to sweet crepes, mouthwatering salads to flavorful cheese plates Beau Monde is a foodies dream. The fresh vintage setting brings a feeling of France to the intersection of sixth and Bainbridge. On top (literally) of all of the wonder that is Beau Monde is L’Etage, where the French flare is illuminated into the night. There you can find a DJ pumping beats in a cozy cabaret setting well equipped with a dance floor. If you are looking for a night of dinner and dancing or a memorable luncheon, Beau Monde/ L’Etage has it all under one roof. The Creperie is open Tues-Fri:12-12, Sat:10-11 and the cabaret upstairs runs Tue-Thu,Sun 7:30pm-1am; Fri-Sat 7:30pm-2am. Insider’s Tips: L'Etage offers special nights for live cabaret, music, film and Djs.
+ A Touch of France at Bistrot la Minette
If you’ve never experienced France, try the next best thing and look no further than Bistrot la Minette. Even the most experienced French culinary aficionados will be impressed by the amazingly authentic creations by chef Peter Woosley, cooking up classic bistro dishes, from Œuf du Pêcheur (mussels with a poached egg and tarragon cream sauce) and Escargots, to Roasted Chicken and Steak au Poivre. The equally divine dessert selection is the perfect end to an evening, with tartes and pastries galore (Oh la la!). On a nice night, sit outside in the Garden Courtyard, whose dazzling European feel not only takes you away from the buzz of the city, but also won Best Outdoor Dining in 2009 from Philadelphia Magazine. Better yet, go on a Monday or Thursday night, when the Bistrot shows French films as you wine and dine in the courtyard. For larger parties, reservations can be made for the rustic farm-inspired private dining room, offering a separate menu for up to 20 guests. Could this place be more charming?
+ Lacroix’s Haute Cuisine in Beautiful Rittenhouse Square
Every now and then you have one of those moments where you think “I don’t know what on Earth I just ate, but it was delicious and I want more!” And even when they tell you what it is (kampachi who?) just smile, nod and be thankful that the glorious morsel is in your mouth! Lacroix provides exotic flavor blends that will wow even the most adventurous of palates in one of the most luxurious and beautiful settings in Philadelphia. Overlooking the haute Rittenhouse Square, Lacroix provides a serene loft above the bustle of the streets. The staff is exceptional, as is the sommelier (handsome and French, just the way he should be). It seems futile to suggest entrees because everything will leave you speechless and thrilled. If you’re not in town for dinner, the brunch is legendary. From the towering raw bar with exceptional caviar selections to the crisped corn beef and potato hash with, ahem, poached egg on top (awesome!) all bellies will leave full and delighted.
+ Vintage Wine Bar – Much More than Fine Wine
Malbecs and Beaujolais and Viogniers, oh my! Just as a fine wine has its particular nuances that sometimes you can’t seem to put your finger on, Vintage Wine Bar and Bistro has that charm that keeps you coming back for more. It is certainly helpful that Vintage is constantly changing their menu, but the one great consistency is that there’s over 60 wines by the glass at all times. The menu is crafted to enhance the wine, and features French-inspired bistro food like steak frites and escargots for fantastic prices. For those that prefer a different fermentation, Vintage also features a plethora of specialty brews from all nooks of the world, like Dogfish Head from Delaware and Sagres from Portugal. If you’re searching for an evening with some extra oomph, the staff offers personalized food and wine pairings and would be happy to work with any group. Order a flight with some recommendations from the wait staff and settle in for a great evening in this enticing and sophisticated atmosphere.
+ See & Be Seen at Parc
One of the newest editions to Stephen Starr's empire- of Buddakan and Morimoto fame- is Parc. This chic restaurant allows a bit of escape while still soaking in the beauty and bustle of Rittenhouse Square. Parc pays homage to the brasseries of Paris, doing so with its own charm and style. In the upcoming winter, warm up at the large zinc bar inside with one of their signature and delicious cocktails. When the weather starts to warm, you'll be lucky to snag a seat at the outdoor bistro tables that are prime for people watching. Parc serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, and with everything from a delicious brioche french toast with apples and hazelnut butter to a classic steak frites, there’s not much you can go wrong with on this all-star menu. No matter what time or what season, there’s no reason to miss out on this popular, chic café. Vive la France!