Coming to us from www.uwishunu.com. This spring will be an exciting time for the Philly restaurant scene. New eateries ranging from quick eats, farm to table, tapas, cupcakes and just about anything else you can imagine. Check out the full list right here.
From www.uwishunu.com, the ten most popular restaurants in Philadelphia according to www.opentable.com. Stephen Starr‘s Buddakan took the top spot, with Chima Brazilian Steakhouse and Parc rounding out the top three. Not surprisingly all ten restaurants are located in Center City, Old City or Rittenhouse Square. Not to take away anything from the restaurants listed, but one thing I learned from real estate, which holds true in the restaurant biz, it’s all about location. As good as these restaurants are, they are obviously more popular because of their central location, as opposed to a restaurant tucked away in the Art Museum area or Fishtown.
Then again, these restaurants are not ranked on food or ambience, but instead their popularity on www.opentable, so excuse my mini-rant. Either way, with our new offices here on Rittenhouse Square, it’s exciting to be so close to some of the most popular restaurants in the city!
Here’s a fantastic review of the Norther Liberties staple, Silk City. A great Restaurant and lounge in one of Philly’s greatest neighborhoods:
“Everything Old is New Again” By patrick Coyne
The Northern Liberties dive is now the revamped faux-dive and lounge in the burgeoning NoLibs neighborhood. Owner Mark Bee purchased the run down diner and gutted the interior, removing the malaise that led to its predecessor’s decline, as well as layers of grease and grime that had been building up, presumably since the previous owners purchased it in 1990.
Hopes were high for the Mark Bee-revamp of Silk City and he did not disappoint, for the most part. Silk’s interior overloads the senses with the neon red glow of the lounge, thumping dance music and the velvet paintings of scantily clad Amazonians and Bengal tigers adorning the walls. The bright sign stating “Everything old is new again” adjacent to the main entrance explains the decorating choices.
The dining area covers every open space with year-round Halloween decorations or purposefully gaudy nik-naks like a self-aware Applebees. The décor bludgeons you with its hipness the moment you walk through the door. Silk needs to realize that “ironically tacky” is still tacky.
Your best bet for avoiding the day-glo mess is to grab a booth in the dining area and focus on the exquisite menu. The value of a restaurant is in its ability to create something new from the old standards. Silk City succeeds in taking classic American comfort food to an awe-inspiring level.
The buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potatoes feels like a home cooked meal but the real stand out of the dish was the jalapeño cornbread. In fact, you could easily make a meal out of the eclectic appetizer menu.
The baked macaroni and cheese with a hint of garlic is another old favorite given the Silk treatment with fantastic results. Couple that with the excellent drink specials and a few local favorites on tap and you’ve got one satisfying meal. The prices, thankfully, keep with the “dive” aesthetic, as entrees range from $13- $17 and daily cocktail specials for $4.
As good as the dinner time entrees are, the weekend brunch can not be missed. The dining area sparkles when bathed in the sunlight and shines without the aide of neon. The crowd is low-key compared to the weekend warriors of Friday and Saturday and Silk City serves up the perfect hangover helper. My favorite was the fried eggs and sausage served in a lager gravy. There’s also the very Berry Waffles, which, despite the name, are just sweet enough without overwhelming the entire meal. It’s an early morning to mid-afternoon treat that no Philadelphian should pass up.
It seems that Silk city’s claim “Everything old is new again” is more than just another needless decoration but a mantra for the NoLibs hot spot. Mark Bee has taken a rundown dining car, revamped some comfort food staples and created an original dining experience. Silk City redefines what it means to be an American Diner.
For More information about Silk City, Northern Liberties or any other neighborhood in Philadelphia, contact me at www.themickeygroup.com
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