My favorite subject: FOOD 😍. Let’s talk about Center City District Restaurant Week 2017 in Philly. I know it ended a few weeks ago, but it will forever live on in my foodie heart (or at least until the next restaurant week in Philadelphia comes around). CCD Restaurant Week this year ran from September 10th-September 19th, so if you missed out I sincerely apologize, but then again you have no one to blame but yourself and your no-good friends/family/significant other who did not drag you out for this amazing selection of culinary goodness. I know this post is long overdue, but I hope that it’ll inspire you next time to put the junk food down, lay off the Taco Bell for a night (although I do love me some Taco Bell), and in the wise words of Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle… Treat Yo Self.
So this time around, I decided to try out a few different places for restaurant week. I went almost every day of the 10 days that restaurant week spanned 🙈, let’s just say my wallet wasn’t too happy but my stomach sure was! Philadelphia offers so many great options when it comes to food. The city of brotherly love is definitely a staple when it comes to food diversity. Over 120 restaurants around the center city area participated in restaurant week this year and if I could’ve tried them all I would have.
A little bit about restaurant week for those who have yet to participate in one: it’s a magical time during which some of the nicest, fanciest, yummiest places offer a discounted three-course meal for dinner at $35 or lunch for only $20. Some of these places can run you up a minimum tab upwards of $100 per meal sooo yea restaurant week is basically a steal. Certain restaurants offer their full menu while others do a Prix Fixe menu, before you make your final decision you can always check the menus at OpenTable. I also highly suggest making reservations before you go as the popular restaurants can fill up fast.
In this post I wanted to highlight 4 of the restaurants I sampled for CCD Restaurant Week 2017: Buddakan, Amada, Ocean Prime, and Butcher and Singer. Excuse me while I salivate just writing and reimagining these dining moments in my mind 🤤.
Buddakan– Okay so I wanted to start off with one of my favorite STARR restaurants. It’s an upscale Asian fusion restaurant that provides a beautiful aesthetic complete with a huge Buddha statue perfect for instagramming millennials like myself. The food was a hit in my book. The calamari salad appetizer is one of my all-time favorites, so delicious! We got the sea bass and the beef chow fun as entrées and they were both such great sized portions. I was so full by the time I was done my meal I almost couldn’t even fathom dessert (I said almost!) Who am I kidding? I always have room for dessert, and besides it is included in the $35 meal so it’s kind of a no-brainer. I had the dim sum doughnuts which are yummy cinnamon-sugar covered doughnuts with chocolate and raspberry dipping sauces. This is a must-go place for me in the city regardless, but definitely go if you get a chance during restaurant week to get some bang for your buck.
Amada– I went to Amada for lunch with a friend because we had both been hearing such great things about this place. I had the salad which was awesome, but also very filling. I couldn’t finish it because I wanted to save room for the main course. This place serves Spanish cuisine tapas style. It’s super chic and modern, I love the open layout of it and the different dining areas. We chose to sit by the chef’s table where you can watch food art in motion (highly recommend). Also, I want to pause and take a minute to thank all of the staff and chefs at these amazing restaurants. From the bottom of my stomach I thank you! At Amada for lunch you can pick two different tapas as your entrée, I chose the chorizo and calamari. Wow when I tell you that the food here tasted so fresh, I mean FRESH. For dessert I opted for the milhojas which is a puff pastry with hazelnut praline, and banana. The quantity of food at this place is great as well as the quality. I will definitely be going back again soon, highly recommend.
Ocean Prime– I’ve been wanting to try this steak and seafood house for a while. While on a normal day this place is usually out of my budget I couldn’t help but try it for restaurant week. I have to start by saying that I love when you walk into a place and it exudes fanciness, like when you step in you automatically feel fancy yourself. Well this was one of those places, I really like the elegant decor. My friend and I decided to try their signature drink called Berries & Bubbles, which is basically champagne, some fresh fruit, and dry ice but OMG this drink was so cute and delicious. Now it will cost you about $16 for just the drink… but I’ll repeat my statement above treat yo self. For my main dish I got the filet mignon, because who goes to a steakhouse and gets anything else? The filet was so good and cooked perfectly, my only wish was that there was more of it. For dessert I split the carrot cake and the chocolate caramel pretzel ice cream with the person I went with. Dessert was ridiculously yummy, honestly probably one of my favorite desserts from the whole week. While I enjoyed the food at Ocean Prime, I will say that the amount of food you get isn’t as great compared to some other places.
Last but definitely not least is Butcher & Singer Steakhouse– This place is one of my new favorites in Philadelphia and is another STARR restaurant. I have been wanting to try it for the longest time. It actually was the last place I visited during restaurant week on the very last day. I felt like I saved the best for last. The architecture of the building is exquisite and gives off some serious old Hollywood vibes, I really loved seeing the dog pictures on the wall here too (so cute). I have 3 words that sums this place up: homemade buttermilk biscuits. If you go here for any reason at all let it be for the biscuits. They are made to order so they take a little bit to come out to your table, but so yummy and worth it. I had the butternut squash soup as my appetizer, the filet mignon & mashed potatoes paired with a cabernet sauvignon as my entrée, and the chocolate mouse with creme and raspberries for dessert. WOW. that’s all I have to say. I just loved everything about my meal including the impeccable service. The waiter was so nice and gave us extra dessert to take home because we were so full from dinner he said we could just have a few bites, but that he’d also wrap us up new ones to take home too. He was such a doll. I can’t wait to go back here again! Something to note is that this place is a la carte so on a normal day the steak by itself will run you ~$45 (without a side dish), so the restaurant week price is extremely worth it.
That’s my rundown of my CCD Restaurant Week 2017 adventures. Until next time!
Stay tuned for more adventures…