On our perpetual quest for good eating before a concert or theater, we found some winners. Here are a few that won't break the bank:
Estia, Locust St. between Broad and 15th. Pre-theater dinner for $30. There are 3 choices of appetizer, 3 choices of main course, and their choice of dessert.
We had a splendid meal. You can see the menu on their website, which is estiarestaurant.com - a classy website.
The place is beautiful, the service topnotch, and the food excellent. You can also order a la carte, of course, but it would cost much more. Our favorite appetizer was the grilled one; the disks of octopus and the stuffed calimari were terrific.
One warning: prices for drinks are outrageously high. But go anyway!
Branzino, 17th St. just above Spruce. This is a lovely place, and the food is consistently good - much better than any of the surrounding Italian restaurants, IMHO. (Not counting a place like Vetri.) And we have been to them all, and more than once. I'm talking about within a few block radius of the Kimmel Center.
Prices are reasonable, and it's quiet enough to talk.
(We do like La Viola, which is even cheaper, but expect to shout, not talk.)
Shiroi Hana - 15th St.,between Walnut and Locust. Japanese, but more than sushi - delicious fried oysters, etc. Serene, wonderful service, has a bar.
Valanni - Spruce, between 13th and Broad. Mediterranean/Continental. Tapas these days. Good food, especially the scallops, duck, etc.
Ted's Montana Grill - right across from the Kimmel Center, at Broad and Spruce. This is the place to go when you want a hamburger and maybe a beer. They get you in and out promptly. I have had the small filet there - less than $20 - and it was pretty good (and tasty!)
This place didn't get a good review from LaBan, but it isn't stopping people from keeping it busy. There was a need for this kind of operation.
Feel free to add your own favorites. I would like to know more about the new Japanese restaurant on Spruce St.