On a last minute whim, my husband and I spent the night in Philly thanks to the glory that is Priceline. We live on the Main Line but it still felt like a vacation, and the snow meant that the city was fairly quiet.
We had dinner at Chloe, and it was our first visit there. We got there a little after five and there was only one other couple in the place; by the time we left about 75% of the tables were filled. It was First Friday, but we guessed that the snow kept even the city dwellers indoors.
We loved the chipotle hummus and delicious bread that began the meal. Greg started with a roasted tomato soup that was good, but a little too sweet for either of our tastes. This was the only disappointment in an otherwise stellar dinner. He had the New York strip, which was cooked to perfection and served with potato-goat cheese gratin, crispy onions, and spinach. He loved it. I started with a special salad - mixed greens, a white balsamic dressing, roasted pears, and an absolutely enormous piece of gorgonzola. For my entree I had the ravioli special, which was four huge homemade ravioli stuffed with a duck and sweet potato confit, served with dried cherries in a duck broth. Exquisite. Neither of us had room for dessert at the time. The service was excellent, with just the right amount of wait between courses and fast drink refills. They were playing really good music, and not too loudly. We would absolutely return again and recommend it highly.
Later that evening we had a completely disappointing experience at the Continental, where neither of us had ever been. The drinks were overpriced and undersized, with barely discernable alcohol; the desserts were decent but certainly not worth what they're charging. The atmosphere was cool but the hostess was snotty when she realized we only wanted dessert and drinks. There was, I should point out, very little wait - and no one waiting when we left. There was plenty of room at the bar. I'm still wondering what their problem was, and I doubt we'll return - which is a shame, because the fries looked intriguing.
For brunch this morning we ate at the Marathon Grill; good food and service as usual. This afternoon we tried the hot chocolate bar at the Ritz-Carlton. The experience itself was very cool - Caesar, the hot chocolate sommelier, is fun and interesting and explains everything to you before you choose what you want. Five kinds of chocolate and an array of toppings, including three kinds of homemade marshmellows, were there for us to choose from. Our biggest complaint? It's not incredibly chocolatey. It was really, really milky. So while we loved the experience, and I did really enjoy the fresh raspberries and the raspberry marshmellows I chose, I wouldn't repeat it unless I heard that they started to up the chocolate level a bit.
All in all, a good eating weekend!