A big thank-you! to Sylvia G for her suggestion of Overtures as a destination for a nice, quiet, upscale byob experience within a cab ride of downtown Philadelphia (it is, in fact, half a block south of South Street but in a world of its own.) We had a great experience and will certainly return.
Our Saturday reservation left me concerned about crowds, but we need not have been. While the tables were about half occupied throughout the evening, our waiter told us there had been multiple last-minute cancellations, probably due to the weather.
I loved the somewhat formal decor - huge bouquets of fresh-cut flowers, trompe l'oeil drapery swags on the walls, heavy linen and tableware, ornate mirrors and fixtures, and beautiful candles on the tables. Driving through the neighborhood, one would have no idea that such elegance awaited inside. Quite a contrast from our most recent previous destinations: Mercado and Matyson. The waitstaff were very well trained, somewhat formally dressed and knowledgeable about the menu, preparation and ingredients.
We chose to go a la carte this time, but we also wanted to sample the wild mushrooms appetizer that was only available on the prix fixe menu. No problem, the substitution was graciously made. It was terrific, as were all the other courses - grilled scallops and poached lobster appetizer, excellent roasted veal and roast duckling entrees, each of which came with an elegant array of beautifully prepared asparagus, haricot verte, and sublime potatoes au gratin. Too full to even consider the array on the dessert cart, I ended with a good strong cappucino.
Best of all, we were able to relax, hear each other without raising our voices, and know that we have found yet another Philadelphia byo gem. Thanks again Sylvia.