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Dining in luxury in Center City

So I was talking at work, and there are 3 restaurants I recommend in Center City without hesitation (really, I have only ever planned ahead to get reservations at any of these places once, and that was for restaurant week):

Alma de Cuba – I’ve been there three or four times, and I’ve always had both amazing food and elegant service. And they have *fried* avocados. My father couldn’t find anything to eat there, but I have no idea why – he’s very picky and staid. I, however, would love to go back.

Amada – I love that I can go there at obscure hours, even at the very last seating of the night on restaurant week, and still get wonderful service. The food is delightful. And this one time I ended up seated at the bar, and the bar tender recommended this amazing drink she had made up to go with the food, and it was brilliant.

Kanella – Well conceived menu of Cypriot dishes. Every time I go, I keep trying to order everything on the menu. And, according to the waiter, they only discontinued brunch for winter, and it should be starting up again next weekend. Oh, yeah, I went last night.

In the spirit of trying to eat as many things on the menu as possible, I ordered three appetizers instead of a main.

  • Warm Middle Eastern Lamb Salad – Mmmm! The lamb was tender, and the eggplant was delicious. Oh, come on, even the random braised onions, which were just part of the base of it all, were delightful. I soaked up the juices with the toasted multi-grain bread that came with – and then I also used the cumin bread that had been brought to the table with tahini. This would have made a delightful entree.
  • Bureki – Phyllo pastry triangle filled with feta and thyme, drizzled with thyme honey, served with roasted beets. Yeah, I think the only thing that wasn’t amazing would have been the roasted beets. They were cold and mild-flavored. Even just being warmer would have made them more exciting. But the pastry itself was everything you want a flaky savory/sweet pastry to be. Not heavy. And then I ended up scraping every last trace of honey off the plate with more of the cumin bread, and that was also amazing. The honey is so thin and light that it’s hard to believe how tasty it is.
  • Garides Saganaki – roast shrimp served with couscous. The shrimp were peeled except for the heads and tails. I pulled the tails off any munched on the tasty (female) heads. Very delicious and well prepared. And the couscous was cooked with butter and olives and was some of the first couscous I have enjoyed.
  • For dessert, I had the Lemon and Yogurt Mousse with thyme syrup. Mmmm! Just the right mix of sour and sweet and amazingly rich.