Archives for September 2012

Gotham Bar and Grill – Deservedly on Everyone’s Top Ten List

Gotham Bar and Grill New York Greenwich Village Manhattan
Business Travelers:  Do you recommend Gotham Bar and Grill for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 4.6/5 (3 votes cast)

Every review of Gotham Bar and Grill is glowing, everyone loves the place as do I. I was really looking forward to going back. Gotham deserves every one of those good reviews. The entire experience, from the welcome at the door to the service and food, is terrific. Go anytime for a wonderful time. Gotham offers a $25 prix fix lunch marketplace special. Yes, I am in Greenwich Village again, but having one of New York’s best restaurants so close to home made this trip quickly inevitable. NYC neighborhoods The Bowery, Meatpacking District and Flatiron are coming soon along with more Philly favorites.

The Gotham Bar and Grill Experience: OK, I cheated. It was the July 4th holiday week.  With the 4th on a Wednesday both weekends emptied the city so I go to Gotham on Friday, July 6, 2012 about 8:15 P.M. expecting lots of seats. Not quite, the restaurant is full and I snag one of the 3 remaining empty seats at the bar, a nice vibe for a holiday Friday night. The bar faces the wall and seems quite long with about 18 seats on the long side and 4 seats on each of the short sides. I sit about 2/3 of the way down the long end. Sit at the bar near the door for a good view of the entire restaurant. I order a drink and look at the menu.  I know you can’t go wrong with most items but the well-known classic Gotham Bar & Grill Tuna Tartare is calling my name (watch this video to learn the story and see how it is made coutesy Eater Untouchables). I order the Tartare with the Gotham Risotto, actually two appetizers, but both were absolutely terrific and plenty of food.

Once I order, the bartender snaps my dinner “tray” to the top of the bar and it is as if I now have a small table at the bar, very cool and comfortable. It also thankfully keeps my food off my shirt.  The bartender is nice, engaging and extremely professional. The other patrons are all in small groups at the bar so my conversations were limited but they all seemed friendly and were having a good time.

Business Travelers:  Gotham is expensive but worth the price.  Restaurant week for dinner or lunch presents a rare opportunity to get a good deal. Excellent for all types of business activities with friends, coworkers, clients and colleagues. The bar is not extremely social, most people have come with others and are already engaged so this is a good place to come alone to decompress or with others, interacting with other patrons only when you want. Of course the Greenwich Village neighborhood is a great walking area and Gotham is near some of the most beautiful blocks in The Village, or even the city, with the blocks of West 10th, 11th and 12th between 5th and 6th Avenues being the best. Also check out the scene in nearby Union Square. A perfect place for  Women traveling on business, you  will feel welcome and comfortable in Gotham and the surrounding neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★★ 

Gotham Bar and Grill
12 East 12th Street
New York, NY 10003
212-620-4020

Gotham Bar and Grill Menu
New York Times Gotham Review

Gotham Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Adobe Cafe – Great Southwestern Fare in South Philly

Adobe Cafe Southwestern Restaurant South Philadelphia East Passyunk
Business Travelers:  Do you recommend Adobe Cafe for
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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 2.9/5 (2 votes cast)


Adobe Cafe
 is one of those places you enjoy going to time after time. The food is great and the staff, especially the bartenders, seem to extremely happy you are there. The other guests are friendly and talkative and the atmosphere is terrific with a big bar surrounded by televisions.  Now, don’t think this is a loud boisterous place, it is just the right mix of activity while remaining comfortable. There is even Quizzo and other activities on certain nights to keep you entertained. More NYC and Philly reviews to come.

The Adobe Cafe Experience: On Tuesday, May 29, 2012 about 7:00 P.M. I go to Adobe with two friends to watch the Phillies game and eat a meal at the bar.  Yes, another Phillies review! My friends are from, and have a business in, the hopping East Passyunk Avenue neighborhood of South Philly and we frequently go to Adobe for a meal, a drink or to catch a game.  It is a terrific combination of locals and others from Center City and beyond who have come to East Passyunk to dine, drink, stroll and shop.  The neighborhood is perfect for this.

We order margaritas and food.  The drinks are very tasty, some of the best you will ever have.  My friends order wings, lots of them, in  multiple flavors, and they are very good and come highly recommended.  I have a Chicken Quesadilla and the Skillet Seared Filet Mignon Steak Tips.  Both were great but the Steak Tips were terrific, nice chucks of tender steak with a special sauce with fajitas.  Will get them again next time I go back.

I really like the layout at Adobe.  Big centered, three sided bar with about 4 seats on the short end and about 7 on each of the longer sides.  A good view from almost any seat and easy to see the televisions.  The televisions are usually tuned to sports and the staff is very attentive to keeping the channels changed to a good game.  From both longer sides you can look into the restaurant and see out onto bustling East Passyunk Avenue through the large windows.  AC was on high, making it very comfortable considering it was over 90 degrees, humid with thunderstorms outside.

Business Travelers:  A good placed for meeting and hanging with coworkers, clients and colleagues. A little off the beaten path for Business Travelers in Center City’s Business District but worth the trip from Center City and beyond for the crowded sidewalks of East Passyunk Avenue with its big selection of shops and restaurants.  Go to Capogiro Gelato & Sorbetto for some the best Italian Gelato in the country as you walk “the Avenue”.  E’Punk as the area is know is an easy trip from Center City via subway or cab.  Combine your trip with a walking tour of the famous South Philadelphia Italian Market nearby. Women traveling on business will feel welcome and comfortable in Adobe and the surrounding neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

Adobe Cafe
1919 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
215-551-2243

Adobe Cafe Menu
LocalEats Best Southwestern Restaurant Review

Adobe Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tello Restaurante – Classic Delicious Italian in Chelsea

Tello Restaurante Chelsea Manhattan New York City Bar
Business Travelers:  Do you recommend Tello Restaurante for
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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 3.1/5 (3 votes cast)

Hungry for Italian, I decided to go back to old favorite, Tello Restaurante. I remember Tello being a small cozy place on 20th Street near 8th Avenue but to my surprise Tello has expanded to the corner with Trois Canards, a popular French from the West Village, taking over its old space.

I’ve escaped from Greenwich Village and made it all the way to Chelsea, whew!  No worries, The Bowery, Meatpacking District and Flatiron are coming soon with a few Philly favorites thrown in.

The Tello Experience: On Monday, July 2, 2012 about 8:00 P.M. I walk in, sit at the bar and order a glass of wine. The new space is very nice and roomy, not as quaint and cozy (read tight) as the old but still had that classic Italian feel and décor. Not very crowded this evening. The old space usually had a wait and was especially cozy on cold winter nights. This night, being the height of summer and a holiday week, with July 4th on a Wednesday, a comparison is difficult.  Will have to come back again in the fall to check out the crowd again.

Several seats available at the bar, I snag one by the door. I order the Veal Parmigiana which was delicious, just the thing I had in mind for dinner tonight. No appetizer or desert for me tonight, still summer and an early morning coming up. Bartender and the rest of the crew were very friendly and talkative. I am not sitting close to other patrons so I had a quiet evening to myself.

The bar is right inside the door facing 8th Avenue with about 7 seats on the long side, none on the two short sides. You get glimpses of the activity on 8th Avenue through the glass bar shelving in the front window. This is the heart of Chelsea and on a summer evening there is a lot of things happening on 8th Avenue. Any seat at the bar is a good seat. All seats face the front with the rest of the restaurant at your back. No televisions, no problem.

Business Travelers:  Absolutely a good place for business travelers looking for a very good Classic Italian dinner in the fun Chelsea neighborhood with coworkers, clients and colleagues. As I said, not very crowded tonight but a Monday night in a big holiday week is surely to blame. Women traveling on business will feel welcome and comfortable in Tello and the surrounding Chelsea neighborhood. A great area to walk around before and after dinner.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

Tello Restaurante
198 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
212-691-8696

Tello Restaurante Menu
TripAdvisor Tello Restaurante Review

Tello on Urbanspoon

BLT Burger – Greenwich Village & Burgers Are Made For Each Other

BLT Burger Bar Image Greenwich Village Manhattan New York City
Business Travelers:  Do you recommend BLT Burger for
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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 3.2/5 (2 votes cast)

BLT Burger is a longtime NYC favorite, time for a review. I know, another Greenwich Village review and another burger!? I promise the next review will be in another neighborhood. I wanted to acclimate myself with my long-time Village home and neighborhood before venturing out. I’ve already done several meals at restaurant bars in other areas which are just waiting to be published, you’ll see them soon.

The BLT Burger Experience: On Tuesday June 26, 2012 about 8:30 P.M. I walked into BLT Burger sat down, ordered a drink and asked for a menu. I have not been to this neighborhood favorite of mine in about four years so was anxious to check it out. Of course I order a Philly Burger. I guess I miss my last three years in Philly just a bit and needed a little comfort. I forgo fries in favor of coleslaw. The burger was so good I have been back since to get it again (and ordered one a third time for delivery at home). The Cole Slaw was the best I have probably ever had, sorry Mom.  Who raves about cole slaw?

BLT Burger is part of the ESQUARED Hospitality Group which has brought NYC many restaurants among them BLT Fish, BLT Prime, BLT Steak and Casa Nonna. ESquared also has restaurants in several other cities.

The bar faces the wall in the deep, and storefront, wide restaurant. 3 seats on one end and about 15 seats on the long side. Tonight is not crowded at the bar, several people from the neighborhood and a bunch of business people, although the prime television viewing seats are almost all taken. I snag a seat near the door on the long side of the bar just able to see both televisions, one at the end near the front and the other about towards the other end of the bar. Both televisions had the Yankees game on but the bartender was happy to change one channel to the Mets for me. She was extremely outgoing, friendly and engaging. I spoke to one business women traveling who sat enjoyably at the bar.  The other patrons were very fun especially with the both Yankees and Mets fans at the bar.

Business Travelers:  A good group of business people at the bar, both locals after work and others in New York for business. Fun place with a lively vibe, good for business travelers looking for a fun night out and a great burger with coworkers, clients and colleagues. You can’t beat the Greenwich Village location.  As I said earlier, I chatted with one woman business traveler at the bar who found the food and atmosphere quite comfortable and enjoyable. Women traveling on business will feel welcome and comfortable in BLT Burger and the surrounding neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

BLT Burger
470 Sixth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
212-243-8226

BLT Burger Menu
New York Magazine BLT Burger Review

BLT Burger on Urbanspoon

20 Manning Grill & Audrey Claire – A Great Pair in Rittenhouse Square

20 Manning Grill Review Restaurant Bar Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square

Business Travelers:  Do you recommend 20 Manning Grill for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 4.1/5 (4 votes cast)

Business Travelers:  Do you recommend Audrey Claire for

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Co-workers, Colleagues or Customers?
Conducting Business; having a Business meeting?
Dining alone?
Women Business Travelers dining alone?
Friendly staff, patrons and good service?
Enjoyable food?
Meeting other Business Travelers?
Rating: 4.1/5 (4 votes cast)

Enjoy this two for one review, 20 Manning Grill and their down the street sister restaurant, BYOB Audrey Claire. Both get high marks. Several more Philly reviews to come and I continue eating my way through Restaurant Bars in New York with many more NYC reviews on the way.

The 20 Manning Grill & Audrey Claire Experience: Thursday, May 17, 2012 about 6:00 P.M. a friend and I go to 20 Manning Grill to eat at the bar and have a few drinks and watch the Phillies. A couple of seats were available and we snagged two in the center in front of the television. I think we were lucky to get seats during Happy Hour in a very popular bar.

We start by ordering drinks and two appetizers to share, the Spicy Calamari and Deviled Eggs. We both thought it was some of the best calamari we have ever had. While I thought the deviled eggs were great, my friend said they were good but raved that his wife’s were better. Next came a burger to share. 20 Manning often shows up on the best burger lists and this tasty burger showed why. They were nice enough to cut it in half for us, very cool. Great burger and fries served on a wooden cutting board. A menu note: the Charbroiled Beef Sirloin Noodles are still on the menu. A signature dish for 20 Manning which has been around a very long time because the customers demand it. While we did not order it tonight, I’ve had it before and highly recommend.

A businessman from Alabama sitting next to us at the bar loved the place. He was in Philly for a conference and travels to the city frequently. He always goes to 20 Manning Grill but really raved about BYOB Audrey Claire, which I also think is terrific. Audrey Claire takes no reservations Friday & Saturday, only Sunday through Thursday, but will suggest you wait at 20 Manning’s bar and they will call you when your table is ready. Businessman thought Audrey Claire’s Grilled Caesar Salad and Grilled Brussel Sprouts were tremendous. He had no problem sitting alone at a table in Audrey Claire (no bar) with a bottle of wine he brought enjoying the great food.

Nice bar facing the wall. 3 seats on each of  the short ends and about 10 on the long side. Fun, social patrons and great staff. We sat in the middle of the 10 seat side with the television directly in front of us, Phillies on at 8 P.M. They usually have sports on TV but will take channel requests. You can count on a Philly sports game on this television if one of the city’s teams is playing. Sit on long side or the short 3 at the far end to see much of the restaurant, bar and out the large swing out windows open to diners and pedestrians on 20th Street and Manning Street.  Sit on the near 3 side for a view of the entire restaurant. Outdoor seating has a misting system to keep you cool on hot nights. Head to Yogorino down the street for a desert to enjoy as you walk the beautiful neighborhood streets.

Business Travelers:  As I mentioned in the above section about the business traveler we met, both 20 Manning Grill and Audrey Clair are both terrific places for business travelers. Great places to take clients, coworkers and colleagues for a fun and social night out. Located in the popular Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, it’s a great way to get a taste of Philly’s walkable neighborhoods and excellent restaurants and nightlife.  Nice place to people watch outside on the busy streets. Women traveling on business will feel welcome and comfortable at 20 Manning, Audrey Claire and in the surrounding Rittenhouse Square neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

20 Manning Grill
261 South 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-731-0900
20 Manning Grill Menu
Craig LaBan Audrey Claire Review

Audrey Claire
20th & Spruce Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
215-731-1222
Audrey Claire Menu
Philadelphia Style Best New Restaurants List

20 Manning: Twenty Manning Grill on Urbanspoon
Audrey Claire: Audrey Claire on Urbanspoon