Sant Ambroeus Soho – Fun Lunch, New Friends, Beautiful Food

Sant Ambroeus Bar Restaurant Soho New York Manhattan

After having a great lunch with old friends at Sant Ambroeus in the West Village, I was very much looking forward to having lunch with new friends. Tabelog.us is the United States Restaurant Guide launch of the hugely popular Gourmet Restaurant Guide Tabelog Japan. The people behind the US expansion, Lord Of The Forks and Cutie Patroller (yes, their Tabelog blogger names), invited me to lunch to talk about my plans for BarTaste, their plans for working closely with the foodie blogger community and Tableog’s expansion plans beyond the current cities of New York and Chicago. I am looking forward to some of the big things they have in store.

Sant Ambroeus Soho is a Milanese inspired restaurant with a  fun lunch crowd. The place is perfect for locals, business travelers, tourists and anyone who wants to entertain clients, colleagues, friends or coworkers.  It’s location in Soho puts you right in the middle of a great neighborhood. Go on a nice day or evening and leave some time to walk the neighborhood. Explore some of the very popular small shops, bars and restaurants, both new and old, throughout  SoHo. Sant Ambroeus’ central location puts you within an easy walk to other Manhattan neighborhoods like NoHo,  the Lower East Side  and Greenwich Village and the Bowery. Although I did not eat at the bar, it looked very inviting for a good meal, drinks, coffee or pastries. Great for women traveling alone on business.

We shared the entire meal. Everything was delicious and service was good with friendly fellow diners and staff. My favorites were the Cotoletta alla Milanese, a beautifully done and tender veal chop Milanese  and the Prosciutto e Mozzarella with wonderfully tasty prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella which just melted in your mouth.

Here are some photos of what we ate, loved it all:

COTOLETTA ALLA MILANESE traditional veal chop Milanese, garnished with rucola and tomato

 COTOLETTA ALLA MILANESE traditional veal chop Milanese, garnished with rucola and tomato

 BRANZINO IN PADELLA seared branzino in a light limoncello-caper sauce, seasonal vegetables

 BRANZINO IN PADELLA seared branzino in a light limoncello-caper sauce, seasonal vegetables

Sant Ambroeus PROSCIUTTO E MOZZARELLA San Daniele prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella and marinated artichokes

PROSCIUTTO E MOZZARELLA San Daniele prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella and marinated artichokes

Sant Ambroeus TAGLIATELLE SALTATE ALLA BOLOGNESE with a light veal ragù

TAGLIATELLE SALTATE ALLA BOLOGNESE with a light veal ragù

Now It’s Desert Time!

Their signature dessert: SANT AMBROEUS chocolate mousse cake with a chocolate custard centerTheir signature dessert: SANT AMBROEUS chocolate mousse cake with a chocolate custard center

Sant Ambroeus I BISCOTTI a selection of cookies

I BISCOTTI a selection of cookies

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆

Sant Ambroeus Soho on Urbanspoon

Parm – Terrific Old School Italian-American in Little Italy

Parm Restaurant Little Italy restaurant Manhattan New York

Business Travelers: Do you recommend Parm 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: 3.9/5 (5 votes cast)

What can you say about a Little Italy restaurant whose red typefaced menu is heavy on red gravy and traditional Italian-American fare? Delicious! This has always been a favorite food of mine, evidenced by these previous reviews and Parm does it well. It’s all here: meatball and chicken parm, sausage & peppers, turkey and eggplant sandwiches. A different dinner special is served each night. Unfortunately the Veal Parm is only available on Saturday night so I missed it. Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone are behind this restaurant. This same duo is behind critically acclaimed, high-end, red-gravy Carbone where the Veal Parmesan is $54. I wonder if Parm’s $25 Veal Parm Saturday dinner special is comparable? I will find out and report back.

The Parm Experience: Entering Parm you might think you have arrived in a diner. One quick look at what everyone is eating at the counter confirms you are in the right location. Several people are hanging in the entry area waiting for tables. All the seats at the counter are taken so I pause when someone comes comes over and asks it they can help me. I say I was hoping to eat at the counter and they quickly pull out a stool and deftly place it in a gap at the counter’s corner near the door. My seat luck strikes again. There are about about 8 seats on long side and now 2 on the short, including mine.

Realizing there will be no Veal Parm today, I order the meatball parm hero sandwich and baked clams. The hero comes on classic Italian bread. Other options for all sandwiches include a semolina roll or a no bread platter with a side salad or ziti. The sandwich is wonderful. The meatballs are perfectly cooked, not overdone, tender and nicely seasoned pairing well with the gravy and mozzarella. Maybe the best meatballs I have ever had (sorry Mom & Dad). The clams were a great start to the meal. I order the Pizza Knots to go and the treat continued at home.

Looking around at my fellow diners I drool (not literally) at the Baked Ziti with Meat Gravy, Chicken Parm and the Semolina rolls. The atmosphere is diner-like with 1960’s “tap your foot” dance music. There are 2 small TVs both showing Basketball on ESPN.

Business Travelers: Parm is centrally located in Downtown Manhattan and is terrific for Business Travelers and anyone who wants to entertain clients, colleagues, friends or coworkers. If you want a casual real Little Italy experience, this is your place. Go on a nice day or evening and leave some time to walk the neighborhood. Explore some of the very popular small shops, bars and restaurants, both new and old, throughout the Lower East Side. Parm’s central location puts you within an easy walk to other Manhattan neighborhoods like NoHo, SoHo and Greenwich Village. Great for women traveling alone on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

Parm
248 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012
212-993-7189

Parm Menu

Parm on Urbanspoon

Quality Italian – Fun and High Quality Italian – Perfect Name in Midtown

Quality Italian Restaurant New York Manhattan Midtown
Business Travelers: Do you recommend Quality Italian 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: 4.0/5 (6 votes cast)

When you select a name like Quality Italian for your restaurant you have already set expectations very high. After two visits I can tell you that those expectations have been exceeded. The first visit with friends had me wanting much more so I returned to have a meal at the bar.

The Quality Italian Experience: On a snowy Tuesday evening I decide it is time for a Midtown Manhattan review and head to Quality Italian. Being a Tuesday with snow I’m sure there will be lots of room. I arrive to find the bar full.

Quality Italian (QI for short) has a small bar downstairs but the slightly larger upstairs bar is where the action is. All the 8 seats on the long side facing the wall and the couple on the short side facing into the main dining room are full. One of these has been strangely co-opted by a woman sitting with friends in a small cocktail area next to the bar. Sitting substantially higher than her friends, and precariously leaning over, she looks as if she will shortly tumble over. The bartender, another patron and myself look at her quizzically and shrug.

The bartender, an extremely nice and attentive guy, asks what I would like to drink. I reply that I was hoping to sit at the bar for dinner. He replies that should not be a problem with a knowing nod and a smile. I order a drink and settle in, standing at the corner of the bar, waiting for a seat.

A regular is eating dinner next to me and she knows the bartender well, raving about the food. My new friend offers me a piece of an appetizer she is eating, Dry-Aged Porterhouse Agnolotti. It is terrific and I have a new best friend.

A seat opens up at the end of the bar and, before someone down there can snag it, the bartender guides me over into the seat. I finally settle in for what turns out to be a great meal.

I start with the Baked Clams, perfectly done and delicious. Make sure you have plenty of the freshly baked bread to soak up all the leftovers from the clams. Next is something I have been waiting for all week, the Veal Chop Milanese. Yes it is $39 but worth every cent. Pounded veal cooked perfectly with very tasty House Pickled Peppers & Mozzarella. I ate it slowly, thoroughly savoring every bite.

The bar area began filling and I made more friends, QI is a fun place. I met a couple from Long Island and she was making her own drink. After ordering a martini she pulled out a packet of Crystal Lite lemonade mix and poured it in. She did not have a name for the drink but she was certainly happy. Now I like martinis and Crystal Lite but don’t expect to be mixing them together anytime soon.

Business Travelers: Quality Italian is absolutely terrific for Business Travelers and anyone who wants to entertain clients, colleagues, friends or coworkers. In a top location, this restaurant is convenient to most buildings and hotels in Midtown Manhattan. It is worth the trip if even if you are staying downtown. QI is close to Central Park and all the very high-end Midtown Manhattan shopping and the city’s premiere office locations. I met several business women who felt very comfortable dining alone at QI’s bar and do so on a regular basis

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★★

Quality Italian
57 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
212-390-1111

Quality Italian Menu
The Daily Meal Quality Italian Review

Quality Italian Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Cittanuova – A Great Treat At The Beach, Good Food & TVs with Sports

Cittanuova Italian Restaurant East Hampton New York Long Island

Do you recommend Cittanuova 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: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)

 

Summer is over, not officially yet, but Labor Day has passed. We had a very nice bar meal outside of our usual locales. Here is an East Hampton review of one of my favorite bars to eat and watch sports or engage with a very friendly crowd. Trying to remember the good summer and extend it just a bit with this edition of BarTaste.

Out in the East End of Long Island in East Hampton I am enjoying a relaxing weekend with friends. I decide to break off to walk around the village when I come upon Cittanuova, a place where I have had many good meals and spent several Monday nights watching Monday Night Football in one of the few places with large televisions tuned to sports, Rowdy Hall is another. This being East Hampton, this contemporary Milanese Italian’s menu is higher end than others places televising sports, just another reason why I was pleased to be walking in the door to find a seat at the bar.

Cittanuova Experience: No, not another burger. I can hear the sighs of relief, no worries, more burger reviews to come. On a cool, drizzly Summer Saturday I walk in and and find a couple of open seats at the bar which handles about 12 people. The restaurant and bar are full but not crowded, it is later in the afternoon, giving it a nice vibe. Lots of people in the Village today because of the weather and many have come to Cittanuova for a leisurely lunch, hang out or wait for friends. I take a seat near the right side. The bar faces the wall with three large televisions, all tuned to sports. Behind me the restaurant opens to a very inviting patio facing the street bringing the sidewalk activity into the restaurant.

Checking my phone I realize there is a Mets game on, not the Phillies, but the National League East will do. This is New York after all. I ask the bartender to change one of the channels from ESPN and Golf to the baseball game. The bartender is having difficulty finding a listing for a live game and the guy next to me thinks this is an encore game. We quickly realize this is a rescheduled rained out game. This guy, being a Mets fan, is quite happy. I am pleased as well and settle in for lunch.

I order the Sopressata Frittata special from the very nice and extremely hardworking bartender. The meal, spicy sopressata with spinach, provolone and piccante was delicious and the perfect late lunch/brunch cure for a somewhat dreary afternoon at the beach. They mistakenly tried to at first serve me the Chicken Milanese which looked delicious as well.

Business Travelers: Cittanuova is a mix of weekenders from New York City, a business crowd, and local residents. While it is away from regular business centers this is The Hamptons where business is  being done all weekend so having a good place to meet with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues is cool. I know that there can be a wait at times and reservations are not accepted. An excellent place for women traveling alone on business. The location right on Newtown Lane, in the center of East Hampton Village, is ideal for a before or after meal stroll. The stores are very high end so prepare for lots of window shopping or big credit card charges. Parking in the Village parking lots is free but on days like today many have to cruise around the lots waiting for an open spot. Parking in the lots is limited to two hours and strictly enforced. Street parking may be more restrictive. Park on the perimeter of the Village, with less restrictions, and take nice walk into the center. Walk or ride to the beach. All beaches require East Hampton Village or East Hampton Town parking permits which are not issued for short periods. Some paid beach parking is available at Main Beach.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆

Cittanuova
29 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937
(631) 324-6300

Cittanuova Menu

Cittanuova on Urbanspoon

Manzo – Wonderful Meat and Service at Bustling Eataly Italian Market

Manzo Restaurant at Eataly New York Manhattan Flatiron
Business Travelers: Do you recommend Manzo 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: 4.3/5 (5 votes cast)

Eataly, the huge Italian Market in Flatiron, is perpetually crowded. There are several restaurants inside but the one which truly gives you a break from the mobs is Manzo, a beef focused restaurant with a long bar, white cloth tables, wonderful service and of course meat and everything to go with it.

Manzo Experience: On Thursday, December 13, 2012 about 1:10 P.M. I am meeting a friend for lunch at Manzo, in the Batali and Bastianich cavernous Italian Market, Eataly. We never picked a spot to meet and spend the next 10 minutes trying to find each other over the phone in the crowd. It is a happy, fun and hungry crowd jostling around, some just looking but many shopping, everything looks amazingly good.

We head to Manzo and wait while the hostess deals with a tourist who is asking and reasking about his many options for dining within the next ten minutes. Why doesn’t he just sit down? He can’t find his dining partner in the crowds. We wait patiently but I am getting a little antsy as I see two prime bar seats, and no others, the bar is full of lunchers. Finally quiz guy walks away and we are quickly seated. We are immediately given water and menus and my friend goes to the restroom and someone tries to take his seat, the bar spots are in high demand for lunch. I fend off the interloper, my friend comes back, and we talk about what we will have.

We are sitting about midpoint along the bar which has about 18 seats and faces the wall. While you can hear the activity in the market you are comfortably wrapped in a rich setting with a fantastic staff, friendly co-diners and fantastic food. The bar is full but there are still a few tables available.

The lunch menu is extensive but the $29 Prix Fixe catches our eye. We both order the Baby Artichokes, NY Strip Steak and the Torta di Nocciole. Along with a ¾ bottle of wine, the food and service were perfect for a fun and satisfying lunch.

Business Travelers: While the market does draw tourists, the bar and tables seem to be filled with professionals from both the area and Midtown. I know it is more crowded after work, dinner and weekends. Have not tied scoring a bar seat during dinner but their online reservation system was showing several table times available for dinner. I suggest allowing a little time flexibility if going for a bar meal to allow seats to open up. The seats did turn over during lunch. Absolutely go here with friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. Manzo @ Eataly is a nice 20 to 30 minute walk from most of Midtown or a quick cab ride. Allow time to walk the Flatiron and NoMad neighborhoods and check out the Eataly Italian Market. Enjoy the homemade gelato. Stop by the NoMad Hotel for a drink in the impressive library or go across the street inside Madison Square Park to Shake Shack and get a milkshake. Definitely a perfect place for women traveling on business.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Manzo @ Eataly
200 5th Avenue (23rd Street)
New York, NY 10010
212-229-2560

Manzo @ Eataly Menu
TripAdvisor Manzo @ Eataly Reviews

Manzo Ristorante @ Eataly on Urbanspoon

Dell’anima – Italian Gem in Greenwich Village

Dell'anima Restaurant New York Manhattan Greenwich Village West Village

Business Travelers: Do you recommend Dell’anima 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: 3.9/5 (3 votes cast)

Yes, back in The Village. I have celebrated a couple of happy events (or not so happy if getting older irks you) at Dell’anima. Love the place, so was anxious to go back, sit, eat at the bar and write about it.

The Dell’anima Experience: On Friday, August 3, 2012 I walk into Dell’anima about 7:15 P.M., sit at the bar and order a glass of wine. The place is packed and I snag the last seat at the small bar. The crowd is a mixture of dating couples, West Village locals and other who are just getting their night started with dinner, they have all picked the right place.

Dell’anima, “of the soul” in Italian, serves an inventive, fresh menu which changes frequently. Don’t worry when I say “inventive”, everyone will find something they like on the menu. I order an appetizer with Tomatoes and Ricotta and and then the Risotto Alla Pilota, housemade sausage, salumi and pecorino. Everything was delicious, the other patrons were terrific as well. The bartender handled the bustling crowd and made everyone feel welcome.  A truly enjoyable evening at the bar.

It was a Friday night so getting into the restaurant without a reservation would be more challenging than usual and getting one the seats at the small bar was tough as well. I got the last of one of the bar seats and shifted down one seat later to make room for two people to my left. The bar has about 8 seats and faces the wall leaving most of the restaurant and street activity behind you. No televisions, no problem.

Business Travelers: It was a Friday night so not the biggest business traveler night out of the week. Dell’anima is worth the trip to the West Village for a meal. Make a reservation or wait for a seat at the bar. A great place for a group of friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. Not a large place with moderate sound and an open kitchen. Next time I will try to sit at the chef’s counter. There were a couple of women eating alone at the bar making Dell’anima a good place for women traveling on business. Allow some time to check out the surrounding West Village neighborhood and stop by nearby Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Dell’anima
38 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10014
212-366-6633 ‎

Dell’anima Menu
The Lunch Belle Dell’anima Review

Dell'Anima on Urbanspoon

LaScala’s – The Italian You Remember Having at Home

LaScala's Restaurant Bar Philadelphia Historic District Market East

Business Travelers: Do you recommend LaScala’s 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: 3.3/5 (3 votes cast)

The Italian influence in Philadelphia goes back generations ands runs deep. LaScala’s continues the tradition of cooking and serving from family recipes passed down from parents to children and grandchildren. LaScala’s does it well, keeping it traditional while adding some present day touches making for a very good dining experience.

The LaScala’s Experience: On Friday, June 29, 2012 about 8:10 P.M. I walk into LaScala’s and sit at the bar. The bar is big and juts into the room giving most seats a good view of the restaurant and out onto the sidewalk through the large windows facing both South 7th and Chestnut Streets. About 10 seats on one side and around the corner of the bar the adjacent side has about 8 seats. All seats have great views of the three large screen televisions high on the wall in a row behind the bar.

The televisions usually have sports on and tonight the Phillies are playing which always makes for a good night for me to sit at the bar and have a meal. LaScala’s is in a unique predicament when it comes to showing the Phillies. Their building only has DIRECTV, if I understood the explanation correctly, this is a landlord decision, not LaScala’s. The Phillies are broadcast locally in Philadelphia either on Channel 17 or Comcast SportsNet. DIRECTV does not carry Comcast SportsNet, a competition issue. If the Phillies are on Comcast SportsNet then LaScala’s cannot show the game at the bar.  They do try and stream it over the web but a previous evening I experienced this and it did not make for a comfortable experience.

I have been to LaScala’s several times both eating at the bar and at a table. The service and food have always been very good. Tonight the food was good as usual.  I had the Sausage & Peppers and the Baked Meatballs. Two appetizers, both were delicious with large portions and filling. Unfortunately the bartender was not very service oriented this evening. When I sat down the bartender was nowhere to be found for a while. This MIA behavior continued throughout the evening at the uncrowded, non-busy bar. The bartender made herself a drink and carried it around with her while she worked, even stopping to chat a while with a friend between the taking and the placing my appetizer order. Like I said, I’ve been here before and never experienced this and will go back. I have to assume the service tonight was a fluke.

Business Travelers: I recommend LaScala’s for a good Italian meal with a group of friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. You can’t beet it’s location in “America’s Most Historic Square Mile.” While visiting LaScala’s allow time to check out Independence National Historical Park especially Washington Square Park, Independence Hall and the attractions along Independence Mall including the The National Museum of American Jewish History and the National Constitution Center. Women traveling on business will feel welcome and comfortable in LaScala’s and the surrounding neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

LaScala’s Italian American Home-Style
615 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-928-0900

LaScala’s Menu
Philadelphia Magazine LaScala’s Review

Lascala's Italian American Home-style on Urbanspoon

Villa di Roma – South Philly Italian at Its Best. Make Sure You Take Home Some Gravy

Villa di Roma Italian Restaurant South Philly
Business Travelers:  Do you recommend Villa di Roma 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: 3.9/5 (4 votes cast)

Yes, its Gravy in South Philly not sauce. Villa di Roma Restaurant is located in the South Philly Italian Market and has been a “go to” spot for years. Terrific at the bar and in the dining rooms anytime especially before or after a Phillies, Eagles, Flyers or Sixers game. Villa is not to be missed for a truly South Philadelphia Italian experience.

The Villa di Roma Experience: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 about 7:45 P.M. I arrive with great anticipation for a delicious meal. I sit at the bar, order a drink, get a menu and settle in to watch the Phillies. This is about as old school classic Italian as it gets with a picture of Rocky over the bar. I order Clams Casino and Veal Parmigiana, although I almost ordered Sausage remembering how tasty it is, to complete my experience. Food was wonderful as always.

Bar was empty when I came in but no worries, the other patrons and staff provide a great show. The dining room was hopping. The bar is long and faces the wall with about 14 seats and two televisions, visible from most seats with the Phillies on. Music is low and from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s setting a great mood. During the evening, a parade of locals, tourists and business people came through the door and their antics, some stereotypically South Philly, provided great entertainment. The old mechanical cash register is very cool. Two women come into the bar after dinner and order Limoncellos, very South Philly, very Danny DiVito, very It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

A hint: Having a party?  Get the Villa di Roma Gravy (red sauce) and serve it to your guests over your favorite food and you will be a star. I served it over some meatballs at a New Years Day Party and my guests raved. I won’t tell where I got the frozen meatballs, sorry TJ.

Business Travelers: This is the perfect place for an evening alone or with a group of friends, coworkers, clients and colleagues. Go grab those empty bar seats and have a good time.  Music and noise are at terrific levels for conversation. I highly recommend Villa for an evening while traveling for business and getting a real taste of Italian South Philly. Make sure you stroll the Italian Market while there and stop by Anthony’s Italian Coffee House & Chocolate House for a treat. Great place to people watch, with a mix of locals, business people and tourists all having a great time. If you decide to sit at a table, request the dining room to the left, it was hopping the night I was there. A great place for Women traveling on business, you will feel welcome and comfortable in Villa di Roma and the surrounding neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

Villa di Roma Restaurant
932 South 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215-592-1295

Villa di Roma Restaurant Menu
Craig LaBan Villa di Roma Review

Villa di Roma 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

D’Angelo’s – Favorite Old School Philly Italian, a Classic

D'Angelos Italian Restaurant Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square
Business Travelers:  Do you recommend D’Angelo’s 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: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)


D’Angelo’s Ristorante Italiano
has been my favorite Philly old school classic Italian restaurant ever since I moved back to Philly in 2009. After growing up in Philly, then living in New York most of my adult life, I found myself back in Philly and discovered D’Angelo’s only a few blocks from where I was living. I love this place. Philly’s restaurant scene is so vibrant, diverse, new, classic, odd, trendy, old school and new school you can find something in every niche. This place reminds me of that proper, high end, classic, loud and fun Italian. It’s in Rittenhouse Square, not the usual South Philly Italian neighborhood, so it needs to be good to thrive. Yes, there are more classic Italians beloved by many all over Philly, but this one is a favorite because of the bar experience. All of Philly’s Italian neighborhoods are not in South Philly, Hello Tacony!

The D’Angelo’s Experience: I arrive on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 about 7:30 P.M.  I already know what I will be ordering, always the same thing, Clams Casino and Veal Parmigiana. The clams are whole with big junks of bacon with the right spices while the veal is always fresh and cooked perfectly with a side of veggies. The bread and the garlic infused oil are wonderful. The bar is full of locals, arty types and professionals, along with traveling business people and the required gathering of Godfather types. I sit at the bar and of course the Phillies game is on at the end of the bar by the door. Always sports on this TV, always Philly, never have to ask.  D’Angelo’s is on my 10 Best Places to Watch the Phillies list. Bartender has been there for years and he is always friendly, direct and efficient, perfect. I actually change my mind and order the Sicilian Sausage appetizer with the Veal Parm, hungry tonight.  It does not disappoint.  The food, bread, Chianti and the Phillies make for a great evening. One of the Godfather types comes over, asks about my meal and says he want that and changes his order, nice guy.

I sit about midway down the long side of the bar which partly faces a wall but half faces a large window out to the 2000 block of Rittenhouse Square which oddly is not on Rittenhouse Square, rather a block away. The long side of the bar has about 10 seats with 4 on one short end and 3 on the other.  All seats are good for feeling part of all the activity and fun.  Sit on the long side or short end by the kitchen if you want to see the television and the activity at the front door.

Business Travelers:  This place is a not trendy nor the coolest rather old school and classic so casual but smart dress is a good way to go. D’Angelo’s is great for a business meeting or going out with coworkers or colleagues. Close to the Business District and Hotels and great for an after dinner walk through Rittenhouse Square, the surrounding shops and entertainment. Nice place to watch the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood go by, especially for those visiting Philly. If you want a “walking desert” stop by Yogorino down the block.  There is a dance floor which opens later which can easily be avoided if you are just out for dinner. Women traveling on business will feel welcome and comfortable in D’Angelo’s and especially in the surrounding neighborhood.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★★☆ 

D’Angelo’s Ristorante Italiano
256 South 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 546-3935

D’Angelo’s Ristorante Italiano Menu
Philadelphia Magazine D’Angelo’s Review

D'Angelo's Ristorante Italiano on Urbanspoon

South Philly Bar & Grill – One Of Philly’s Best Sports Bars

Philly Sports Bar BarMeal Reviewed Business Traveler

Business Travelers:  Do you recommend  South Philly Bar & Grill for

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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: 2.7/5 (2 votes cast)

 

South Philly Bar & Grill is all about location, you guessed it: South Philadelphia, next to the famous Geno’s and Pat’s cheesesteak palaces.  SPBG is the quintessential Philadelphia sports bar and a great place to watch any Philly game with some of the most devoted fans anywhere.  The area is swarming with tourists so beware. One of BarTaste’s Top 10 Places To Watch The Phillies.

There are other good sports bars closer to the Center City Business District, Convention Center and hotels (see Top 10 Places to watch the Phillies) so is it worth the trip? It certainly is if you are walking the nearby Italian Market, which is worth seeing. Go ahead and do the tourist cheesesteak thing, I prefer Pat’s over Geno’s but really recommend foregoing both in favor of Steve’s Prince of Steaks (the original on Bustleton Avenue).  Remember, Cheese Wiz is for tourists, get provolone cheese.

The South Philly Bar & Grill Experience: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 about 6:30 P.M. I arrive with some friends primarily to watch the Phillies but the Sixers and Flyers are both in the playoffs and on tonight.  It is a big night for Philly sports. Surprisingly, few people here now although it does fill up later but certainly never became crowded.  There was some confusion about not being able to have all three games on at once but with some prodding from customers all three games were finally on. Center bar, my favorite, almost a triangle with about 5 seats and 3 seats on the two shorter sides and about 13 seats on each of the two longer sides. Televisions everywhere so pick your game then select a seat.

We order appetizers to be followed by sandwiches but they all come at once.  Order separately if you don’t want them all together.  The Onion Rings and Italian Sausage and Peppers were good.  The sausage is made locally in the nearby Italian Market.  Both the Phillies and Sixers win, making me happy.

Business Travelers: No business people around and if you are a woman business traveler I’m sure the very nice and friendly bartenders (sisters?) would make sure you were comfortable at the bar.  Worth the trip from Center City if you are looking for a real Philly sports bar experience away from Center City, are visiting the Italian Market or are being touristy with cheesesteaks.

BarTaste Rating  ★★★☆☆ 

South Philly Bar & Grill
1235 East Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19147
215-334-3300
South Philly Bar & Grill Menu
CNN 101 of the Best Sports Bars in the U.S.

South Philly Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon