Daytime Dining in the City

Save a dime (or a few hundred) on lunch during Philly’s Restaurant Week Sept. 13-18, 20-25.

There’s a good bet that right about now you’re looking at the last of your summer receipts, wondering, “What’s left for fall?” And, if you’re like me and easily swayed by fall fashions, the choice between wearing your purchases and eating them puts the word “budget” in a very negative light.

But with Restaurant Week (Sept. 13-18, 20-25) cropping up at just the right time, you can have your cake and eat it, too—even if you’re not a city dweller by night.

This year, one of Philly’s most coveted customer-appreciation events is offering lunchtime deals at swanky eateries like 10 Arts, Bridget Foy’s, Caribou Café, City Tavern, Cuba Libre, Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, Del Frisco’s, Devon Seafood Grill, Lacroix (what better place to take in the last sights and sounds of summer than Rittenhouse Square?), La Famiglia, Le Bec Fin, XIX, Positano Coast, Raw Sushi & Sake Lounge, Ruth’s Chris, Zahav and more.

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A three-course lunch for only $20* may not make up for your SEPTA and city wage tax expenses, but if these restaurants are doing what they’re supposed to, it should make summer’s end much more bearable.

I just checked out the menu for Gigi Restaurant and Lounge (319 Market St., 215-574-8880), and it looked mighty appetizing. I’ve never been, but for $20, it sounds like the perfect excuse to visit. And equally so for a $35* three-course dinner here or at any of the 100-plus participating restaurants.

Other related events include food samplings and cooking demonstrations (noon-1 p.m., Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch streets) by such notable chefs as:

• Al Paris of Public House at Logan Square (Sept. 9)
• Michael Yeamans of Smokin’ Betty’s (Sept. 10)
• Anne Coll of Meritage Restaurant & Wine Bar (Sept. 11)

And I haven’t confirmed the date yet, but Valanni’s executive chef, John Strain, is also on tap.

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Then on Sept. 16 at 5:30 p.m., hobnob with Iron Chef Todd English, who will join Restaurant Week chefs and restaurants for an evening of samplings at Macy’s Center City (Greek Hall, third floor; $25/person, all proceeds benefit Philabundance; call 800-622-9769 to RSVP).

For more info, go here. There’s also a link to participating parking lots and garages throughout Center City that will offer parking for $9 and less.

* Tax, alcohol and gratuity not included.


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