Philadelphia Fine Dining – Part I: The Sidewalks Aren’t Pulled Up At Five Anymore

The Philadelphia Restaurant Revolution started in the mid-1970’s with Chef Georges Perrier’s Le Bec Fin and the opening of the Restaurant School. The city’s culinary wasteland suddenly bloomed with some of America’s most innovative cuisine. Now, finally, the Revolution has broken through to the suburbs. Click the links to read my reviews as Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner on

Bacalhau á Lagareiro at Massa Pizza & Grill, Ambler, PA

Why would a fine dining Portuguese restaurant want to call itself a pizza parlor? Situated diagonally across from the Ambler Theater, Massa Pizza and Grill is an excellent addition to Ambler’s growing reputation as a foodie destination.

Leila's Bistro, Jenkintown, PA

 Leila’s Bistro is where Edith Piaf would dine if she found herself in Philadelphia’s suburbs.

Valley Green Inn, Chestnut Hill, PA

 The 160 year old Valley Green Inn could not be more romantic and will make you comfortable with its decor and fare.

clockwise: Duck Quesadillas, Pecan pie w/ice cream, Cedar Hollow Restaurant, Malvern, PA, Crab Cake

 Within the past couple years the interior of Cedar Hollow Inn has been nicely remodeled with the main dining room benefiting from a southwest theme. Cobalt blue glasses contrast with the tan/reddish orange wall colors, crisp white table cloths and artistic prints depicting southwestern themes complement the space. Chef Stephen Guiseppe has added good southwestern inspired dishes.


The Continental Diner, Philadelphia, PA (clockwise Spinach Ravioli, Fried Philly Steak Rolls, Cheese Cake & Ice Cream, classic Martini, Thai Chicken lettuce wraps, Crab cake


Naturally, center city Philadelphia still shines as a culinary Mecca. Keeping up with Stephen Staar’s numerous and successful concepts is as difficult as keeping up with the Kardashians. Yet the Continental Diner stands out as a hands down favorite for Philadelphia natives.

Seared Skate w/ Fregola Sarda & lump crabmeat, Tripe w/ Fresh Tomato and Parmigiano Reggiano, Paradiso, Philadelphia, PA

Paradiso Restaurant & Wine Bar at 1627 East Passyunk Avenue, near Tasker Street, is in the heart of South Philly.  Yet being at the center of Philadelphia’s Little Italy, home to cheese steaks, pizza and veal parmesan with canned sauce, Paradiso is a haven from the typical Italian-American fare of too many area restaurants.

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