Welcome to, an informal and highly subjective collection of impressions of Philadelphia area restaurants.

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The disclaimers:

Responsible restaurant journalists always make multiple visits to a restaurant before formally reviewing it, and I try to do that, but one of the advantages of the internet is the spontaneous and immediate flow of information. So I reserve the right to tell you about my first visit, and I might never return to a place I didn't like, or I might rave about a place after only one visit. I'll include the number of visits in the formal reviews. The philadining blog posts are often first impressions of new places.

I try not to be obvious about note-taking, although I have been known to steal a menu from time to time. I attempt to be discrete with picture-taking, although admittedly, that's not always possible. I try to dine anonymously, I never announce who I am, or that I'm intending to review the restaurant in any medium. I do not accept free meals from restaurants. I have accepted the occasional complimentary drink or appetizer, when it has seemed like a gesture the restaurant would extend to any frequent, or enthusiastic diner. I will always mention in the text of the review if any food was comped.

I am not affiliated in any way with any current chefs or restaurant owners. However, Philadelphia is a small town, and over the years I have become personally acquainted with a few chefs, owners and servers. I will always report it when I am known by, or friendly with, any of the restaurant staff. Even in those circumstances, I try my best to be objective. All reviews here are sincere reflections of my experiences, I do not do Public Relations.

Restaurants change every day. Restaurants close, chefs leave, management and owners turn over, new concepts are rolled-out. As a result, I cannot possibly guarantee that these reviews will reflect the current state of the cuisine. I will always include a "last visited" date, but keep in mind that the chef might have changed yesterday.

I usually dine out with a friend or two, who are identified only by ridiculous acronyms, usually ending in DP for "Dining Partner". These initials will change for no particular reason, perhaps even in the same review, but you might start to recognize traits of frequent companions. Respect and proper credit to Elaine Tait for my outright theft of her term "Constant Dining Partner".

I haven't been able to think of any imaginative new rating system, so, for now, my cliche will be ranking by forks on a scale of 1-5

no forks = avoid like the plague
one fork = OK in a pinch
two forks = I'd go back, but I'm not hurrying
three forks = a good solid restaurant
four forks = a truly excellent place
five forks = pretty much perfect. (hardly anybody gets five)


-Phil A. Dining

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