Dining Destinations of the Downtown

Dining & Entertainment — By on January 4, 2008 at 9:55 pm

When you head anywhere to visit, what do you look for? Lodging, FOOD, and then entertainment. So we have a couple of great hotels, we have beaucoup art galleries and six billion bars, but where can one eat? Who can pull dollars away from the chains? In my estimation here are six newer places that draw people to the city.

The Sambuca Grill on the 2oo block of Penn Avenue. Dim, intimate, and a different menu. Best damn Caeser salads in the city (MCF super taster certified). Yugoslavians doing Italian in an Irish City? Yup, love it.

Vida The Tapas bar. Chic, metro, and one of a kind. Phil Reinhardt is the owner and he is as eclectic as the place. He also features local artists on a rotating basis. Great guy who welcomes everyone. The place feels like home and this is the place that blew away the cast and crew of The Office who rolled in 50 deep with Timmy Holmes and left saying “We can’t ever shoot in Scranton; it is too nice.” Check it out on the 1 of North Washington.

Thai Rak Thai on corner of Mulberry and Adams is my mix it up place. Can’t do it all the time because the drunken noodles light my belly on fire but I must make the sacrifice often as they are too good to resist. For birthday dinners they drop a disco ball from the ceiling and bang on some silverware to make a great scene, a lot of energy (A Costanzo favorite).

Blues Street Cafe on the 2 of Wyoming in the Ritz is truly a one of a kind menu with a southern flair. Never had a pork crepe before and now I am hooked. It is non smoking and not to be missed when Clarence Spady is on stage. Open Friday and Saturday.

The Martini Grill. Very light menu but this place offers the best ambience and view in the City. 400 block of Spruce and sit in the front window on the second floor. The hustle and bustle on Spruce street below and Courthouse Square are perfect from this perch.

Faccia Luna is just a few blocks out of what traditionalists would consider downtown but it is a draw. Amazing facility in a former bank building (Hey, Marisa Bev, can you say reZONED?) and a fantastic menu. Specialty pizza out of an old school oven.

Did I miss any? How could anyone ever subject themselves to TGIF, Ruby Tuesday, Olive Garden, yada yada yada?

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