A casual stroll down Market Street may leave you pressed to find a decent view of the city’s most astounding natural scenery, but leave it to Philadelphia’s dining scene to come to the rescue. Some of the area’s top eateries are housed in buildings that expose diners to fantastic views of the city’s unique landscape and architecture. Whether it is a sweeping glimpse of the Delaware River atop a glamorous hotel restaurant, or an elevated look at the glittering skyline from inside a cozy dining room, there is no better way to fully enjoy a good meal than with a view that sets the right mood. A view offers a built-in, natural ambiance that serves as the backdrop to a memorable dining experience. Whether you want to sweep your next date off her feet or just indulge in a one-of-a kind look at this great city of brotherly love, here is a selection of restaurants that offer the most optimal views of Philadelphia.
Upstares at Soto Varalli is not a typo, but it is a play on words to describe the action invoked by the view offered from the top floor of this award-winning Italian eatery. This Center City restaurant is located on the Northeast corner of Broad and Locust streets, placing it in a prime location for a unique glimpse into the hustle and bustle of the Avenue of the Arts. Upstares boasts floor to ceiling windows that give diners a look at the crowds below passing through the Philadelphia landmarks , like the Wilma and Merion theaters and the Kimmel Center, that line Broad Street. Upstares features its own artwork with one of the largest glass fusion mosaics in the country that lines the windows and intensifies the color, texture, and mood of the scenery that it showcases. As diners catch a glimpse of the Academy of Music below they can enjoy a menu chock full of seafood dishes with Italian accents, such as Prescatoe-- jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels, jumbo scallops, calamari and crab in a tomato garlic broth served over linguini, or the Sautéed Sea Bass with oven-dried tomatoes and Mediterranean vegetables, finished with an aged Balsamic reduction and arugula pesto. A full bar that offers a broad range of fine Italian wines as well as a selection of classic cocktails is set up amidst an ambiance that exudes class and sophistication. Details such as colors set in earth tones and the sounds of classic jazz that fill the intimate dining room evoke a complete sensory experience that makes dining at Upstares difficult to forget.
Patrice Rames brings Philadelphia foodies a taste of France with his signature take on classic French cuisine at both Old City’s Patou and Bistro St. Tropez located on Market Street. What really sets Bistro St. Tropez apart from the competition, aside from its selection of traditional French dishes prepared with seasonally fresh ingredients, is the view. Nestled atop the fourth floor of the Marketplace Design Center, Bistro St. Tropez is positioned in the premier spot to whisk diners away with the illusion of Provence—Rames’s hometown which inspires the taste of his dishes and the decor. The elegant dining room accented with brushed metal chairs and, complete with small shocks of colors and subdued candlelight, is lined with picture windows that let in natural lighting to enliven and enchant the whole restaurant. As diners enjoy a menu that boasts French Bistro cuisine with a flavorful twist and select from a list of predominantly French wines, 30th Street station lays in distant view, arrestingly beautiful at dusk. Indulge in a dish like Coquilles --pan-seared diver scallops with braised butternut squash, string beans and mushroom ragout, red bliss potatoes and tarragon vinaigrette, which is luxurious in taste and simple in presentation, while you glance out onto the sparkling waters. It may just be the Delaware you’re looking at, but among the simple elegance of Bistro St. Tropez, you might imagine yourself transported to the banks of the Rhone.
Housed on the top floor of the city’s famed Park Hyatt hotel at the Bellevue, Nineteen – XIX Restaurant, located at 200 S. Broad St., is an American brasserie that brings diners an adventurous blend of seafood dishes fused with new American cuisine. The culinary experience at Nineteen is only enhanced by sweeping views of the city’s skyline. A glimpse outside will bring you a view from the highest point found at any dining experience in the city. The inside is just as impressive,with high arched ceilings that soar 36 feet above head and are topped with a 19-foot Italian chandelier, hung with luxurious strings of pearls. A raw bar underneath features a selection of seafood favorites such as oysters, little neck clams, and marinated white water mussels. The dinner menu features traditional dishes that pop with flavor like the Roasted Blue Foot Chicken that is served with autumn squash, Yukon gold potatoes, baby turnips, lobster mushrooms, topped with chicken jus. Sit at the handsomely furnished bar while you sip a signature cocktail, like the Lychee Kiss—Soho lychee liqueur, PINK caffeine and guarana vodka, Pama liqueur, white cranberry juice, and lychee nut, and enjoy a sweeping view of the city’s lighted skyscrapers as the pedestrians scurrying along Broad and Walnut streets below.
Although the Moshulu doesn’t leave port anymore, diners can still get a taste of the open sea from both the cuisine and décor aboard this award-winning restaurant. The ship that once sailed the seas of almost every continent in the world is now permanently docked in the waters of Penn’s Landing at 104 S. Columbus Street. Today, the Moshulu houses an eatery that features contemporary American cuisine fused with a taste of the South Seas. On a warm evening, diners can enjoy an open air experience with unsurpassed views of the city’s waterfront when they board the multi-level decks of the 104 year-old boat. Diners can feast on dishes like the Jail Island Salmon served in a tomato saffron beurre blanc sauce with shallot roasted young spinach, and macaroni and cheese, or a more traditional Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast served in a spice merlot reduction alongside sweet potato gnocchi, chanterelle mushrooms, and autumn vegetables, as they peer out at views of the shimmering Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the other boats that pass by. The ship’s vast masts light up at night to enchant those aboard as the water glitters all around. Aboard this historic ship, the sparkling skyline may seem far away and exotic, creating an experience with all of the romance of a sea voyage without ever having to leave the city limits.
© Restaurant Agent Inc.