A guide to Center City District Restaurant Week 2021

Ancient Spirits and Grillé
Eddy Marenco

Philadelphia is known as a city full of food and sought-after dining destinations, and the best way to check out some of what the city has to offer on the culinary front is Center City District Restaurant Week. The food-filled promotion runs until the 30th and offers prix-fixe three-course dinners for $40, plus $25 lunches at over 60 Center City restaurants.

A full list of participating spots is included online, but there are a few standouts in Philly worth mentioning that might make your pick of where to eat a little easier.

Ancient Spirits and Grille

Why not take Center City District Restaurant Week as an opportunity to check out a brand new spot? In total, this new lavish eatery spans three stories and is also the first-ever Ayurvedic herbal restaurant and cocktail lounge in the country.

What Ancient Spirits and Grille does differently than anywhere else in the city and beyond is very unique—those who head to the eatery can eat from a specially curated menu made just for you that populates after you take a short survey on your phone. The survey comes up with its own suggestions based on your body type and metabolic energy.

For this culinary-clad week however, diners can indulge in dishes such as their tumeric roasted butternut bisque, brussel sprout salad, roasted autumn root vegetables, organic Atlantic salmon, spiced pumpkin cheesecake, dark chocolate tartlet and much more.

Ancient Spirits and GrilléEddy Marenco

1726 Chestnut St., asgphilly.com

Bellini Grille

One staple cuisine in CCDRW is of course Italian, and there are a few prime time options to choose from—including the Bellini Grill. Offering both indoor and outdoor seating as well as a large variety to choose from for the prix fixe menu, those looking to indulge won’t be disappointed.

Menu options for the week include bruschetta siciliana (chopped Roma tomatoes, basil, red onions and extra virgin olive oil), insalata di caprese (buffalo mozzarella and tomato confit topped with basil pesto and Tuscan E.V.O.O), risotto gamberetti (rock-shrimp with a light cream saffron white wine sauce), gnocchi (gnocchi served in a gorgonzola sauce or San Marzano fondue with diced fresh mozzarella and basil,) pollo san marco (sautéed chicken tender with garlic mushrooms and tomato sherry wine sauce, topped with smoked mozzarella cheese,) bisteca bellini (an 8oz New York strip steak, fresh rosemary served with a side of brandy peppercorn sauce) and much more.

220 S. 16th St., belliniphiladelphia.com

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Nestled right next to East Market and Market Street, this go-to brewery offers a surprising amount of options during the week for both lunch and dinner. Philadelphians who head to the spot for Center City District Restaurant Week can check out their mushroom soup, Brewski Burger (lettuce, tomato, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, choice of sharp cheddar, American, or smoked gouda cheese, served on a potato roll with french fries), baja fish tacos (made with Vienna Red Lager battered haddock, red cabbage slaw, pickled onion, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli and cilantro,) herb chicken and linguine (made with mushrooms, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pecorino romano and sherry wine butter sauce), brownie a la mode and much more.

The Fried Chicken Sandwich from Iron Hill BreweryProvided

1150 Market St., ironhillbrewery.com

Brauhaus Schmitz

There’s plenty of different fare to indulge in when you eat out in the city, and some are just not quite as fun as German. Located on South Street, Brauhaus Schmitz offers an authentic experience from the decor to the vibe to the food, and they offer an abundance of options for Restaurant Week.

Dishes to choose from for the prix fixe include Laugenbrezel with Obatzda (a Bavarian pretzel with a farmer’s cheese spread,) Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes with sour cream and apple sauce,) Sauerbraten Braised (sweet and sour beef with a gingersnap gravy, served with red cabbage and potato dumpling), Pilzstrudel Wild (a mushroom and Farro strudel, Bechamel sauce, served with a haus salad,) Wurstplatte (guests choice of 2 sausages, served with potato salad and sauerkraut,) Apfelstrudel (apple strudel with vanilla sauce,) Kaisersharrn (light, fluffy, shredded pan cakes with caramel,) and much more.

718 South St., brauhausschmitz.com

Pinefish

Seafood meets comfort at this Center City hotspot. Pinefish is located on a quiet yet busy street in the Washington Square West location of the city, and this eatery has been casting its line out to hungry visitors for dinner and weekend brunch service for the past five years. The eatery is known as an upscale yet comfortable neighborhood spot and for Center City District’s culinary event, the fan-favorite has turned their offerings up a notch.

Options to choose from until the 30th include New England clam chowder, shrimp and grits, grilled Bronzino filets, short rib, surf and turf, banana foster cheesecake, key lime pie and much, much more.

Jahira Longcrier

1139 Pine St., pinefish.fish

Moshulu

It’s Center City District Restaurant Week, so why not go all out? One always-desired dining location in Philadelphia is the Moshulu, the city’s only prime-time restaurant that sits atop the Delaware River. Located on a gorgeous and historic sea vessel, diners who head to this boat/eatery are in for a treat for CCDRW.

Options to choose from include a baby kale caesar salad, spicy tuna crispy rice, fried chicken Korean style, Atlantic salmon (with tri-color quinoa, spicy pickled cucumbers, tzatziki sauce and lemon oil), Blackened Swordfish Tacos (with bell pepper citrus slaw, salsa verde, red pepper aioli and queso blanco,) braised beef hanger steak (made with butternut and poblano pepper hash, haricot vert and caramelized onion sauce), a mini dessert duet and much more.

401 S Christopher Columbus Blvd., moshulu.com

Square 1682

For CCDRW, diners can sift through plenty of delicious options from Square 1682. Located inside the Kimpton Hotel Palomar, this bar/restaurant is right in the heart of the city and offers prime-time seating for those looking for some upscale fare for both lunch and dinner.

Options include cornbread with honey butter, lobster bisque with chive oil, cauliflower curry (made with Madras curry, coconut milk, crispy chickpeas and spinach), crispy chicken (made with grilled artichokes, arugula, olives and herb caper vinaigrette), salmon (with everything spice, aligot potatoes, citrus vinaigrette) bread pudding, and much more.

Square 1682

121 S. 17th St., square1682.com

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