As many out of towners (even from New York!) have found out, Philadelphia, the city where I live, is a great food town. And I’m not just talking cheesesteaks, hoagies and soft pretzels.
One of the foremost additions to the restaurant scene in City of Brotherly Love has been Jose Garces, who you may have seen on Iron Chef America (a show I detest, but that’s another story). Since 2005, the Ecuadoran-American Garces has opened seven restaurants in Philly and one in Chicago. My favorites include Amada, where suckling pig is the specialty (look for a blog post on how Garces does it in the coming weeks); Chifa, a wild Peruvian-Chinese place (yes, you read that correctly); and Garces Trading Company, which is the first (and as far as I know only) restaurant in Pennsylvania that has a wine shop inside the restaurant. (Pennsylvania, one of three states in which wine and spirits can only be sold in state-operated stores, has, in recent years, tried a number of innovations to keep residents from buying wine in New Jersey and Delaware, which often have better prices and selection.)
Garces newest place is JG Domestic, not a great name but when the food is good, as it often is here, who cares? The concept of the restaurant located in the lobby of the Cira Centre, adjacent to 30th Street Train Station, is to present top-quality products from around the United States, such as the luscious La Quercia prosciutto from Iowa (part of a decadent house charcuterie), addictive Georgia pecans (smoked in house) and an absolutely fantastic wood-oven flatbread with Oregon chanterelles and Grafton (Vermont) cheddar cheese.
Cool cocktails and an all-American wine list that is a bit pricey, part of which can be attributed to Pennsylvania’s liquor monopoly. However, you can still find some tasty nuggets under $50, such as a Girard Sauvignon Blanc, Gruet sparkling wines from New Mexico and a Rosenblum Paso Robles Zinfandel.
Cira Centre, Ground Floor, 2929 Arch Street, Philadelphia 215-222-2363
Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:00am-3:00pm
Dinner: Monday-Saturday 5:00-10:00pm
All major credit cards
Valet Parking: After 5:30 – $18 Per Car
Guests can self park for up to 3 hours in the Amtrak lot or garage for $12