The cozy ambiance of Vitale's Italian Bistro sets the scene for the comforting regional dishes made from scratch. Spicy marinara and creamy alfredo sauces simmer in pots while chefs tuck cheese into ravioli pockets and roll out gnocchi dumplings. Chicken and veal dishes arrive in six different varieties, including saut?ed in a sweet marsala wine sauce or breaded, fried, and topped with a layer of melted cheese. Upgrading the classic grilled pork chop, chefs instead stuff the chops with spinach, roasted peppers, and provolone cheese, then cover them in a marsala demi-glaze and roast them in the oven.
Philadelphia calls Madame Saito the Queen of Sushi, and it's easy to see why. Armed with formal culinary training from Le Cordon Bleu and the Ritz Escoffier in Paris and experience from apprenticeships under premier Tokyo sushi chefs, she has committed the last 26 years to spreading her love for Japanese culture and contemporary fusion cuisine. Although she leaves time in her schedule to manage Tokio Sushi Bar—her sushi restaurant with French culinary influences—, The HeadHouse Cafe, and to conduct an annual sushi-making competition, Madame Saito counts education as one of her highest priorities. She regularly commits her quadrilingual tongue to demystifying the art of sushi during classes for aspiring chefs and casual students alike, teaching them how to hand roll maki and slice fish into perfectly uniform dodecahedrons.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
As America’s first zoo and current home to more than 1,300 creatures, the Philadelphia Zoo hosts a cavalcade of winged avians, furry friends, aquatic characters, and slithering showboats on 42 sprawling acres. Gauge the ferocity of your roar at the Big Cat Falls, or visit the snow-strewn habitats of polar bears, snow leopards, penguins, and the Cheetos-dusted Amur tigers. Exercise your bipedality over to the primate reserve and speak firsthand with the trainers and conservationists working to save and protect endangered primates worldwide from the violence of video games and reckless taxis. The Philadelphia Zoo also features rides and attractions (at additional costs), allowing revelers to twirl about the Amazon rainforest carousel, paddle the swan boats, or take a ride in the iconic Zooballoon, where, from the comfort of the skies, the bearded pig's questionable facial hair is only turning children’s tears into raindrops.
Scenically besieged by water on three sides, Cavanaugh's River Deck culls meals from land and sea to serve in picturesque surroundings. The maritime menu is known for its famous crab dip ($10.99), which emcees mealtimes with a piping mix of seasonings, cream cheese, and crab alongside sidekicks of grilled pita. Customers hold lunch in the palm of their hands with Cavanaugh's spread of sandwiches, such as the seasoned lobster roll ($14.99) and ciabatta-encased panko-crusted chicken ($10.99). The prime rib and crab leg surf 'n' turf ($19.99, served Sunday–Tuesday only) satisfies cravings for both meaty fare as well as rhyming, unlike a dough trough.
Nature has proved that dance is an effective way of attracting mates and restoring forgotten celebrities to the public eye. Strut your ballroom stuff, hop your funky hips, or practice the perfect pirouette with today's Groupon to Society Hill Dance Academy: $35 gets you one 45-minute private dance lesson for an individual or a couple, a $120 value. You can choose the style of dance you want to learn, including ballet, ballroom, hip-hop, and belly dance. Plus, this Groupon gives you a chance to practice your moves and socialize with fellow dancers at one of Society Hill's dance parties every Thursday at 9:15 p.m. at SHDA's Center City location, an additional $20 value for couples. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.