Flying Carpet Café & Bar blends international tastes into delightful sandwiches and tapas accompanied by organic tea. The cozy café stocks 14 varieties of organic loose-leaf tea in flavors such as amaretto spice, which defrosts tongues frozen from hands-free ice-sculpting contests. Twosomes opting for the sampler platter can dip fresh olives, feta cheese, falafel, and spinach pie into meticulously crafted baba gannouj and hummus. Region-representative sandwiches dish out delicious geography lessons in forms such as the Norwegian wrap, whose pita coddles cream cheese and smoked salmon together with capers and onions, or the Parisian, which bears roast beef, grilled onions, spinach, and brie, much like an actual Parisian going through customs. Epicurean duos can match their delicately paired eats with the ear-tickling sounds of live jazz on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Tasting Time is a wine-tasting event for vino enthusiasts and young professionals at Octo Waterfront Grille, a new waterside restaurant that offers scenic views of the marina and Ben Franklin Bridge. With ample space for more than 400 attendees to gather under giant tents, guests will have opportunities to make new connections sans the aid of social-networking hoodoo while sampling six different wines and champagnes, complemented by various food selections from Octo’s seafood-rich menu. In addition to socializing with wine experts and intriguing strangers, vine disciples can enjoy the beautiful waterside surroundings or loudly talk about their boss's poor tie selection, only to find out he was standing behind them the entire time. During the event, you'll gain a rare chance to gobble up more of Octo's menu selections with a special 10% discount, and at the end of the evening, you'll get to take home your own souvenir tasting glass.
Just as the Roman god Bacchus represented both wine and revelry together, Pinot Boutique celebrates wine by—how else?—throwing parties. The staff regularly stages wine-tasting events—including the recurring Vino Voyage, held aboard a 19th-century warship, Olympia —and hosts several events amid the exposed-brick walls in its downstairs venue, known as The Cellar. Upstairs, the shop’s main floor is dedicated to fostering at-home celebrations, earning the title Best Gift Shop of 2012 from Philadelphia Magazine. The acclaimed boutique displays accessories such as wineglass charms, corkscrews, and picnic gear to complement an exclusive selection of vintage wines and fresh labels from Pennsylvania's Paradocx Vineyard.
Italy’s rich culinary tradition is made all the more appealing by the Italian language’s evocative sounds and constructions. Luckily, even if you're not fluent in the language of love, Panini's Trattoria still has you covered: their menu includes detailed English descriptions of each Italian dish. Authentic combinations and familiar classics populate the lineup, including signature paninis lined with sweet Italian sausage, chicken cutlets, or roasted turkey. A BYOB destination, the restaurant welcomes wine-toting diners, inviting them to clink glasses from the own cellars over plates of classic spaghetti with meatballs, or tender veal picatta in lemon caper butter sauce.
Internationally Inspired Pub Fare | Belgian Mussels and Frites | Late-Night Kitchen | 300-Plus Craft Beers
While You're Waiting
While You're in the Neighborhood
Before: Figure out how to work Sartre's Being and Nothingness into your flirting routine with fellow deep-thinkers at the American Philosophical Society Museum (104 S. Fifth Street).
After: Groove to the latest hip-hop, metal, and indie rock during concerts at the Theatre of Living Arts (334 South Street).
Blue Mountain Vineyards owners, Joe and Vickie, are pinot pioneers. Beginning with a 5-acre experiment in 1986, they discovered that the soil of the Lehigh Valley does a fine impression of French terrain, making it suitable for growing the grapes of cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, and other European varietals. Since then, they've expanded to a 50-acre plot, where they now produce wines that have won awards from the Fingerlake International Wine Competition and Appellation America.
Panoramic views of the Blue Mountains overlook scenic terraces at the vineyards, where grapes spring from soil that soldiers roamed during the Revolutionary War. Tastings, concerts, and other events fill the winery's glass-flanked deck, spilling onto an outdoor patio surrounded by ponds as tranquil as a silent lullaby. Visitors admire the vines during tours, and they can also adopt their favorites to preserve the vines' flavorful histories.