Owner and culinary mastermind of French Quarter Bistro, Mark Van Horn’s prerequisites for a good meal are simple: authenticity, home cooking, and a liberal dash of soul. This dedication to comfort cooking has earned the French Quarter Bistro a host of dedicated regulars as well as the Philly Hot List's award for Best Soul Food in 2009, 2010, and 2011. In the bustling kitchen, chefs whip up creole and Cajun eats using unique ingredients such as house roasted peppers, alligator sausage, and fried pickles. Along with their flavorful dishes, French Quarter Bistro also serves up a variety of entertainment throughout the week, including open mic nights with local singers and poets tired of the wrestling portion of poetry slams.
Cuisine Type: Italian
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Number of Tables: 50+
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Seafood pasta bowl
Alcohol: Full bar
Delivery / Take-out Available: Takeout Only
Outdoor Seating: No
D?cor can say a lot about the type of food a restaurant serves. How does your d?cor inform or reflect your culinary practice?
[It's] warm and inviting [with] fireplaces, booths outlined in fabric curtains, a large square bar with a granite top, and Italian art work to go with the name.
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Delicious Italian Food with a homemade taste. Our salads are amazing and one of our biggest sellers for lunch or dinner. Most of our desserts are made in-house and we feature Italian specialties like tiramisu and cannoli.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We are known for our great food but also for our live entertainment Tuesday through Saturday night. We like to pride ourselves on being a place you can come to enjoy a delicious dinner and then go into our bar area and partake in dancing and live entertainment.
The owners of Liberty Taproom revere the art of brewing—so much so that they've turned their establishment into a sort of beer museum, filled with framed pictures and steins emblazoned with microbrew brands. American craft and Belgian beers are prominent throughout the 32 taps and more than 500 bottle selections. If the beer menu gets overwhelming, Liberty's staff will happily make recommendations, whether you want to try a beer at the bar or get a mix-and-match six pack of some of the beers for takeout service. As you sip a beer or enjoy some of the restaurant’s creative gastropub fare, you’re encouraged to shoot pool, kick back on the patio, or watch favorite sports teams on the flat-screen televisions.
Housed in what was once a sprawling textile compound that produced hosiery, The Works at Wyomissing hosts kinetic family outings in a large, historical space. Downstairs, a mammoth game room houses popular video games, such as a sports simulator, Dance Dance Revolution, and diminutive bowling lanes for children.
Upstairs, the Ballocity action center combines the can't-miss fun mix of playground balls, slides, climbing tubes, foam-ball launchers, and grandma's china. Still-remaining historical details add character to the building, including an entrance to 1.5 miles worth of tunnels that once channeled supplies and carried elaborate tin-can phone networks between factory buildings.
Over the course of nearly 40 years, the close-knit Ruffini family have operated five restaurants throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, and Pronto Bistro Italiano is the latest testament to their love of traditional Italian cuisine. Visitors won't find over-processed food full of preservatives and genetically modified additives, but handmade, homey feasts of spaghetti carbonara made with local farm-raised eggs, salads made with organic greens, and sandwiches stuffed with slow-roasted pork and homemade meatballs. Diners can pair morsels of veal saltimbocca tenderloin or earthy eggplant parmigiana with flavorful Italian wines, handcrafted cocktails, or a beer from a list that changes with the seasons. Families gather around cloth-covered tables for dinners of paninis and pasta, while in the low-lit, woodsy bar area, revelers shoot pool, snack on chicken wings from the late-night menu, and pitch a tent for the night.
Ever since its first location opened in 1994, very rarely is there a quiet moment at J.D. McGillicuddy's. Crowds watching the Phillies cheer and groan in unison, and members of bachelorette parties dance around groups of old friends meeting for a drink. The only time the noise dips is when the staff brings out plates of the house's flavorful pub food. Wings, burgers, pizzas, and nachos fill the menu, with East Coast twists such as Old Bay seasoning and jumbo lump crabmeat. Each spacious location has also been known to host special events, from DJ-spun theme nights and pub crawls to Easter breakfasts.