Three neighborhoods in one: That’s the perfect way to describe Washington Square West, a thriving enclave that includes Midtown Village and the Gayborhood.
Midtown Village maintains its own personality thanks to a small-business boom concentrated on the 13th Street corridor, where power couple Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran preside over a handful of popular restaurants and shops. The Gayborhood sets itself apart with dozens of rainbow street signs throughout the area, along with many LGBTQ-focused restaurants and bars. Washington Square itself — one of five original public squares in Philadelphia — ties the whole area together. Here, picnickers, families and residents gather to enjoy the open space.
Jewelers’ Row and Historic Antique Row remain long-established commerce hubs for their respective wares. But today all types of businesses compete for shoppers’ dollars with a range of price points. Visitors can check out designer-fashion boutiques as well as stationery stores and high-end furniture outlets, all in one area.
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Bryant and Wilde top restaurant picks
Nestled right by Washington Square Park, Talula's is a rustic and chic fine dining restaurant that highlights the organic, local farm and garden style menu. Featuring creative plates that pay tribute to the humanely-raised, locavore garden movement. Patrons can choose from pastas such as the smoked corn ravioli or dishes like Barnegat scallops with pan-roasted local orchard apples, Five Spice apple butter and pickled radish. Vegetables range from sweet and spicy sugar beets with honey cardamom vinaigrette to buttery Georgia grits with ‘caramel sea salt’ compound butter. After you’re done, make sure to order the ricotta doughnuts with fresh apple slices to top it off.
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The Morris House Hotel restaurant's make you feel as if you’re eating in a chic Parisian bistro. If you’re wanting to sample a few items on the menu you can order the four course tasting menu. However, if you’re going with just an entree, choose from the New American dishes of spaghetti squash with bell peppers and spinach pesto or pan seared salmon with peanut potatoes and leeks. On Wednesday evenings, join your friends at the copper bar that wraps around a 30 foot holly tree in their garden for jazz night. You can also catch happy hour every night with bar specials in designated areas. Try their garden to glass cocktails created with home grown herbs and infused liquors, like their mushroom martini.
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CheU Noodle Bar
CheU Noodle Bar takes a spin on classic ramen bowls to a creative, elevated level. The large window makes good use of their relaxing, warm-toned wooden design. The menu is small, but favorites include the black garlic wings and the brisket ramen bowl with matzo ball, kimchi and red chili broth. They also have a cold sesame noodle dish with cucumber, crispy yuba and seaweed, and other ramen dishes with meats like lamb and raita. CHeU’s menu may not be authentic, but it is all comforting and tasty in an inviting and cozy atmosphere.
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