One of the best phone calls a student can get is one from dear old Mom and Dad saying that they’re coming to town. Aww, yes you missed them so much and are so excited to see them. But let’s be real: this is an opportunity. This is your chance to be wined and dined and to visit those splurge-worthy places without feeling guilty. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites so that when you get that phone call, you’ll be prepared. Take advantage of this opportunity and plan ahead so you, Mom, and Dad won’t be dining above the Rave at Harvest. Yikes.
Lovingly hand-crafted pastas, unique pizzas, and delicately prepared poultry and meats makes Osteria a go-to spot. The atmosphere is rustic and friendly, begging you to sit down with a glass (bottle?) of wine and tell your parents about your life as the best Penn student there is. Begin your meal with the vegetable board, a gorgeous array of seasonal vegetables prepared in various ways. The pizzas are original and aren’t to be missed. Go big and bold with the pistachio or classic bistro topped with a fried egg. The conversation gets serious around the time of the entrees and telling your parents about your new boyfriend/girlfriend is much easier when accompanied effortlessly by a bowl of the rich chicken liver bolognese.
2. Alma de Cuba
With exciting cocktails and equally delectable food, Alma de Cuba is a place for the parents and child that want a jazzed up meal. The complimentary puffy pillows of bread served once you’re seated will kick the meal off right. Bacon-wrapped dates and the ceviche trio will butter your parents up when you tell them you’re failing stat. By the time your dad finishes his crispy Vaca de Frita, the signature steak, and his fourth margarita, he’ll be offering to do your problem sets for you.
This is the chance for you to eat sushi that’s not Mizu or Tampopo. That’s right, no questioning the fish quality here. When you take your parents to this Rittenhouse nook they will believe that you’ve truly explored Philadelphia. The sushi is excellent, the fish pure and buttery fresh. The cooked entrees are great too, especially the miso-glazed sea bass. Show your parents that there’s more out there than Pod. Then walk them to Scoop de Ville for dessert. They will think you’ve mastered Philly and will be oh-so proud.