Din­ing Dish

Where Philadelphia - - Contents - BY ADAM ERACE

Where to find the best aphrodisiacs and plates made for shar­ing at lo­cal spots.

Plenty of Philly restau­rants make it easy to share with small plate menu for­mats that en­cour­age graz­ing. These are the ones not to miss. ADAM ERACE

Amada is the small plate restau­rant that started it all in Philly. Jose Garces opened this sul­try Spa­niard in Old City in 2005 be­fore he be­came a house­hold name from his Food Net­work ap­pear­ances. The restau­rant has held up well over time; it’s still packed with lo­cals and tourists who come for bites of Span­ish cheese and char­cu­terie, dainty seafood dishes and fam­ily-style paella. 217-219 Chest­nut St., 215.625.2450

Ni­cholas Elmi’s tast­ing men­uonly spot, Lau­rel, on East Passyunk Av­enue, is so peren­ni­ally packed, the chef opened up an over­flow wine bar next door called ITV. Now it doesn’t take reser­va­tions months in ad­vance to eat Elmi’s food; you can slide right up to the bar for a glass of Aglian­ico or jun­mai sake and a few bites, some of which are just $5 at happy hour. 1615 E. Passyunk Ave., 267.858.0669

Jesse Ito has spent his whole pro­fes­sional ca­reer cook­ing at his par­ents’ old Ja­panese restau­rant in South Jersey— un­til now. The fam­ily sold the busi­ness and part­nered with a cou­ple Philly restau­ra­teurs to open Royal Sushi & Iza­kaya in Queen Vil­lage in the fall. Ito mans a sushi bar in the back, while up front in the dimly lit sa­loon, the menu fea­tures plates true to the restau­rant’s Ja­panese pub in­spi­ra­tion. Cool beers and the best sake list in the city com­ple­ment. 780 S. 2nd St., 267.909.9002

The smoked lamb shoul­der gets top billing at Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s Is­raeli restau­rant, but Za­hav is ac­tu­ally a small plate-r in dis­guise. Start with the silky hum­mus and sala­tim, a spread of seven Mid­dle Eastern veg­etable sal­ads, then move through mezze and the al ha’esh sec­tion of skew­ers cooked over smol­der­ing coals. 237 St. James Place, 215.625.8800

Proudly un­ortho­dox, Bing Bing Dim Sum plays with the rules of Chi­nese dim sum on East Passyunk. The neigh­bor­hood’s loyal reg­u­lars and a solid con­tin­gent of Philadel­phi­ans from other ar­eas— Bing Bing’s in­ter­sec­tion is one of the most pop­u­lar Uber pick-up/drop- off points in the city— get cozy on Hong Kong wed­ding bed­sturned-ban­quettes and at the bar, where high-proof punches flow. The menu is a mish­mash of dumplings, noo­dles, con­gee and veg­gies built for shar­ing. 1648 E. Passyunk Ave., 215.279.7702

Bing Bing Dim Sum



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