Friday, September 19, 2008


We participated in Philadelphia Restaurant Week last night by dining at XIX (Nineteen) the beautiful restaurant at the top of the Park Hyatt at The Bellevue in Philadelphia.
We opted to sit outdoors nineteen stories above the street with a spectacular view of Philadelphia's burgeoning skyline. To our left were the gleaming new towers of Market West: Liberty Place, the Pyrmaid Building, the Comcast Center and several others. To our right was City Hall and the older buildings which once formed the hub of the business and commercial district with Old City and the river beyond.
The Bellevue itself (formerly The Bellevue Stratford Hotel) has played a storied role in the city's history and XIX inhabits the space which used to be the Cameo Room and later became Founders Restaurant. But now the genteel atmosphere of the Cameo Room is gone along with the stuffy clubbiness of Founders. Hyatt has opened the room up and created a bright, airy, informal though nonetheless elegant environment suited to the times.
We enjoyed butternut squash soup, monk fish, roast loin of pork, sinful devil's food cake and strawberry shortcake along with delicious white cranberry martinis. Service was seamless and the presentation was memorable. It was another gorgeous late summer evening with a dramatic sunset, cool breezes and a clear sky.
For a special occasion when you want to savor every moment in a truly dramatic atmosphere we certainly recommend XIX.

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