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Top Tableside Restaurant Preparations In Philadelphia

With the number of cooking shows on television these days, it's clear there is widespread interest in food preparation. Cooking and baking competitions, kitchen demonstrations and all things "foodie" are more popular than ever. Not only do people want to know what goes into their food, they also enjoy seeing it created. Because of this, quite a few restaurants are embracing the interest in food prep by offering special dishes that are prepared tableside. Visit any of these Philadelphia restaurants to get a bit of a "show" along with your meal.
Zinc Bar
246 S. 11th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 351-9901

Zinc offers the charm of a Parisian bistro inside a cozy 40-seat Philadelphia restaurant. Exposed brick walls, a tin ceiling and a zinc bar from 1919 all create a timeless atmosphere for enjoying favorite French classics like escargot, charcuterie and cheese plates. Most well known for its duck press ($78), Zinc prepares a Normandy duck tableside using an 1870 French silver press. This impressive meal serves two and is offered Tuesday through Thursday with two days' notice. In the summer, lobster replaces the duck. This memorable preparation ($110) includes a four- to five-pound lobster that is prepared tableside and served with a creamy brandy sauce, asparagus and fresh egg pasta. This delicious dish serves two as a meal or four as an appetizer.

Related: Top Bistros In Philadelphia

Radicchio Café
402 Wood St. (4th and Vine St.)
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 627-6850

Tucked on a corner in Old City, Radicchio is one of the city's best (and most overlooked) BYOBs. While the restaurant is a bit hidden, it certainly has quite a following, and one visit will tell you why. The warm, slightly rustic environment makes it the perfect spot for enjoying Italian dishes such as veal Milanese or penne Positano, and the fresh buffalo mozzarella appetizer is always a crowd pleaser. It's topped with grilled zucchini, chopped tomato, olive oil and balsamic, and it'll make you never want to order mozzarella sticks again. The whole fish specials are presented and served tableside, saving you the trouble of filleting the fish yourself. While the menu changes seasonally, branzino and dover sole are typical offerings.

Tokyo Hibachi & Sushi
1613 Walnut St., 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 751-9993

Located on the second floor above a Chinese wok restaurant, Tokyo Hibachi & Sushi offers an impressive view of Rittenhouse Square along with an energetic atmosphere. While you can also order from the sushi menu, the hibachi is the more popular option. With this dining experience, you get a bit of a show along with your meal, as your main course is prepared on the iron griddle that's part of your table. Unique from your typical night out, this entertaining Japanese style of cuisine if perfect for date nights, group outings or celebrations. The full-course meal includes salad, miso soup, fresh-grilled shrimp, rice and vegetables, and your choice of an entrée. Meal prices range from vegetable hibachi at $13.95 all the way to filet mignon and lobster for $32.95, with plenty of options in between. With portions this large, be prepared to bring home leftovers, or try the shared plate option. For an additional $8.95, two guests can share an entrée with an extra portion of soup, salad, fried rice and vegetables. If you can agree on the entrée, this is a great choice if you're having dinner and won't be returning home for a while.

Bistro Romano (Credit, Michelle Hein)

Bistro Romano
120 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 925-8880

Bistro Romano's award-winning Caesar salad is about as old school as you can get. And that's a good thing, because this award-winning salad is prepared right in front of you. It's obvious that this isn't your sad, standard Caesar with limp lettuce and bottled dressing. Here, it is prepared with fresh ingredients including anchovies, egg yolk, garlic and lemon for a classic mix that can't be beat. Start your meal with this favorite (minimum of two people per table at $8.95 per person), and then follow it up with one of the Italian specialties such as veal topped with mozzarella, blush sauce and jumbo shrimp.

Related: Top Spots For Italian Food In Philadelphia

128 S. 19th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 568-1027

With prior experience working at Philadelphia Asian favorites such as POD, Genji and Morimoto, it's no surprise that Chef Zama would bring fine cooking techniques, knowledge and passion to his own sushi restaurant. More than 30 options of a la carte sashimi, in addition to a wide assortment of maki rolls, make Zama an exciting option for Japanese cuisine. In addition to the extensive sushi menu, Zama also offers entrees such as pan-seared salmon with a citrus soy sauce and NY strip steak with roasted mushrooms, asparagus and wasabi. Vegetarians or tofu lovers in general will want to order the house tofu off the small bites menu. Cooked at your table with a wild mushroom sauce, the tofu is a great way to start a meal.

Michelle Hein is a copy editor for a women's fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn't pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery...perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer boyfriend would love to open.

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