March 2- 8, 2006
foodTop 5 Small Plate Places
217-219 Chestnut St., 215-625-2470Enjoy authentic Spanish tapas without going to Madrid. From the succulent oysters to the zesty garlic shrimp, the seafood is simply divine. There are also plenty of vegetarian dishes like empanadas served with spinach and manchego cheese. The Garrotxa cheese served with garlic dulche de leche could substitute for dessert. Besides, any restaurant that names its cocktails after Pedro Almodóvar's films rules.
22 S. Sixth St., 215-627-3344Yes, the hookahs are a main attraction at Shouk, but the food is smoking, too. The "mezzas" -- small plates from Morocco and the Middle East -- include a tasty carrot salad, a grilled beef with rosemary oil and a hot, crispy saffron chicken croquette with almonds. The lentil soup with lemon and cilantro is exquisite, as are the various dishes made with pomegranates.
3 Positano Coast
212 Walnut St., 215-238-0499This casual Mediterranean restaurant, "reflecting the tradition of the Amalfi coast," encourages its diners to share. And yet, the luscious seafood cannelloni and melt-in-your-mouth eggplant Napoleon are so good, you'll want to order several portions just for yourself.
38 S. 19th St., 215-557-0275Billed as Latin and Asian tapas, Sabor offers an eclectic, delectable menu. The roasted plantains with a honey cardamom glaze are sweet and sticky; the green curry chicken pot is spicy; and the mango, jicama and fire-roasted shrimp salad is savory. Make sure to save room for the creamy caramel flan, which will satisfy the sweetest tooth.
5 The Continental
134 Market St., 215-923-6069Serving consistently good Asian fusion cuisine and great cocktails has made this a prime happy hour place. While it's easy to eat handfuls of the Szechuan French fries, it's difficult to share them. Better to split the crab pad thai, or the towering calamari salad, along with the various dumplings, samplers and skewers.
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