Author Archives: jamieraphael

So Many New Restaurants, So Little Time…

The landscape of Philadelphia is ever-evolving, with new homes, retail and especially, restaurants, popping up daily. It can be difficult to narrow down the seemingly endless, mouth-watering options…and your decision won’t get easier any time soon. Introducing the next wave of highly anticipated restaurants to hit Philadelphia this year:
  • Pizzeria Beddia

Location: 1313 N. Lee Street, Fishtown

Projected Opening: Late March

About: A sit-down pizzeria with natural wine


  • Elwood

Location: 1007 Frankford Avenue, Fishtown

Projected Opening: Late March or early April

About: Focused on Pennsylvania Dutch & local classics


  • 20th Street Pizza

Location: 108 S. 20th Street, Rittenhouse

Projected Opening: Early March

About: A vegan all-pizza shop


  • Winkel

Location: 1119 Locust Street, Washington Square West

Projected Opening: Late March

About: Dutch inspired fare


  • Alpen Rose

Location: 116 S. 13th Street, Midtown Village/Gayborhood

Projected Opening: March or Apri

About: High-end steakhouse


  • Hiroki

Location: 1355 N. Front Street (entrance at Lee and Master streets), Fishtown

Projected Opening: March

About: Japanese Omakase


  • Stina

Location: 1705 Snyder Avenue, South Philly

Projected Opening: Late April

About: BYOB pizza shop donating part of its proceeds to local charities/organizations


  • Bloomsday Cafe

Location: 414 S. 2nd Street, Society Hill

Projected Opening: April

About: All-day cafe & shop featuring natural wine


  • Olly and Gigi (2 new restaurants)

Location: 700 S. 5th Street, Queen Village

Projected Opening: Mid-April for Olly; May or June for Gigi

About Olly: Local neighborhood eatery

About Gigi: Pizzeria


  • Cicala at the Divine Lorraine

Location: 699 N. Broad Street, North Broad/Spring Garden

Projected Opening: Late May or early June

About: Upscale, southern Italian fare


  • The Lucky Well

Location: 990 Spring Garden Street, Callowhill

Projected Opening: May

About: Memphis-style BBQ


  • K’Far

Location: 110 S. 19th Street, Rittenhouse

Projected Opening: June

About: Israeli bakery & cafe


  • Gabi

Location: 339 N. Broad Street, North Broad/Callowhill

Projected Opening: June

About: French all-day cafe

Everyone’s Favorite Week Is Back With A Bang

Back by popular demand, Center City Restaurant Week will be celebrating it’s 2018 Fall edition September 23rd – October 5th. Over 110 of center city’s best restaurants are participating this year, including newcomers Porta, The Palm Restaurant and Casta Diva. Restaurant week offers the opportunity to try the best eateries in town without blowing your budget. Three-course dinner specials are being offered for $35 per person, while three-course lunch specials are only $20 per person. With so many alluring restaurants to choose from, making a decision can be difficult- see below for my personal recommendations for my favorite week in Center City.

Harp & Crown
Offering New American Cuisine
1525 Sansom St Philadelphia, PA 19102
A seafood specialist featuring a raw bar
1138 Pine St Philadelphia, PA 19107
Casta Diva
Locally Sourced & Imported Italian Fare
223 S. 20th St Philadelphia, PA 19103

University City’s Colorful New Bistro

Say “Bonjour” To Louie Louie

The newest bistro in town, Louie Louie, opened last month at the Hilton Inn at Penn bringing French-inspired food and an eye-catching color pallet to University City. Marty and Sydney Grims, the father-daughter duo of Fearless Restaurants, has ventured on to expand their take on American food with a French twist at Louie Louie. The team is best known for their restaurant White Dog Cafe, which now has 3 locations, as well as The Moshulu, Plantation Restaurant, Daddy O Restaurant & Hotel, Autograph Brasserie and Tuckers Tavern.
Photo Courtesy of Louie Louie

Photo Courtesy of Louie Louie
The menu features French comfort food staples such as fresh oysters, steak frites, escargot and lyonnaise salad. While the food is sure to excite your pallet and send your mind to the shores of southern France, the ambiance is what truly sets this restaurant apart. Designed by Kate Rohrer of Rohe Creative, Louie Louie embraces an Art Nouveau style featuring stunning black and white marble flooring, brightly colored velvet couches, brass finishes and visually enticing patterns. The 6,000 sq ft space offers seating for 160 diners, with 15 seats at the bar, 30 seats in the lounge and another 50 seats outside on Walnut St. Have your own French mini vacation by stopping into Louie Louie for lunch, dinner or a weekend brunch.

Photo Courtesy of Louie Louie

Hungry For More? Click Here To See The Full Menu

Pasta Lovers Rejoice: Guiseppe & Sons Opening Soon

In 2018, we are all looking toward the future for the next exciting innovation but sometimes the most thrilling discoveries are those that remind us of the past. For those longing for a throwback in time to when food was made by hand, wine was sipped slowly and cell phones weren’t on the table, look no further than Guiseppe & Sons, the new traditional Italian restaurant opening in Rittenhouse Square. The new eatery, slated to open in late summer of this year, is a collaboration between  Michael Schulson (of Double Knot and Harp & Crown) and the Termini Bakery family. Located at 1523 Sansom St, Guiseppe & Sons will host a similar layout to Double Knot, offering a bakery and take away food on the ground floor and a dining room for seated service downstairs. This powerhouse collaboration is a welcome new addition to the square.
Hungry for more?
Visit for more information.


“A Renaissance In Refined Living”

An air of excitement has been traveling through Rittenhouse Square ever since plans for the new ultra-luxe condo building, The Laurel, were announced earlier this year. The brand new building, slated to break ground in early 2019, stands prominently at the northwest corner of Rittenhouse Square. Like it’s namesake, the gorgeous state flower of Pennsylvania, The Laurel exudes classic beauty and modern elegance.
The Laurel’s grand condominium homes include Sky Residences, Estate Residences and full-floor, customizable Penthouses ranging from more than 1,700 to nearly 9,000 square feet. Residents of the Laurel have access to a private, secure lobby and condos located between the 27th-48th floors feature private elevator access and unprecedented views. In addition to the top of the line details within each unit, The Laurel offers a seemingly endless list of services and conveniences throughout the building. A few of the lavish amenities include a heated indoor pool & spa, locker rooms equipt with showers, a sauna and steam room, yoga and Peloton studio, lounge with club bar and kitchen catering that opens to a sweeping terrace, fitness center, guest rental suites, an in-town car with chauffeur and even a pet spa to ensure that every resident is blissful and relaxed, even those on four legs.
Although completion isn’t projected until sometime in 2021, we are excited to see everything this incredible building will bring to Rittenhouse Square.

Philadelphia: Get Set For Spring 2018

Spring is just around the corner and with it comes the desire for bright, fresh, inspiring decor. This season’s top trends have popped up everywhere- Circular shapes, brass finishes, and rich, jewel tones have been named some of the hottest trends in decor this Spring. Although inspiring, this information overload can also make you wonder, how do I put together a trend-forward space that fits my life and my budget? We sat down with the powerhouse design duo Kiley Baun & Betsey Helm, of Philadelphia-based Shophouse Design, to answer a few of our questions.

Kiley Baun & Betsey Helm of Shophouse Design.

1. Spring is just around the corner and it seems that everyone is celebrating with vibrant, jewel tones. What colors do you foresee being the most popular in home decor this season?

Right now, we are loving most shades of green. Using multiple tones throughout the space is fresh and cohesive.

2. What are the best home accents for creating a modern, yet inviting space?

Timeless and classic pieces in light colors create a perfect backdrop for new more trend-forward pieces to be swapped in and out. A clean-lined sofa or chair with a textured blanket always looks inviting. A planted tree adds some cheer as well.

3. For those who don’t have a high budget for home decor, what on-trend pieces do you recommend splurging on?

We suggest a couple of pillows in a designer fabric, or a statement throw blanket. A structural bowl for fruit or flowers goes a long way. Also a Diptique candle – the branding is so elegant and dresses up any space.

4. Patterns & Prints seem to be everywhere in 2018- What’s the best way to use them without overwhelming the space?

If our clients ask to incorporate trends, we encourage them to try to stay away when it comes to the envelope of your home. We suggest adding them in with accents, like incorporating prints and patterns in accessories while keeping the envelope neutral. Some bold printed or floral pillows or a piece of art is a great way to layer some pattern into your home.

5. What are your personal favorite trends for Spring 2018?

We are loving a slight return to 80’s design in the shape and structure of furniture we are seeing. Kelley Wearstler has some great new pieces that are a nod to the era but re-imagined in such a great way.

For More About Shophouse Design

Shop Kelly Wearstler

Spice Up Your Life With The 2018 Color Of The Year

The dreary colors of winter have been surrounding us for the past few months; Gray skies and falling snow may have you craving something bright, vibrant, warm and maybe even…spicy. Enter Benjamin Moore’s 2018 color of the year, Caliente AF-290. The color of a deep summer sunset, an overripe watermelon, a classic car cruising with the top down, Caliente AF-209 is an exuberant burst of color that can bring life to any space. The past few years have shown a trend of cooler colors- In 2016 Benjamin Moore named their color of the year as “Simply White” and in 2017 the choice was “Shadow”, a deep purple color. This year, in a stark contrast, Caliente AF-290 is bringing a heartbeat back to home decor. From the perfect, eye-catching accent wall color to a front door that makes a statement, the application options are endless. This stunning color of the year has an even more beautiful complimentary palette, with shades such as “Stone”, “Smoked Oyster”, “Moonshine” and “Cherry Wine”. See the color palette below, as well as more info on Caliente AF-290.


For More About Caliente AF-209 Click Here


Philly Luxe Living’s Guide To Center City Restaurant Week

Philadelphia residents, rejoice- We finally have a worthy reason to brave the cold…it’s center city restaurant week. Patrons are treated to a luxe three-course lunch for $20 per person or three-course dinner for $35 per person at participating eateries. You can take advantage of these fantastic deals from Sunday, January 14th through Friday, January 26th. There are several areas of Philadelphia who hold their own restaurant week but Center City is by far my favorite. The proximity from one restaurant to the next is certainly alluring but the restaurants themselves can’t be beat. With over 120 restaurants participating, selecting one can be challenging to say the least. Here are a few of my recommendations for getting the most of your Center City Restuarant Week:

135 S 18th St, Philadephia, PA 19103

For a modern take on American traditional.

Alma de Cuba

1623 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

For fresh, inventive, Latin cuisine.


210 W Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA, 19103

For traditional Italian eats.


See The Full List Of Participating Restaurants

Halloweekend in Philadelphia

Candy collectors, costume enthusiasts and lovers of the macabre, rejoice- Halloweekend is almost here! With Halloween falling on a Tuesday this year, this upcoming weekend is the official Halloween weekend in Philadelphia. There is no shortage of Halloween events- In all corners of the city from Packer Park to the Northeast, West Philadelphia to the banks of the Schuylkill River, spooky events await you. This weekend’s events will kick off this Friday at the MISCHIEF party hosted by The Mutter Museum. Beginning at 6:30 pm and lasting until 11 pm- the open bar, snacks, DJ and their incredible collection of medical oddities are sure to put you in the Halloween spirit. A general admission ticket will get you into the party and grant you access to all that is offered at the event (including the open bar). Costumes are strongly encouraged but not required.

If antique medical tools don’t get you in the mood for Halloween, stop by the Rittenhouse Row Halloween Celebration on Saturday from 10am-5pm. The local businesses of Rittenhouse Square are offering treats to all costume-clad patrons of any age. A similar event will be taking place simultaneously a few blocks south at the East Passyunk Fall Fest and Spooky Saturday from 11am-4pm. Similarly to the Rittenhouse Row Halloween Celebration, The East Passyunk Fall Fest will provide a trick-or-treating experience for everyone, including your pup. Beyond treats, the Fall Fest will be offering pumpkin painting, a costume contest for kids and dogs, food vendors and more.

West of the river, Boo at Zoo will be taking place at the Philadelphia Zoo. Trick-or-treaters can experience a brand new take on candy collecting while strolling past tigers, bears and more, all included in a general admission ticket.

For more information, click the links below:

MISCHIEF at the Mutter Museum

Boo at the Zoo

Rittenhouse Row Halloween Celebration

East Passyunk Fall Fest & Spooky Saturday

Philly Luxe Living Presents: Where To Dine Tomorrow

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Philadelphia is known for many things, historic landmarks, passionate sports fans and mostly, food; We are a city of foodies and nothing excites us more than hearing about the latest and greatest places to go for an amazing dining experience. Over the past few weeks, whispers of a new corner restaurant have been traveling through the streets of Philadelphia and finally, with the promise to be a place that serves classic Italian dishes to the local neighborhood residents, Trattoria Carina has arrived. Taking the place of the former Fitler Dining Room at 2201 Pine St, Carina was opened by the same owners, who are looking for a fresh, new take on how locals like to eat. A small bar and 35 seats make up this corner eatery but it’s not lacking in appearance or charisma. Decorated by the Philadelphia based design team, Shophouse Design, Carina offers a light and bright interior with pops of bright blues and modern lines. The servers provide a whimsical contrast, wearing red t-shirts and inviting smiles to everyone who walks through the door. Although Trattoria Carina has its first official weekend dinner service tonight, it had a soft opening earlier this week and Philadelphians are already clamoring to try the new dishes (myself included!).

Click Here to View the Menu

Check back next Friday for the dish on the hottest new dishes and places to eat them.

Stay Spooky Philadelphia!

the glowPhiladelphia is now in the full swing of the Fall season- crisp wind, stunning foliage and most importantly, pumpkins, have made their arrival. If you’re anything like me, you want to soak up all this season has to offer; From now through October 29th, get your Fall time thrills at “THE GLOW”, a 1/3 mile trail, lined with jack-0-lanterns, that winds through one of Philly’s most beloved venues, The Mann Center. You can experience this one of a kind, Halloween spectacular Thursday-Saturday nights, tickets are sold online and must be purchased in advance to prevent overcrowding. Although this spooky wonderland is meant to fill you with the Halloween spirit, it is considered a family friendly event for all ages. If you’ve ever wondered what flowers, motorcycles, dinosaurs and underwater scenes made entirely of pumpkins would look like, go check out THE GLOW!

the glow pt 2

For More Information Visit: The Glow Jack O Lantern

Event: Sip Cider, See the Sites

As we approach our second weekend of Fall here in the city of brotherly love, we are reminded of the intense beauty that comes along with autumn in the Northeast. Although the weather has been unseasonably warm for the past week, we are headed into a more fall fitting forecast for the weekend. What better way to embrace all that Fall has to offer than drinking cider while musing through historic landmarks? This Saturday, September 30th, the Ciderfest at the Historic Houses of Fairmount will take place all day but visitors are recommended to arrive by 11:45am to ensure time to take in the sites. Each of the six historic homes will have a correlating local cidery offering cider samples (listed below). The festivities continue with live music and food trucks throughout the area- you can catch The Carryons, Alison Polans, Joey Sweeney, Allen Krantz and more performing throughout the day. Access to the historic homes, cider sampling with a souvenir tasting cup and house-to-house transportation via Phlash’s CiderFest Loop are all included in the ticket price of $40 ($50 day of). A Saturday afternoon full of cider, history, food trucks and autumn sunshine…I can’t think of anything better!

Participating Cideries & Historic Houses:

Lemon Hill: Stone & Key Cellars with Haymaker Meadery

Mount Pleasant: Hardball Cider

Historic Strawberry Mansion: Wyndridge Farm

Laurel Hill: Ploughman Cider

Woodford Mansion: Kurant Cider

Cedar Grove: Frecon’s Cidery

This event is 21+ older and will be held rain or shine

 Fairmount CiderFest Tickets Here

Going to be in Philadelphia for Labor Day? Check out these great events!

Philadelphia’s hosting a set of awesome happenings over Labor Day weekend.

The extended weekend, which starts on Friday, September 2 and runs through Monday, September 5, will buzz with live music from the mega Made in America, light up with the breathtaking Nightscape installation at Longwood Gardens and offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy the warm weather at an array of awesome outdoor spaces.

Plus, since Labor Day takes place during the first weekend of the month, there are plenty of free “First Friday” and “First Sunday” art-viewing opportunities at galleries and museums across the city (and nearby beer gardens that invite you to quench your thirst afterward).

Read more:


Now is a ‘Helluva Time to Sell’ your Home in Philadelphia

“High demand and low supply”. You may have heard that term describing a lesson in your college economics class, but now people are using that term to describe Philadelphia’s housing market. The appreciated  value of houses in Philadelphia is up to 6.2 percent. That is almost 5 time the national average of 1.3 percent.

The report from Drexel University‘s Lindy Institute  shows the upward trend of home prices in Philadelphia over the last 30 years. The average days on market currently is 53, which is comparable to the trends seen in during our last housing boom in 2006.

Ever since the housing market crash 10 years ago, homebuyers have been told that it is a great time to buy a home.

But for the first time in 10 years, it looks like a “helluva” time to sell one. blog post draft 8-10-16


Pope Francis and Dalai Lama Visit Philadelphia- Plan Ahead

pope in philly resize

Philadelphia is undertaking tremendous efforts to host Pope Francis as he visits the City of Brotherly Love this September for the 2015 World Meeting of Families (WMOF). The Pope has confirmed he will be making his first visit to the United States during this event, which is held every three years in various cities throughout the world. Past WMOF host destinations include Rome, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Milan. Pope Francis is expected to visit Philadelphia from September 22nd to September 27th.

Just one month after the Pope’s expected visit, Philadelphia will welcome His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The National Constitution Center will honor the Dalai Lama with the prestigious 2015 Liberty Medal, which recognizes men and women who continually promote peace and liberty to those around them.The awards ceremony is scheduled for October 26, 2015 at 5:00 pm. Tickets will go on sale in September.

With these two world-wide recognized events being held in Philadelphia this fall, it is best to plan transportation, schedules, and accommodations accordingly. Mayor Michael Nutter advises all Philadelphians to plan transportation “way ahead- and have a backup.” These are not events where you can expect to get in your car, park, and go. SEPTA expects to serve 650,000 to 700,000 people a day, especially for the Papal Visit, and Amtrak trains will require reservations ahead of time.

It is a tremendous honor for Philadelphia to host these two spectacular, world-wide events. However, the commuters of Philadelphia must be aware of the impact these events will have on the city, transportation, dining, and hotels during these events. Philadelphia advises all to be aware, and plan ahead.