There's been a reassuring burst of energy in Philly's wine scene. offering lists that shine a passionate focus on the progressive, the artisan, the obscure. The Tria Cafes have pioneered that approach with an eye toward keeping prices relatively accessible.
You'd think Ashton Cigar Bar would be, naturally, mostly about smoke, and, yes, there are 200 cigar labels waiting behind a glass-walled humidor at this sleek oasis of luxury tobacco, totally revamped from the old Mahogany and renamed by its new owners in late 2013.
The signature cocktail names at the Olde Bar are threaded with pearls of wit and obscure references that only a son of the Old Original Bookbinder's family tree could have conjured. The "5th Grandchild," for example, is an Old Grand-Dad-fueled nod ("somewhat bitter, somewhat sweet") to the restaurant childhood of Erich Weiss, the grandson of John M. Taxin who helped concoct this new list.
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Book: The Philadelphia Inquirer Restaurant Guide
4 Bells: According to Craig, the best restaurants in the Philadelphia area.