Food & Drink Magazine

Continental

By Yonni @vegandthecity
Friday night I was with my family in Philadelphia, as we were in town for a bigger family affair.  After far too much time waiting to get through the Holland Tunnel (SO grateful Soho has such gorgeous window shopping!) we finally arrived at the beautiful Westin in Center City.
After checking in (and checking out the live acoustic guitar in the lobby lounge) we were starving.  Fortunately, we knew of a hip restaurant with great food that was literally right around the corner, The Continental.  The Continental, one of the Stephen Starr restaurant group, is a super cool place to eat or just hang at the bar.  I've now been to three locations, and while the decor differs in each, picture a space where mod-70's meets the Jetsons.  At this one, the bar has a glass beaded valance and chairs in the lounge that look like over sized stuffed animals.  We sat in a booth on the balcony overlooking the massive, bauble~laced chandelier and hung out on wicker chair swings that hung from the ceiling.
Even the cocktail list is cool ~ they have one grape-flavored martini with grape pop rocks around the rim instead of sugar, and another that comes with a licorice pinwheel.  I opted for the Tipsy Vegan ~ you know, my signature drink ~ Patron Silver on the rocks with a little lime juice and a splash of pineapple.  (You need to try it ~ just don't drive after you finish!)
As for the menu, the guys love the cheesesteak egg rolls and bbq quesadillas.  Clearly they're not for me!  My husband and I shared the fattoush salad ~ cherry tomatoes, seedless cucumber, shaved radish and crumbled toasted pita with a lemon juice, olive oil and sumac dressing.  I wasn't in the mood for hummus, and am allergic to edamame (which they offered steamed or with tofu tempura, avocado and a mustard-miso dressing.)  I considered the sesame spinach with sweet soy dressing and the miso soup with tofu, soba and nori but couldn't decide.  Our waiter said the black quinoa and tabbouleh salad with spinach, tomato, red onions, cucumber and mint with a lemon vinaigrette could be made without feta and was a customer favorite, but I settled on the flatbread pizza (it's like a toasted crepe) with sauteed onions and mushrooms.  It was savory and buttery (without the butter) and super thin and flaky.  SO good and with a crust that paper thin, it has to be guilt free, right?
The next time you find yourself in Phillie or Atlantic City, make yourself a reservation, put on something cool, and head on over!

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