Bass is worth your buck

Mike Heiderman

Looking for an elegant dinner that is sure to impress as well as leave you longing for more? Look no further than Philadelphia’s Striped Bass Restaurant. The restaurant is a true testament to both fine dining and sophisticated Center City majesty. Conveniently located at 1500 Walnut St., the restaurant is both easy to get to and surrounded by other establishments which could afford the opportunity for an after-dinner drink or dancing.

Upon arriving, patrons are greeted quickly by a valet service that whisks away any potential parking or theft headaches. The staff, who always seems eager to please, graciously beckons you into a world of dining wonderment. As the host or hostess seats you at one of the three dozen or so tables, a quick glance reveals a tastefully decorated dining room with unique features such as a stainless steel sculpture of a bass situated directly in front of an open air kitchen. Thirty foot high ceilings supported by marble columns tell tales of a brokerage house turned seafood extravaganza. In addition, muslin curtains adorn the walls and palm trees surround guests to make their transformation to the Mediterranean complete.

Although the menu is pricey, it is award-winning and can be considered one of Philadelphia’s best. Composed entirely of seafood, it features many traditional favorites with a twist. For the truly eclectic, a three-course caviar option is a must, while others can opt for a more traditional favorite such as shrimp cocktail or calamari. The main course presents the opportunity to try a wide range of fish as well as the occasional shellfish. Each entrée is complemented with an assortment of exotic sauces and vegetables that ensure the patrons of a truly creative dining experience.

All items are best accompanied by a glass of wine from the extensive list. If cocktails or lagers are more your taste, they will be brought to your table from the bar and lounge area (also a great place to meet before your dinner to have a drink and relax).

Dessert provides the perfect ending to the meal. Both tasty and tastefully done, one is reminded of the creativity as well as the skill of the chefs as decadent chocolate cakes and poached pears are placed on the table, looking as if they belonged behind glass casing at the museum of modern art rather than about to be devoured by wide-eyed diners.

As the evening draws to a close it is tremendously apparent what a truly wonderful dining experience the Striped Bass is. Go and see for yourself, but remember to bring with you the proper attire, your wallet and an insatiable appetite for delicious cuisine.