With dining rooms closed and the traditional dining-out experience currently off the table, Philadelphia restaurants are coming up with creative ways to provide a bit of entertainment alongside a meal. From FaceTime ordering to a Zoom magic show, here’s how Philly restaurants are trying to recreate the going-out experience at home.
Virtual Wine Lessons
Walnut Street Cafe set up a series of winemaker dinners for those who want to know more about what they’re drinking. The dinners are available the next few weekends, for $42 per person with a two-person minimum, and come with a multi-course meal and a bottle of wine. An interview with the winemaker behind the bottle is posted on Facebook and Instagram Friday night, in time to watch while you eat. The food can be picked up or delivered, and delivery is free within a 10-mile radius of the restaurant (2929 Walnut Street). Email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
Mind Reading and a Meal
Order from Balboa Catering and Supper Club for Saturday, May 30, and dinner comes with a magic show. Magician Adam Elbaum will be performing for diners on Zoom with a mix of mind reading, card magic, and levitation. The show is geared toward adults but appropriate for kids, and the food, from Balboa chef Alex Garfinkel, includes salad, a choice of entree, and strawberry shortcake. It’s $55 for one person or $80 for two. Some of the proceeds are going to H.E.L.P. Relief Philly. Order wine from Stone & Key Cellars and it can arrive with dinner.
Ordering Via Video Chat
At Armenian BYOB Apricot Stone in Northern Liberties, owner Ara Ishkhanian is doing his best to make customers feel like they’re spending an evening at the restaurant. Make a reservation for the virtual dining-in experience and Ishkhanian will take your order over FaceTime (or other video chat service) and then FaceTime again once the food is delivered, as though he’s a server checking in. He’ll even pretend to fill your glass, and then clink for a virtual “cheers!”.
A Vampire Delivery Service
Delivery via vampire is an option at Stephen Starr’s Pizzeria Stella in Society Hill during Memorial Day weekend. The restaurant teamed up with traveling pop-up Vampire Pizza. Sign up and a vampire will arrive to set the scene and drop your food off along with a themed game with puzzles and other challenges for an at-home game night. The food and game package is $90 for two people or $160 for four.
Get a Peek Into the Kitchen
Every Friday at 5:30 p.m., chef-owners Tara and Alex Hardy of At the Table BYOB in Wayne set up a Zoom call for anyone who orders dinner from them that night. On video, the Hardys cook and package the meals while chatting about the menu, the restaurant business, and whatever else comes to mind. “We really didn’t realize how much we were missing this type of interaction until we finished the call. We gained such incredible feedback from our customers that we’re going to continue this until we’re able to serve guests in our restaurant again,” Alex Hardy said after the first Zoom. Email email@example.com or call the restaurant to sign up.