Wednesday, December 22, 2010


On the 8th day of Christmas blogging... I am reminded that a public relations firm invited me to a fun meal at Thirteen, the restaurant in the convention center Marriott downtown. Thirteen had distinguished itself to me in the past by providing refuge from more crowded bars in order to watch some crucial Phillies game. It is a serviceable hotel restaurant, with modern, earth-tone decor and plenty of space to accommodate convention center guests and private parties alike. This past November, I found myself in their semi-posh private dining room enjoying a multi-course meal.
Chef Judson Branch's food choices were a bit ambitious and occasionally delivered. The scallops were done well, but lacked a flavor punch. Thirteen's take on the beet-goat cheese salad was mildly engaging, but I had hoped for more of a flavor variety on this common combination.
The entrees arrived, and with them a risotto that was at best comforting, at worst, a thick mass. Heavy and seemingly overcooked, I was able to, for once, resist its cheesy rice appeal. The meat was done well, however, flavored with a tangy sauce accompaniment that highlighted both it and the risotto well. Desserts were well prepared, with a chocolate raspberry sauce in a lovely presentation. The dessert proved to be fairly delicious, a decadent combination. 
All in all, although the food was hit or miss, I would recommend Thirteen's private dining room for an office party or a good mixing space during the convention and remain loyal to their expansive bar for the key sports events. 

Thirteen is located in the Philadelphia Marriott, 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pa.

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