1229 Spruce St., 215/790-9494,
HOURS: Mon.–Fri. 5 p.m.–1 a.m.,
Sat.–Sun. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–1 a.m.
COST: Most entrées between $10–20
Valanni, a stylish Mediterranean-Latin restaurant and bar, is credited to the same owner-chef, R. Evan Turney, as the popular BYOB  Mercato  across the street. With one wall of exposed brick, dim pendant lighting, and lots of candlelight, the mood is romantic yet fun.
The bar is often filled with regulars who come for the strong, delicious award-winning specialty cocktails like the Ecstasy, White Cosmo, and Chuck’s Cosmo (which substitutes tequila for vodka).
Dishes are hard to peg into one style, but there are plenty of Mediterranean and Latin influences. Small plates, which can be eaten as appetizers or alone as a tapas-style meal, include lobster-and-crab macaroni and cheese, spicy chicken empanadas, and grilled beef kabobs.
Some dishes are served with lighter sides, sauces, and garnishes in summertime to match the mood.
Desserts at Valanni are enormous and delicious, especially the deep-fried oreo beignets and the carmelized rum bananas. Happy hour Monday–Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. offers great drink specials.