Simon Powles may not be a chef, but as the founder and CEO of Starr Catering Group, he’s downright passionate about food and excellence in hospitality. Originally from the UK, Powles has lived in the Philadelphia area for the past nine years and recently moved to Center City. When he’s not working, he enjoys going to the movies, spending time with his family and of course, sampling the best bites this city has to offer. He dishes on where to get duck meatballs, sweet pea ravioli and chicken pie.
Best late night meal?
David’s Mai Lai Wah (1001 Race St.), because late night is late and dumplings are great anytime, especially the pan-fried dumplings here.
Best meal under $10?
Top of the Hill in Chestnut Hill (186 E Evergreen Ave.) is a great neighborhood place by some of our favorite clients' homes. Try the tuna, cheddar and apple sandwich on rye. It’s the best tuna salad in Philadelphia.
Best hidden foodie gem?
The Standard Tap (901 N 2nd St.) is not really a hidden restaurant, but I think that their chicken pie is a bit of a hidden secret. It is a dish that reminds me of home and is so comforting.
Best place to dine alone?
The bar at Vernick (2031 Walnut St.). The atmosphere is always lively and warm. It’s the perfect space to feel both invisible and well taken care of. The sweet pea ravioli and the grilled black sea bass are favorites.
Place you always take or recommend for out-of-towners?
Also Vernick. A great location for any occasion!
Go-to date spot?
High Street on Market (308 Market St.). Intimate, boisterous and really great food! My favorite dish is the duck meatballs.
Best place to catch up with friends?
El Rey (2013 Chestnut St.). Great tacos, fun space and good cocktails.
Most Instagrammable restaurant?
I am only on Instagram to see what my kids are up to. I don’t post myself.