* Click here for rating key
THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Sophia's Restaurant Review: Acclaimed chef Christopher Lee, known for his fine dining stints at Philadelphia's Striped Bass and New York's Gilt and Aureole, has chosen a seemingly unlikely vehicle for his local return: a neighborhood-style bistro on now-trendy East Passyunk Avenue in South Philly. Sophia's is the kind of versatile spot you can bring a date, gather with a group of friends or sit at the bar for a solo meal. The cozy first level dining room has a homey feel, courtesy of original moldings, wood floors and a painted tin ceiling. The menu is similarly welcoming, with dishes ranging from sophisticated New American offerings such as soft shell crabs with pickled ramps and peaches over mâche to rustic treats such as meatballs in a homemade sauce atop creamy polenta that would do Mama proud. Another Mediterranean classic --- paella --- is done just right, a skillfully cooked mélange of mussels, clams, shrimp and other delicacies of the sea gracing saffron rice. Desserts like a dark chocolate cheesecake and a warm apple cake with vanilla ice cream end the meal on a comforting note.