ug.mpmn-digital.com
New recipes

Philadelphia’s Talula’s Garden: Turning Seasonal Ingredients Into Masterpieces

Philadelphia’s Talula’s Garden: Turning Seasonal Ingredients Into Masterpieces



We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


A restaurant that specializes in seasonal American cuisine, prepared with fresh local ingredients, isn’t exactly hard to come by these days. But when those ingredients are turned into unique and exciting dishes, with a menu that changes nearly every day, and there’s a ridiculously good cheese selection? Then that’s something special, and that’s exactly what we experienced recently at Philadelphia’s Talula’s Garden.

The six year-old restaurant is run by chef/owner Aimee Olexy in partnership with restaurateur Stephen Starr; Olexy is a Philly restaurant vet who previously ran the acclaimed Django and also helms Talula’s Table, a 10-seater that very well might be the country’s toughest reservation. Dining at Talula’s Garden definitely shows you why her other spots have proven so popular.

Talula’s Garden is located on bucolic Washington Square, and about a third of the restaurant’s footprint is an actual garden, one of the city’s finest outdoor dining spaces. You have to walk through it to enter the restaurant, which is made up of three soaring spaces: a bar and two dining rooms.

It’s a pricey restaurant, but not egregiously so: On the night we visited, the seven appetizers ranged from $14 to $17, four pastas ranged from $20 to $22, seven mains ranged from $30 to $34, and vegetable sides were all $8; a nightly nine-course tasting menu is also available for $100. We started with “Peaches & Bacon”: peaches, local lettuces, spicy pecans, pepper glazed bacon, lemon-dill dressing, and hot honey. The peaches were perfectly ripe, the bacon was sweet and peppery, and it was served in a pool of creamy yogurt-dill sauce that helped tie it all together.

All pastas are made in-house, so we also tried the goat cheese cavatelli with sautéed sweet corn and summer truffles, topped with pinot gris and brown butter toasted bread crumbs on top. It was honestly one of the best pasta dishes we’ve ever had, and we couldn’t stop eating it; Half tender fresh cavatelli, half fresh sweet corn, in a just-creamy-enough sauce with textural contrast from the breadcrumbs and a hint of truffle and chive. We were seriously considering ordering a second round to go.

For our mains, we ordered a Chimayo pepper-spiced half-chicken with a sweet corn tomato jam, avocado salsa, yogurt sauce, and roasted potatoes; as well as caramelized sea scallops with charred snap peas, hummus spiced with a Middle Eastern spice mixture called Baharat, baby beets, jalapeño tahini, and pepitas. Both of them offered layer upon layer of flavor. The chicken was well-seasoned and juicy, with crispy skin, and all the accompaniments worked together to result in a Southwestern dish that would make Bobby Flay weep.

The perfectly seared scallops, nestled into a verdant pile of dressed greens atop bright red hummus, were also a joy to eat; I’ll certainly be charring my snap peas from now on. On the side, a big bowl of local red and yellow watermelon, crumbled feta, slivered jalapeño, and preserved watermelon rind served as a fresh and cold counterpoint.

The restaurant also happens to have one of the best cheese selections in the country, so make sure you save room to try one of the five cheese collections, which include anywhere from six to eight cheeses (you can also assemble your own cheese plate from the ones on hand). Our “World Travel” plate had a smartly assembled assortment of cow, goat, sheep, and buffalo cheeses from Spain, France, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Holland, and Ireland, each served with their own accompaniments, and it was spectacular. The cocktail selection is also worthy of note; we were especially fond of The Southerner (rye whiskey, yellow peaches, lemon, and mint), The Optimist (citrus vodka, huckleberry, lemon juice, and tropical green tea), and the housemade white sangria.

Talula’s Garden is one of the most popular restaurants in Philly, and with good reason: they’re taking the freshest, highest-quality ingredients, turning them into unique and exciting dishes, and doing it all with flair, personality, and a whole lot of charm.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Philly Food Fight

Yet another restaurant week(s) has come and gone and we are back to normal operations. I’ve mentioned before the participation of some of our finer dining restaurants and their dumbed down food and service for the budget conscious foodies. I hate it when they do that. I took in two of Philadelphia’s fine dining places known for some decent views from the dining room this year.

XIX Nineteen is in the Hyatt at The Bellevue (Walnut & Broad). Don’t let that deter you from visiting as it is anything but your average hotel restaurant. Sitting atop the building gives some pretty nice views of the city. It’s not an R2L view, but it’s charming in it’s own right. If you can step out onto the balcony, it becomes more of an event. The service is fine dining and the food tries to be much of the same.

We added some oysters to our typical three course menu this year. They were very fresh and were a perfect way to start. I wish they had been delivered before our first course on the tasting menu though. Arriving with the Beef Carpaccio made for a crowded table and a little bit of that old restaurant week service I am not very fond of. Regardless, the oysters and carpaccio dressed with shaved pecorino and lemon oil were delightful. Once the expanded first course was cleared, we had about a 30 minute wait for the entrees. I’m willing to wait for Berkshire Pork Chops with bourbon sauce, but this continued to prove that fine dining and restaurant week just don’t mesh well. Finally, the main course arrived and it was very well presented. Butternut squash ravioli, swiss chard and candied pecans were the perfect compliment to the pork. I wish they had asked for a temperature, but they hit it to a not-all-that offensive med/med-well. Dessert was my least favorite of the courses. The Spiced Apple Cake tasted like a boxed dessert and came with “vanilla sauce”. Pony up and put some vanilla ice cream on the dish. Dessert was an after thought. Our bill was well over $200 even with the restaurant week menu. Yet, I feel like we got amateur service with little concept of coursing and “fine dining” refinement.

Waterworks (640 Waterworks Dr.) is an often overlooked restaurant in Philadelphia. And I can see why. We arrived for our reservation and the hostess was less than enthused to see us. She scurried off to do something, came back twice and then finally, after 5 minutes of standing at the front desk, asked us to follow her. It’s not the wait that was awkward, it was the lack of communication. If you say, “Just a moment, we are preparing your table now. Would you mind having a seat and we’ll get you seated shortly.” You avoid this uncomfortable first impression. Once we were seated the view was pretty nice. Overlooking the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia skyline, it is quite impressive. The patio style seating could have been executed a little better as our table was on a slant that teetered at the brink of wine glasses being put into motion by our good friend gravity at any given moment. Luckily we avoided the disaster.

Despite a few details that would have helped, the service and the food were really very well done. Starting off with an extra course of salmon tartare was the way to go. It tasted fresh and, I believe, that when you finish your tartare before you finish your crisps, it’s a great tartare. This was the case. The arugula salad, which sounds very simple, was delicately balanced with wine poached pears, candied pecans and pomegranate vinaigrette. I’m a sucker for a good salad and this one was good. I guess Berkshire Pork was on everyone’s mind, so we went with the Bourbon Glazed Berkshire Pork. This time, we got to determine a temperature. Nice job service team! It was a really well executed dish and cooked to a perfect med-rare. Dessert had intention and purpose. A creme brulee duo of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pumpkin Spice, be it simple, had much more purpose than those at XIX. Another nice touch was the wine pairing with each course. Sure it’s restaurant week, but this was just a little something extra that made the experience even more of an event. The check was slightly less at just under $150 for the Waterworks and the food was equally as tasty.

Restaurant week is a tough week to judge the true colors of fine dining. However, I believe it to be the week where you see the true character of these places. It is very much a choice to participate and some places treat it as a pain in the neck and it really shows. I feel like both XIX and Waterworks put up some very solid menus and didn’t dumb things down to the point of being obvious. I do feel like there were basic service steps that were overlooked, for one reason or another, at both, but that could happen anywhere. This one goes to XIX. While Waterworks was good, the first impression and the “back yard” seating made it less of a value than I would go for otherwise. Kudos to both places on participating and doing the best they could. I would visit XIX again, but, for the price, I’m just not sure Waterworks delivers the potential for the total package.


Watch the video: Should you move to Philadelphia PA. Pros and Cons about philly