Yet another fantastic spot in Philly and another place I’ve been wanting to try for a while. The pickled mackerel dip was fabulous even though not what I was expecting with lettuce cups. The sweet potato was perhaps the favorite, although the chicken was pretty great as well. So glad I wasn’t dissuaded from this visit.
potato latke, herb sour cream, horseradish, aged cheddar
pickled mackerel dip, bibb lettuce, gribenes, beet pickled turnips
baked cheese blintz, mozzarella, Muenster, barley, roasted mushrooms
gin cured fluke, challah, whipped butter, pickled onion
sweet potato, boursin cheese smoked walnuts, pickled long hots
shakos chicken, dried apricot, parsnips, potato and swiss chard kugel
I really want to like Born & Raised. The design is fabulous and I am happy for more high end concepts to enter San Diego. Unfortunately the service was terrible on this and a previous visit and unacceptable at this price point. My first issue, not unique to this restaurant, is being asked for a credit card when ordering the bar. It was not crowded and I was clearly ordering dinner. The bartender cannot keep track of me when I did not move? I despise this practice and what feels like punishment for preferring to dine solo at the bar while doing the restaurant the favor of not occupying a 2-top. I ordered 2 dishes that would be table side preparations if not at the bar (although I am told that if you order more than one table side preparation you will only actually get one). If I am not going to get the added show, could I at least have new flatware between courses? Or actually asked if I want the dishes coursed? While the tartare was excellent, the toast was a horrible choice as far too soft to actually support anything and created a collapsing mess each time I tried. I would have enjoyed a second cocktail, but alas I couldn’t get the bartender’s attention for 25 minutes. Perhaps why they need to ask for credit cards or people would get tired of waiting and just leave.
A great introduction to Biga for dinner which was part of their wood fired series featuring guest chef Drew Bent soon to open Lola 55 in San Diego. All very good and flavorful dishes with the bonus of a surprising dessert that I loved. I look forwarding to visiting Lola 55 and have already made a return visit to Biga based on the great hospitality.
trio of tostadas
loca ceviche – pineapple, jicama, chipotle
beef tartare – papilla, avocado, leek
fried oyster – basil, tomato, serrano, lemon
beets, potatoes, wood fired octopus, smoked saffron aioli, pickled spring onion parsley
tamale of porchetta, mole manchamantes, pickled vegetables, coal roasted plantain
oak baked yams, charred marshmallow, horchata of allspice & sugarcane
Septime’s little sister Clamato is another place where I could easily eat everyday. Incredibly fresh fish, fantastic flavors and perhaps the best service that I had on this trip.
trout from banka, marinated vegetables & white cheese
cuttlefish, sesame and chili
baked scallops, lard and sauvignon
Little Red Door
Definitely go at opening to the Little Red Door. What an incredibly cute bar and I absolutely loved the architecture based menu concept.
With a fitting name meaning ‘beautiful mess’ in Hebrew, Balagan is certainly un-Parisian aside from being part of the Experimental Group. While quite a scene, it is incredibly energetic and I couldn’t help but have an amazing time. And the food was amazing…that pictured as well as a few extras that I didn’t photograph.
beef tartare damascus, herbs, pepper coulis, tahini
beetroot salad, spinach, arugula, mangetout pea, peas, feta cheese
I stopped at Buvette for some vegetables to offset the cheese I was eating for 3 meals per day. They were delicious but the service was truly horrible to the point that I considered leaving before I had even ordered and again after I finished my glass of wine and couldn’t seem to get another.
I have had several disappointing experiences at places on the Worlds 50 Best Bars list but had a fantastic experience at Le Syndicat. It looks like an abandoned storefront in a slightly sketchy neighborhood and you could easily walk by it. Very cool menu, great drinks and service. I can’t wait to return.
Biggie Smalls Door
Marc de Bourgogne, Cap Corse Mattei, liqueur de gentiane, et cordial de pamplemousse & d’aneth
Eau de vie de framboise, Cap Corse Mettei, vermouth rouge, et sucette maison au piton
Chez La Vieille
Thank you Daniel Rose for reopening this spot, staffing it with amazing people from Spring, and creating such a fantastic environment. Perhaps the best time I have had at dinner while traveling and if I lived in Paris I would be here once a week. I could easily eat poireaux vinaigrette every day of the week and this version was excellent. But the chicken was quite possibly the best chicken I have had in my life. Yes everything in Paris seems better, and the chickens are different, but I have thought about this so often since.
Poulet fermier et puree de pomme de terre
Aside from being surrounded by Americans, truly a perfect French bistro.
saint jacques rotes, salsifis glaces, champignons noirs, moelle
ris de veau, épinards, condiment moutarde-eshalotes, croutons
du vernet et brie de maux de la maison quatrhomme, chutney de tomates vertes et piment, salade