t says: Ok, ok, ok. My name is t and I have a problem. The problem is that I just can’t stop going to Serpico. It really is ridiculous – the moment I know I have a free day, I check out Serpico’s schedule to see if I can make it. It’s no surprise then that when a was looking for a location for his bday celebration, I had no choice but to recommended Serpico. And, after a and v went by themselves to do some reconaissance, we knew we had to go back altogether as a party of 6 with a’s parents. And, unsurprisingly, Serpico totally, absolutely, 100% killed it. Let the barrage of photos begin:
t says: A little while ago, I caught up with an old childhood friend (there’s the disclaimer!) who is opening of Seoul Food Philly, a Korean meets Comfort food. Right now still in its infancy, Seoul Food Philly can be found at the Franklin Flea, open for a few more Saturdays between now and Christmas – we recommend checking it out! We went today and this is what we found:
The stand at Franklin Flea didn’t offer their Koreanified mac-n-cheese or chicken wings (apparently they weren’t allowed to deep-fry things on site at Franklin Flea), but I look forward to trying them in the future, too. Bravo to Seoul Food Philly – we wish you the best of luck!
t says: The gang (a, v, g, and me) had the good fortune of going to Le Cheri on its second night open. Would the Calmels be able to breathe some life into the ridiculously awesome location just off Rittenhouse that had been seemingly cursed to fail? (RIP Gardenia and Rittenhouse Tavern). Let’s find out …
November 2013, Thursday Dinner, Party of 4. We were happy to see lots of familiar faces, like our favorite server Ricky and Charlotte and Pierre. They seated us promply (we had made a last-minute reservation through opentable, so I’m not sure they were expecting us), and gave us their menu. The first impression was that this was a much larger space than Bibou. While we knew it from going to previous restaurants in this location, I forgot just how much additional space there was. The second was that the decor was a little haphazard. On one hand there were sizable wine glasses, white tablecloths, and darker woods, but on the other, the walls were a peculiar color and the finishes weren’t as nearly upscale. So was this place supposed to be more casual than Bibou – more like a bistro? But can you really be more casual than Bibou? Hmmmm – it’s only the first week, so we’ll see how things shake out with the decor. No – we’re not expecting something as sensation as a Starr-ified or Garces-ified restaurant, but at least with a little bit more focus.
Now for the food:
The unpictured dish was the short rib and pasta which was downright amazing. It’s everything that you’d imagine a pasta by Pierre could be. The shortrib was perfectly cooked, as was the pasta. I thought I was sitting in Melograno or something (except the portions were much larger here). Very nice indeed.
We did get a chance to chit-chat with Pierre, and while we were privileged to pick his brain and get some insight into the inner workings of Le Cheri and Bibou, we won’t put it here – we don’t wanna start any rumors. We’re just happy to be able to talk with Pierre to show him the smiles that the food he cooked put on our faces …
So yes … go to Le Cheri – and live up that BYO-ness while you can!
t says: Today was a sad day …
I had been transporting a bottle from our home in Philly to our NJ cellar. And, right before the steps into the house, the neoprene bag I had this bottle of wine in slipped out of my hand and struck the hard concrete. Having dropped many a bottle before, I merely cursed my luck and bent over to pick up the evidence of my clumsiness. But then … it started to bleed … my precious bottle had started to bleed its beautiful fermented grape juice all over the sidewalk. I looked sown in horror … speechless … for a second not believing this was real, rather a horrible nightmare from which I only needed to awaken. The emotions that filled me ranged wildly, from anger at my loss to frustration that I could have been so dumb to sadness, as Dominus is the g & t anniversary wine (we’ve been buying a bottle a year since we got married), and now it was gone. And after uber-critic Robert Parker re-rated the wine this past month to a perfect 100, it’s harder to find [at a reasonable price] than a needle in a stack of needles guarded by porcupines.
Oh well, no use crying over spilt wine and shards of glass … no matter how much I want to …
I told you about how my butter-fingers caused a catastrophic loss of a bottle of wine. Forced to move on, I filled in the space in my cellar and deleted the bottle from my cellartracker. What’s done was done … or was it? This past weekend, sr and ha did the unexpected … they surprised me with a replacement. I’m not sure how they pulled it off, as neither really knows about wine, and, as I had mentioned, it had become “harder to find than a needle in a stack of needles guarded by porcupines” … I’m not sure how they did it, but they did (I imagine it would first involve a magnet to pull out the needles, and then some sort of high-speed optical sorter). So here’s a big online thank you to mom and dad! Thanks!
t says: Last weekend, g and I hit up Noord with bw and some mutual friends. We had heard great things, and because we were itching to BYO-it-up, it was the perfect opportunity. When thinking of which wines to bring, we encountered a little bit of difficulty. While I gravitate towards red as a matter of preference, and while the weather favors drinking a nice rich luscious red, I couldn’t help but wonder whether something white would go better with Noord’s foods. But wait – isn’t it cold in the North Sea? We had no choice but to bring one of each: bubbly rose, white, and red. And what a great decision it was:
November 2013, Sunday Dinner, Party of 5. Right off the bat, the five of us encountered a serious problem at Noord. What to order!? Each of us had first, second, and third-string choices. And then there were some great-sounding specials on top of that! (There was a striped bass that sounded amazing). In the end, we did finally manage to make our selections … from which here is a selection of photos:
There were other items, like a celery soup that g enjoyed, and the rabbit leg confit bw had … but let’s be honest – mine won. My only regret was that I wasn’t more hungry. It’s ok – I sense that I’ll be making me some braised pork omelettes later this week – yum!!
Now, as for dessert, I have to say that I wasn’t quite as impressed as Laban was. We ventured the doughnuts, which were a little more dense than I enjoy (Talula’s Garden kills it when it comes to dooughnuts) as well as the apple pie thing. bw, a masterful baker and general dessert enthusiast (although he did reveal to us his disdain for light-and-airy-cakes), did find that perhaps it was a caramel issue: he suspected that they could have “pushed” the caramel further, getting it to be a bit darker and deeper-flavored, and we all agreed – it was missing that last little bit of warmth that a darker caramel provides.
In all, we enjoyed the food at Noord. I’m not sure it’s going to replace any of our go-to’s, and it’s probably not going to replace Serpico as our newest “eat-here-now” fave, but if they do undergo a menu change next season, you can bet that we’ll be there! Their food was interesting and fun and worth getting to at least once!
t says: Now, for those who’ve read adsz for a while, you know a few things for certain.
#1) I’m not vegetarian.
#2) I’m certainly not vegan.
#3) I have no problems eating vegetarian/vegan for a meal or two (especially with good friends!) – but firmly believe that the goal is never to say, “wow! this is good for not having any animal products”, rather, just plain “wow! this is damn good [with no qualifications whatsoever]“.
So, when I went to Pure Fare a while ago, I ordered up two of their cookies – one was chocolate-avocado and the other was some kind of chocolate chip …
They. were. super. gross.
Their textures were horrible, the flavors were horrible, and the price was horrible. It was as if someone was playing a really mean practical joke on me (like making brownies with tofu). I swore off Pure Fare …
… until now …
You see, they started advertising Blue Bottle coffee, a coffee which I have loved oh-so-much, both in NYC and SF (we visit every time we go to SF!).
Pure Fare’s coffee isn’t quite as good as a real Blue Bottle’s coffee – I suspect the method of brewing is different. Yes, Pure Fare uses Chemex, but it still contains a little bit more astringence than a lot of the products I’ve had at Blue Bottle (now of course, with so many brews available, it’s possible that it could just be literally a different coffee – but it could be due to technique). Nevertheless, it’s close-by and tasty enough that I’ve had a mid-day cup on each of the past few days I was available.
But I wanted a little something to go with the coffee – a little bit of sweeet. As I looked at the pastries and cookies they had, I could here myself saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” So I bit the bullet, preparing to feel the shame …
The CRAZY part is that this is supposed to be a vegan item. I’m no vegan expert, but I assume that means that there’s no butter or eggs or dairy. So I’m not sure where the moisture is coming from – vegetable oil and sweet potato? Beats me! (Or if I was talking about their other chocolate pastry, it’d be “Beets me!”).
So maybe I’ll give Pure Fare some more props now, and maybe even try some other items in the future. Just keep the Blue Bottle goin and I’ll be comin’ back for more …