after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Posts Tagged ‘Fitler Dining Room

Fitler Dining Room

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t says:  g and I have been psyched about the Pub & Kitchen expansion for quite a while; Meme wasn’t bad (for dinner), but it just wasn’t thrilling enough.  And as the P&K crew moved in, set up shop, and painted over Meme’s yellow, g and I have been peering in windows and open doors (when we could – they kept stuff under wraps for a while), hardly able to contain ourselves.  For the record – it’s not because we think P&K is actually all that good in terms of food, rather, just because the new Fitler Dining Room is physically the closest restaurant to our front door … so of course we were hoping for deliciousness!

February 2013, Sunday Dinner, Party of 3.  We got together with bw to celebrate FDR’s opening.  The menu looked a little pricey, but we just had to try it.  I have to say that the person on the phone wasn’t particularly nice to me when I asked how much corkage would be, addressing me with a tone of superiority as if it would be unthinkable that a patron would want to bring their own wine to their establishment.  Look.  I’m sure your wineguy/gal did a very nice job on your wine list.  I’m sure that your wines taste fine.  All I’m saying is that the emotional connection I have to a wine that I went out of my way to hunt for and acquire (and in some cases, transported thousands of miles on a plane) might make something taste more-better than something I know that I’m paying a 100-200-300% markup for … (As a former neuroscientist and human being, I can safely say that state of mind dramatically affects perceived tastes … why else does “every table wine in every restaurant in <insert French or Italian city here> taste way better than those in the US”?  It’s cuz you’re frickin’ in that French/Italian city on vacation!  duh!).  Ok, stepping down from my soapbox: I did find a cab franc on their list that was actually quite delicious – almost worth the amount that I paid for it!  And g sipped on Gruet – an old-time standby in our home for bubbly wine.  bw had some other sparkling which I’m not recalling …

Now for the the pictures!

good glasses!

the inside of the place is dimly lit (in a good way) and featuered nice dark tablet-tops, plenty-big wine and water glasses – it really looks quite nice in there – like a good date spot.  Also, the servers are clad in Japanese selvage denim aprons (but they couldn’t tell me more about them – I was quite intrigued!  I might want to acquire one of those!)  It has the feel of a small-cozy Brooklyn restaurant but with a nice clean aesthetic and a dose of nonchalance (real nonchalance – not contrived hipster nonchalance).  That said, the servers were spot-on with a polite attitude, constant attentiveness, and precise execution – it was like they’ve been doing this for months, not days …


pillow-soft gnocchi and tender escargot.  no – the escargot on their own were not as nearly as good as Bibou’s, but the glory of this dish is that they are not the star – they contribute one component of flavor that is so deftly combined with each and every single other item on the dish.  I went hunting so that each fork could have a little bit of everything, and boy was I happy when it worked out.  Who knew a toasty hazelnut, a wondeful gnocchi, a tender snail, some herbs and carrot would all come together into something so delicious?  True, the combination is a little “fussy”, but boy is it worth it.


salad: fresh, crisp, nicely dressed = delicious.  simple and to the point … like a sharp knife.

short rib

Shortrib: deciding to see what FDR would do with an already-awesome cut of meat, I ventured the shortrib – I didn’t care if it’s “soooo 2008”.  It was the most expensive thing on the menu, coming in at ?$28?, but hey – I’m worth it.  Well, the hunk of meat was ginorous.  Seriously – look at it!  The bone reminded you of what exactly a cow rib looks like.  The meat was cooked perfectly with a beautiful glaze/jus, and it balanced beautifully opposite the Cab Franc I had ordered.  If I might make one request, it would to have ~20% less meat and give me a little more starch for balance.  Every single thing on the dish was perfectly cooked – but I would like a counterpoint to the meat that’s a little more substantial.


“special”arctic char: precisely cooked on top of a sweet butternut squash puree.  It was a beautiful piece of fish, but the skin was impervious to the butterknife that g was given – but that’s not a negative of the cookery, rather, an issue of useless knives – don’t hold back on giving fish-eaters an actually sharp knife!  (PS if you were really baller, FDR, you would have non-serrated steak knives – I haven’t seen a restaurant with these yet as they necessitate hand-cleaning, but I would give you such mad props if you had these and selvage denim aprons)


carrot cake: solid dessert item – the ice cream really stole the show, but the cake and obnoxiously-splattered sauce tasted good as well – I have no beef with this dessert aside from its presentation …

bw had an assort of items as well, however, I suspect that he was a little less thrilled.  For his main, it featured a few versions of pork, including a boudin blanc (aka sausage).  He, too, felt that a little more counterpoint to meat would have been nice – be it a starch or vegetable – as otherwise it was a plate of meat.  The cheese selection was a little on the wimpier side, but you can’t expect Talula’s Garden’s cheese-person at every restaurant, right?

So, in summary, I have to say that we saw a lot of things we liked at FDR, including a high level of cookery and a lot of good flavors.  Going forward, I think striving for a bit more balance in the components of the dish is going to be key in those meat dishes.  The tariff is quite high – between the $25+ entrees and the no-BYO+no-corkage-allowed, meaning that I fear that this place is going to be more of a “date” place for g and me (kinda like Valentine’s Day occasion).  That’s sad because g and I were hoping that this could be “our” place – but it’s not allowed to be if you can’t afford to go there at least twice a month.  Oh well – it was delicious, and now we know we can go, so we’ll keep it in our back pocket … in case of forgotten holidays or last-minute-out-of-town visitors.

P.S. if anyone knows where I can get one of those aprons, hit up our email!

P.P.S. yea – Philly Mag is going to <3 this place … which is sad because they also <3 Meme, too, and look what happened there!

Written by afterdinnersneeze

6 March 2013 at 1:03pm

several new openings on our side of center city!

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t says:  So g and I are really pumped with the new additions to the neighborhood:

Fitler Dining Room is opening!

Honey’s Sit-n-Eat is open!

Tria Taproom is coming!

And on the other side of the city, Talula’s Daily is coming!

With so many new options, I’m sure we’ll be broke in no time!

Written by afterdinnersneeze

18 February 2013 at 5:41pm