after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Posts Tagged ‘Pub and Kitchen

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 …

gnocchi

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

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.

fish

“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)

cake

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

Lightning Round: Il Pittore, Pub and Kitchen

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t says:  g and I need to get up to speed on some restaurants that we visited in December but didn’t quite get around to blogging about – so here we go:

Il PittoreDec 2011, Dinner, Party of 2.  We went to Il Pittore after I took a fairly important exam (medical licensing exam).  It had been a long day and I wanted me some good-old-fashioned-pasta.  Normally we go to Melograno for such things, but we had an OpenTable gift certificate burning a hole in our wallet, so we figured that it’d be good to use it for something we’d never have done before (i.e. go to a Starr restaurant instead of a BYO).  Props:  The service was superb.  The food was very un-Starr-like (i.e. it tasted like someone was trying to turn out some good food for the sake of the food, itself, not just to conform to a restaurant’s theme).  The ricotta was quite delicious, reminding us of a lighter/springier version of Barbuzzo’s.  When coupled with the foccacia from the free bread basket (i.e. which was jaw-droppingly good on its own), you were left with a stunning combination.

ricotta + apple + thyme

The Paccheri tasted like what you imagine the ocean would smell like in a fantasy Disney world (clean, fresh, delicious seafood).

paccheri = clams + rock shrimp + salami pieces + broccoli rabe

The Corzetti was a unique mix of goat, mint, and chili oil – it was like Han Dynasty meets minty goat meets al dente pasta, with a pretty delightful result.  In retrospect, none of the food was “bad” – as a matter of fact – it was all at least “good” … but I’m going to be picky now …  Slops:  The portions are a bit small overall.  The pappardelle with wild boar is unfortunately not as good as Melograno’s which has a far deeper flavor and more strands of meat.  In retrospect, the pasta dishes as a whole were not as “deep” or developed as those we’ve had at Melograno’s, which usually tastes as if more was “going on” in the pot beforehand.  The EtOH is pricey, matching the “dressier” feel of the place vs. Noble that had been there before.  Conclusion:  Thus, it makes it hard to go to Il Pittore knowing that Melograno is so nearby … but what Il Pittore may be good for is for “classier” evenings when you want pasta on white table cloths without tons of ambient noise … like when parents are in town.

Pub and KitchenDec 2011, Lunch, Party of 2.  a and I went on a lunch adventure together.  We invited the girls, but they were too “busy”, claiming that “someone needs to work to make money” or some such nonsense.  Props:  Nice fun ambience – the worn wood look.  Food was “good”.  Slops:  Food was only “good”.  Allow me to illustrate:

pulled pork sandwich +chipotle mayo + cheese + fried pickle + slaw

As you can see in the above blurry picture, I had the pulled pork sandwich.  It tasted fine (like pork and sauce and cheese).  But it wasn’t as nearly as good as Village Whiskey.  And that makes me frown.  I hoped the slaw could punch it up, but it was insipid.  The fried pickle was the best thing on the plate.

a’s was a bit happier with his pot pie and his Brussels sprouts, but still, it’s not like they rocked his socks:

dude ... my camera skills SUCK

Conclusion:  The meal wasn’t bad, but maybe, just maybe, there’s a glimmer of hope that their dinner will step it up.  I’d give their dinner a try …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

20 January 2012 at 10:28pm

New BYOB at the Shore!

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t says: g and I love to hang out at the shore during the summers – we don’t get to go as nearly as often as we’d like.  We have noticed, however, that, at least in the town we visit (Sea Isle City), there really isn’t a place for foodies to visit.  AC has some good places, but they’re pricey and not exactly local (it’s still a half hour or so away).  Don’t get me wrong – there’s great food in Sea Isle (shout out to Andrea’s Trattoria!) – and there’s certainly “fancy” places to go for classic seafood if you want to empty your wallet – but you’re not going to find too many places taking risks and offering non-traditional fare like in Philly (e.g. like shortrib and hanger steak that used to be the “it” meat, and pork belly, which seems to be the current “it” meat).  That might change …  Some of the crew at Pub and Kitchen is opening up “The Diving Horse” in Avalon.  While the focus is on fresh-caught seafood (as reported by The Insider) I’m hoping that they bring some of the deliciousness that P&K has been fabled to have.  The prices look on par with what you’d expect at a Philly BYO (for seafood).  Of course, we haven’t even eaten the food at P&K yet (we’re wary of “bar food” not because of the food, but because of the bar – paying for alcohol can get expensive, fast), but I’m sure that we’ll at least get to this new shore BYO this summer.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

31 March 2010 at 9:35am