Philadelphia, PA

Detailed information, by region, of restaurants and their wine/corkage policies
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Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow
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#351 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » December 16th, 2016, 11:26 am

Peter Kleban wrote:Anyone been to Manakeesh (Lebanese bakery and resto in West Philly)? Some friends, who are moving to the area, like it and we may go there in a week or so.

(Note added: Maybe no alcohol allowed here? Can't find out for sure.)
Been there many times...go 3-5 times a year. Best baklavah, etc. I've ever had; they sell it retail.

No idea on alcohol....

Did you ever get there, Peter?

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#352 Post by Ted Erfer » December 17th, 2016, 9:19 am

Tom Gibson wrote:I'll be back in Philly (my home city!) for XMas and need to get reacquainted with the BYO scene every year it feels like.

Laurel is already on the books.

I'm not surprised to see Bistro 7 got some negative comments above. I used to live on 3rd, just up from the restaurant, and went probably 2-3 times out of sheer convenience. Every time was a 'meh' experience. Never bad, but always something subpar/bland about the whole thing.

Any lists that show which spots take corkage? Serpico did last I was there a few years ago (and the meal was spectacular).
Try Will and or Helm.

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#353 Post by Tom Gibson » December 29th, 2016, 6:49 am

Did Will. Was blown away. I know it's not a critic darling anymore (read: not new and shiny) but no way any other place in the city is materially outperforming the food I had last night. Drank an 04 Heitz MV I grabbed from the state store for $99, too!

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#354 Post by Brian Tuite » December 29th, 2016, 7:18 am

Tom Gibson wrote:Did Will. Was blown away. I know it's not a critic darling anymore (read: not new and shiny) but no way any other place in the city is materially outperforming the food I had last night. Drank an 04 Heitz MV I grabbed from the state store for $99, too!
I really enjoyed Will as well.
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#355 Post by Ted Erfer » December 30th, 2016, 8:01 am

Tom Gibson wrote:Did Will. Was blown away. I know it's not a critic darling anymore (read: not new and shiny) but no way any other place in the city is materially outperforming the food I had last night. Drank an 04 Heitz MV I grabbed from the state store for $99, too!
Glad you enjoyed it. It is one of our favorites.
Did you get to meet the chef/owner - Chris?
Amazing guy.

And I appreciate their wine service. Only downside is that is does get noisy - especially if their is a large party.

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#356 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » January 30th, 2017, 10:07 am

I am admittedly not a huge fan of "haute" cuisine...or rating cities' food by just haute cuisine..(like rating wine vintages by the trophy wines only).

But, had a really fine experience last night at Mulherin and Sons in Fishtown. Great food and service. Every dish at this "small plate" specialist...was enjoyable. On the expensive side of the fence, but....no complaints here on the value for the money.

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#357 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 30th, 2017, 11:50 am

I'm curious, Stuart, if they let you BYO there? I like the food and cocktail program very much as well, but have always been told maybe-but-probably-not on BYO.

You've gotten my hopes up, this being the BYO Forum and all!

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#358 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » January 30th, 2017, 12:07 pm

I didn't ask, Sarah. I was going to....but the others in my group weren't drinkers, so....I didn't. Sorry....

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#359 Post by scamhi » January 30th, 2017, 2:08 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:I'm curious, Stuart, if they let you BYO there? I like the food and cocktail program very much as well, but have always been told maybe-but-probably-not on BYO.

You've gotten my hopes up, this being the BYO Forum and all!
I just called and left a voice mail inquiring about corkage. We are going this Friday night.
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#360 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » January 30th, 2017, 3:21 pm

I wonder if there really are any places that turn down BYO -- for a fee? Even Le Bec Fin could be persuaded at times.

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#361 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » January 30th, 2017, 6:29 pm

Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow wrote:I wonder if there really are any places that turn down BYO -- for a fee? Even Le Bec Fin could be persuaded at times.
I don't think Vetri allows it.

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#362 Post by K_F_o_l_e_y » January 31st, 2017, 11:22 am

I bet there are a lot of places that won't allow it in Philly. I know I've been turned down many times (although don't ask me where and when, my memory isn't that good).

Although I'm sure if you are a regular or friend, there is "the exception that proves the rule (that there are always exceptions)." Or if you beg them with puppy dog eyes ("it's my 65 birthday party and I only want to open up one birth year 100 pt wine, and we promise to order off the list too").

We used to BYOB at Le Bec Fin regularly, but it was only because Dave's wife did a favor for Georges years ago. I'm not sure very many others, if any, were allowed to do it. They had too much invested in their wine list to let people bypass it for $30 (which would be a high end corkage by Philly standards).

LOL, we recently did a dinner at a restaurant (not in Philly) that appears on national "best of" lists and is not byob (and certainly not legal byob). It was a great dinner, but afterwards we were apparently politely told not to return. LOL, not because we behaved badly, but because it was just too much damn work for the restaurant (decanters, rewashing multiple glasses, waiter pouring for so many bottles of wine). I don't think the guy who organized it really knew how this works. A key trick for illegal BYOB is to make it as easy and desirable as possible on the restaurant. Open and pour your own wines, reuse glasses, leave big tips... And don't brag about it later online.
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#363 Post by scamhi » January 31st, 2017, 11:37 am

scamhi wrote:
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:I'm curious, Stuart, if they let you BYO there? I like the food and cocktail program very much as well, but have always been told maybe-but-probably-not on BYO.

You've gotten my hopes up, this being the BYO Forum and all!
I just called and left a voice mail inquiring about corkage. We are going this Friday night.
the answer was an emphatic NO. Not permitted I tried the special occasion birthday route. Didn't budge.
No wine list is on the web and when I asked if they could email me the list, I was told not sure that can be done because it changes so often.
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#364 Post by K_F_o_l_e_y » January 31st, 2017, 11:41 am

scamhi wrote: the answer was an emphatic NO. Not permitted I tried the special occasion birthday route. Didn't budge.
There's your mistake. You can't do puppy dog eyes over the phone!

[snort.gif]
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#365 Post by ybarselah » January 31st, 2017, 12:09 pm

scamhi wrote:
scamhi wrote:
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:I'm curious, Stuart, if they let you BYO there? I like the food and cocktail program very much as well, but have always been told maybe-but-probably-not on BYO.

You've gotten my hopes up, this being the BYO Forum and all!
I just called and left a voice mail inquiring about corkage. We are going this Friday night.
the answer was an emphatic NO. Not permitted I tried the special occasion birthday route. Didn't budge.
No wine list is on the web and when I asked if they could email me the list, I was told not sure that can be done because it changes so often.
this is rather hysterical - not the refusal to byo, but the rest. not only does this place not deserve your patronage, but they don't deserve to be in any business whatsoever.
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#366 Post by ybarselah » January 31st, 2017, 12:14 pm

oh god, it's one of those places that doesn't put prices on their menu online. what's the opposite of hospitality?

http://wmmulherinssons.com/restaurant/menu
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#367 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 31st, 2017, 12:53 pm

I'm not surprised Suzanne got a no. I've found that many places in Philly which "take their wine program seriously" don't permit it even for a fee. I would assume there's some irrational emotional need to refuse because they need to emphasize that they are not like all those BYO joints out there. Zahav does not allow it, period. Vetri did/does allow it sometimes with restrictions, for certain people. But not Osteria. I called The Hungry Pigeon, a small place near our old house, once to inquire about BYO and was told in a totally snobby voice that "we have a carefully curated wine program - there's no need to BYO." We didn't feel inclined to go there after that conversation.

We drank cocktails the two times I've been to Mulherins Sons, and didn't look at the wine list, but the guy behind the bar was the beverage director and he was talking knowledgeably. He has every amaro that you're allowed to have in PA. So maybe it's a good list for Philly?

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#368 Post by scamhi » January 31st, 2017, 1:05 pm

ybarselah wrote:oh god, it's one of those places that doesn't put prices on their menu online. what's the opposite of hospitality?

http://wmmulherinssons.com/restaurant/menu
the prices are a secret just like the wine program.
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#369 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 31st, 2017, 1:28 pm

I get not putting your wine list online, as maintaining it is a pain (email is another matter). I think this is a very good alternative, from another restaurant in the area:

"We have a carefully-curated list focusing on smaller winegrowers who farm organically, sustainably & biodynamically and do very little to intervene with the wine making process.Prices range from $39 to $150. Our corkage fee is $25 per bottle.Our winelist would not be possible without importers such as: MFW, Jenny&Francois, Zev Rovine, Porto Vino, Kermit Lynch, Neal Rosenthal, Vom Boden, Indie Wineries, Selection Massale, Louis/Dressner, Polaner, Selections de la Vina, Sussex, Peter Weygandt, Jose Pastor, Vine Street, Soilair, VOS, Rare WIne Co., DeMaison, Wine Traditions & David Bowler."

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#370 Post by ybarselah » January 31st, 2017, 1:37 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:I get not putting your wine list online, as maintaining it is a pain (email is another matter).
sorry, but that's just not true at all. if you're printing a wine list for the restaurant, it's one more click to send that same pdf to the web or anywhere for that matter. there is zero excuse for the dismal state of restaurant websites considering how easy and free it is to get this information out there.

i like that paragraph as well, but it required significantly more effort than just putting the list online. to say nothing of the fact that "curate" is the most over-used word in the wine business and is meaningless.
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#371 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 31st, 2017, 1:46 pm

ybarselah wrote:
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:I get not putting your wine list online, as maintaining it is a pain (email is another matter).
sorry, but that's just not true at all. if you're printing a wine list for the restaurant, it's one more click to send that same pdf to the web or anywhere for that matter. there is zero excuse for the dismal state of restaurant websites considering how easy and free it is to get this information out there.

i like that paragraph as well, but it required significantly more effort than just putting the list online. to say nothing of the fact that "curate" is the most over-used word in the wine business and is meaningless.

You know a lot more about it than I do, which is easy since I don't know anything! But I think I can see how writing a paragraph once and not having something else on your daily to do list might appeal to some, though.

Agree that "curate" is over-used.

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#372 Post by ybarselah » January 31st, 2017, 1:57 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
ybarselah wrote:
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:I get not putting your wine list online, as maintaining it is a pain (email is another matter).
sorry, but that's just not true at all. if you're printing a wine list for the restaurant, it's one more click to send that same pdf to the web or anywhere for that matter. there is zero excuse for the dismal state of restaurant websites considering how easy and free it is to get this information out there.

i like that paragraph as well, but it required significantly more effort than just putting the list online. to say nothing of the fact that "curate" is the most over-used word in the wine business and is meaningless.

You a lot more about it than I do, which is easy since I don't know anything! But I think I can see how writing a paragraph once and not having something else on your daily to do list might appeal to some, though.

Agree that "curate" is over-used.
perhaps i'm too close to it, but here's how i see this overall.

1. running a restaurant is really difficult

2. succeeding at running a restaurant is even more difficult!!

3. there are free tools that make a lot of this easier for everyone.

4. your (potential) customers are used to doing almost everything on their mobile device and are accustomed to magic from companies like amazon and netflix.

5. make the entire experience as simple as possible - any point of friction will absolutely result in lost opportunities. hiding prices and wine lists is lazy, obfuscation, confusing, and just plain old annoying. try harder.
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#373 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 31st, 2017, 2:03 pm

All makes sense, and you're right that it's surprising more places don't make the small extra effort.

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#374 Post by ybarselah » January 31st, 2017, 2:27 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:All makes sense, and you're right that it's surprising more places don't make the small extra effort.
they're busy curating!
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#375 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » January 31st, 2017, 2:34 pm

I think no prices is so that people don't compare the restaurant price versus the retail price, especially with the Philadelphia markups.

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#376 Post by ybarselah » January 31st, 2017, 3:10 pm

Tom G l a s g o w wrote:I think no prices is so that people don't compare the restaurant price versus the retail price, especially with the Philadelphia markups.
the no prices was for the food menu. the wine list isn't online at all.
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#377 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » January 31st, 2017, 7:02 pm

ybarselah wrote:
Tom G l a s g o w wrote:I think no prices is so that people don't compare the restaurant price versus the retail price, especially with the Philadelphia markups.
the no prices was for the food menu. the wine list isn't online at all.
My comment was directly at any restaurant that doesn't post a wine list with prices. I also won't go to a restaurant that doesn't post the food prices.

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#378 Post by Kevin Porter » February 2nd, 2017, 7:59 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:I get not putting your wine list online, as maintaining it is a pain (email is another matter). I think this is a very good alternative, from another restaurant in the area:

"We have a carefully-curated list focusing on smaller winegrowers who farm organically, sustainably & biodynamically and do very little to intervene with the wine making process.Prices range from $39 to $150. Our corkage fee is $25 per bottle.Our winelist would not be possible without importers such as: MFW, Jenny&Francois, Zev Rovine, Porto Vino, Kermit Lynch, Neal Rosenthal, Vom Boden, Indie Wineries, Selection Massale, Louis/Dressner, Polaner, Selections de la Vina, Sussex, Peter Weygandt, Jose Pastor, Vine Street, Soilair, VOS, Rare WIne Co., DeMaison, Wine Traditions & David Bowler."
Townsend? First thought was Vedge but last I looked their list is on-line. Nope, Townsend's list (w/out prices!) is on-line. Now I'm going to waste time trying to figure this out!

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#379 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 2nd, 2017, 8:15 am

Google is your friend. It should take you about 3 seconds, far less time than posting the above (heehee - good spirited poking fun..)

But it's Kensington Quarters.

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#380 Post by K_F_o_l_e_y » February 2nd, 2017, 8:15 am

Kevin Porter wrote:Townsend? First thought was Vedge but last I looked their list is on-line. Nope, Townsend's list (w/out prices!) is on-line. Now I'm going to waste time trying to figure this out!
Looks like Kensington Quarters.
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#381 Post by Kevin Porter » February 2nd, 2017, 9:04 am

Heh.. "Let me Google that for you"

I didn't realize that KQ had such a good program. They're off-the-radar for me and my vegetarian wife (though browsing the menu I find many more veg dishes than I'd anticipated).

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#382 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 2nd, 2017, 9:17 am

The beverage program is under the very capable hand and eye of Tim Kweeder, who is well known and loved in the Philadelphia hospitality industry. I haven't looked at his list in quite a while, as we usually bring wine there, but I know that he takes things very seriously, cares a great deal, and I am confident he's doing the very best it's possible to do under the constraints of the house and the PA system. Good stems, decanters, and strong understanding of wine treatment with zero attitude.

Full disclosure - Tim is a close friend of ours, so it's possible we like KQ more than it strictly deserves. That said, we really enjoy gong to Kensington Quarters, and don't hesitate to recommend it. We find the food to be solid and satisfying, with varied options available. They know what they are doing in the kitchen, aren't trying to do anything too fancy, and produce good versions of what they set out to make, with a focus on quality meat and produce that I appreciate very much. They used to do fried chicken on Tuesdays, and it was very good. I think it's coming back this spring. I think your wife could do just fine there. It's the kind of restaurant we're delighted to have in the neighborhood - warm, welcoming, comfortable, relaxed, professional, customer-focused and basically pleasing on all levels. No culinary temple, but just right a lot of the time.
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#383 Post by K_F_o_l_e_y » February 2nd, 2017, 9:28 am

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:The beverage program is under the very capable hand and eye of Tim Kweeter.
I know Kweeder hatesTwitttr, so it comes as a surprise that he's changed his name. [rofl.gif]

https://twitter.com/TimothyKweeder
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#384 Post by Kevin Porter » February 2nd, 2017, 9:30 am

I've heard great things about Tim Kweeder. I'll add KQ to the (all-to-long) list.

(Kevin - I had the good graces to correct but not call out the typo [snort.gif] )

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#385 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 2nd, 2017, 9:32 am

Oops - I will correct! Thank you both for pointing it out before it came to his attention!

Since Tim was the one who took me to emergency room a few months ago when I crashed my bicycle and my husband was out of town, it's terribly ungrateful of me to spell his name wrong. :)
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#386 Post by K_F_o_l_e_y » February 2nd, 2017, 9:33 am

To be honest, I can never remember his name either lol.
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#387 Post by scamhi » February 2nd, 2017, 11:58 am

Wm Mulherins Sons did just send a wine list with prices after 3 phone calls and an email to the GM.
Just a little too late as we canceled the reservation
I don't know how to attach a PDF file.
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#388 Post by ybarselah » February 2nd, 2017, 12:55 pm

scamhi wrote:Wm Mulherins Sons did just send a wine list with prices after 3 phone calls and an email to the GM.
Just a little too late as we canceled the reservation
I don't know how to attach a PDF file.
just link from google drive.

would love to see it. thanks!
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#389 Post by scamhi » February 2nd, 2017, 1:49 pm

ybarselah wrote:
scamhi wrote:Wm Mulherins Sons did just send a wine list with prices after 3 phone calls and an email to the GM.
Just a little too late as we canceled the reservation
I don't know how to attach a PDF file.
just link from google drive.

would love to see it. thanks!
old dog new trick thx Yaacov

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByTxey ... sp=sharing
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#390 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 2nd, 2017, 2:27 pm

Prices aside, it's not a bad list. There are quite a few interesting things to drink on there.

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#391 Post by scamhi » February 2nd, 2017, 2:40 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:Prices aside, it's not a bad list. There are quite a few interesting things to drink on there.
thats what I thought. young and interesting. We'll try it next time.
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#392 Post by K_F_o_l_e_y » February 2nd, 2017, 7:32 pm

They actually have a wine from PA on the list lol (unfortunately, it's not from Va La).
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#393 Post by ybarselah » February 3rd, 2017, 6:18 am

that's a really good list (if a bit unfocused). they are taking good advantage of the SLO program in PA.
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#394 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » February 6th, 2017, 2:27 pm

Had another thoroughly enjoyable meal at Apricot Stone near our new house in Northern Liberties. The owners are Armenian - son out front, mom in the kitchen - and the menu presents the expected variety of kebabs, dips, salads and sandwiches, with a few surprises here and there, including a really good lentil soup some days. What makes it different from a zillion other kebab joints is that everything is very fresh, carefully spiced, and properly cooked. The lamb is pink in the middle, the chicken moist and tender. The muhamara dip, made with red peppers and walnuts, is a very good rendition. Breads are soft and fresh. We bring stems and bottles and always have a very good time. Take out, too, and soon to be on a few of the delivery services.

Probably not any kind of a destination, but if you happen to be in the neighborhood, you could do a lot worse for a tasty, low key, relatively healthy meal in friendly environment.

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#395 Post by Stuart BeauneHead Niemtzow » February 8th, 2017, 11:34 am

“Superb” is not an adjective I use often..if at all. I save it for those times it is called for. My family and I had a celebratory dinner last night at Helm. It was superb!!
The place is really nice; the staff incredibly knowledgeable about their limited menu, and patient about explaining it. Having a/the chef come around to explain things makes the experience even better for those of us who care to understand the dishes.
The food went from strength to strength to strength, with no gaps in the link. (My favorites were the appetizers, though.) For mains, the monkfish was terrific, as was their pork medley with pork cheek cassoulet. The appetizers we loved were the Brussel sprouts; the farro; and their signature smoked carrots (sounds nowhere as good as it actually is). The beauty of the food was that though the ingredients were limited to 4 or 5 (as opposed to haute cuisine’s interminable list in every dish; obscuring them all), which all showed up and contributed. Texturally, something I rarely think about, the dishes were also very diverse and stimulating (the farro was toasted in a pan before getting the smoked tea broth; the buckwheat “crumble” on top of the chocolate mousse was really special.). The displays on the dishes were all worth taking note of, too. My monkfish dish used 1/3 of the plate..leaving most of the plate gleaming.
Desserts, very limited were also memorable, especially the chocolate mousse with smoked ricotta and topped with toasted buckwheat “crumble”. Who thought of that one?
Of course, the ability to BYOB is a real benefit of being in Philadelphia, and makes the overall experience seem like that much more of a value. (A 2002 Barmes-Buecher Riesling “Hengst” and a 1983 Morot Beaune “Marconnets” both shined with almost all of the appetizers and mains. It was difficult to opine which worked better with any particular dish, a real compliment; we kept the two wines in glasses in front of us throughout the meal.)
Bravo!! A great family night and a truly memorable restaurant experience. Now that they have an outpost in the Pennsport section, we’ll look forward to that place, too.

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Ted Erfer
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#396 Post by Ted Erfer » February 9th, 2017, 8:29 am

Stuart --- we also very much enjoy Helm. Best with about 6 people. The family style servings are perfect for a "larger" group.

We also just tried Wister --- 26 N 3rd St. Site of the short-lived 26 North. Benjamin Moore is the chef - he was the chef @ Lacroix. Not a large menu - but enough variety to please most people. The appetizers were really good. I had the brussels sprouts with chicken liver and harisa. Just enough "kick." My cod main course was also very good. The noise level was good enough that we didn't have to shout across the table. Wine service was fine.

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#397 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » April 15th, 2017, 10:44 am

Another very good meal at Vedge on Thursday. They are turning out such creative and delicious food, the fact that it's vegan is almost irrelevant. There's zero pretentiousness or moralizing, either. Still $25 corkage with serviceable glassware, though I think we'll bring our own next time.

On the flip-side, another confirmation that the food at Kensington Quarters has gone downhill. It's still a really comfortable place to go and the food is fine, but not much more than that, except for one or two things they still do quite nicely.

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#398 Post by Kevin Porter » April 19th, 2017, 1:32 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:Another very good meal at Vedge on Thursday. They are turning out such creative and delicious food, the fact that it's vegan is almost irrelevant. There's zero pretentiousness or moralizing, either. Still $25 corkage with serviceable glassware, though I think we'll bring our own next time.
I also recently had a great meal at Vedge. You nailed it - creative, unpretentious and (most importantly) delicious food. Each time I have the 'sushi' I come home and look up sources for smoked tamari. I haven't bought any yet as I don't know how to judge quality and I'm not quite sure how I'd use it but boy is it great with those radishes!

I never thought of BYO there as they have such a good (for Philadelphia) list.

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#399 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » April 20th, 2017, 7:32 am

Kevin Porter wrote:
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:Another very good meal at Vedge on Thursday. They are turning out such creative and delicious food, the fact that it's vegan is almost irrelevant. There's zero pretentiousness or moralizing, either. Still $25 corkage with serviceable glassware, though I think we'll bring our own next time.
I also recently had a great meal at Vedge. You nailed it - creative, unpretentious and (most importantly) delicious food. Each time I have the 'sushi' I come home and look up sources for smoked tamari. I haven't bought any yet as I don't know how to judge quality and I'm not quite sure how I'd use it but boy is it great with those radishes!

I never thought of BYO there as they have such a good (for Philadelphia) list.
I agree their list is good. We have so much wine, though, we always bring if we can.

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#400 Post by K_F_o_l_e_y » May 5th, 2017, 12:46 pm

WEEKEND IN PHILLY, PART 3...Private dinner with Chef Georges Perrier at Baril with Jim S, Bryan L, Dave K, Erich S and friends (review posted on Yelp)

I came back to Philly for a long weekend specifically to attend a private dinner for 12 at Baril prepared by legendary French Chef Georges Perrier in collaboration with Chef Ken Wallace.

If you don't know Chef Perrier's history and the history of Le Bec Fin, which was once considered the best French restaurant in the America, I urge you to watch the documentary "King Georges" (on Hulu.com). Julia Child and he are often credited with really introducing French food to Americans in the 1970's.

Apparently Georges has been involved in this restaurant since it's predicessor, and it appears he continues to be involved (or at least a mentor and supporter) under it's new Chef Ken Wallace. The famous LBF cheese cart is still being wheeled around Baril!

I am fortunate to have dined many times at Le Bec Fin starting in 2010, and was even there for their very final service night on March 3rd 2012 (I'm still pissed I didn't end up in the movie!). So it was a real pleasure to have the chance to taste Chef Perrier's cooking again. However, this was a private dinner that may not be the typical dining experience at Baril. But if you would like to replicate this meal, talk to the restaurant! Also, according to this article, Chef Perrier cooks traditional bouillabaisse at Baril on the first Friday of every month:

https://philly.eater.com/2017/2/24/1473 ... illabaisse

For our excellent 8-course menu (plus we couldn't pass up a cheese course from that famous cart), for $160/pp we enjoyed:

SOUPE TROPINAMBOUR: Jerusalem artichoke, summer truffles, gaufrette

NANTUCKET BAY SCALLOPS: Bouillabaisse consomme

BLACK BASS A LA ORIENTAL: Preserved lemon, parsley, crispy Basmati rice, wild garlic

PAMPLEMOUSSE GRANITE: Grapefruit

FOIE GRAS-CHICKEN LIVER TERRINE: Perigourdine gelee, English pea puree

CAILLE: Roast breast and confit leg of quail, quail egg, Pommes Maxim, Jus de Caille

PENNSYLVANIA LAMB SADDLE: Ratatouille, Pommes Boulangere

CHEESE CARTE (additional cost for 4 cheeses x 3 for 12)

SOUPE DES FRUITS

ILE FLOTTANTE: Poached meringue, Creme Anglaise, dried caramel

As you can see from the menu, this is old-school cooking, a la Le Bec Fin. I've actually attended one of these dinners before at the predecessor restaurant and have had the Soup des Fruits, but the rest were new dishes. However, when we actually got down to eating, I realized that several of the dishes had interesting modern twists in them, which I presume was the result of the collaboration with Chef Wallace.

In particular, I absolutely loved the Black Bass dish. It looked old school, and the fish was cooked perfectly, but the addition of the crispy Basamati rice added a modern contrasty texture that put the dish over the top. My Dish of the Night.

As you can see from my photos, the Foie Gras wasn't really what I would call a terrine, but more of a mousse. We had some debate about what wine to pair with this dish, the d'Yquem or the Huet from a legendary non-boytricized year. We went with the sweeter d'Yquem, which turned out to be the best wine-food pairing of the night.

Speaking of wines, we BYOB'ed the following:

~2000 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon
~2013 Cédric Bouchard Champagne Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine (dis 4/15)
~2014 Cédric Bouchard Champagne Inflorescence Blanc de Noirs Val Vilaine (dis 4/16)
~2012 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
~1996 Dom. Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chaumées Clos de la Truffière
~2010 Domaine Robert Groffier Gevrey-Chambertin Les Seuvrées
~2012 Cournut Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos de la Maltroie
~1995 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle
~2005 E. Guigal Ermitage Ex-Voto
~2001 Dom. Robert Groffier Gevrey-Chambertin Les Seuvrées [corked]
~2004 Château d'Yquem
~1989 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux 1ère Trie Le Haut-Lieu

A leisurely meal, pace-wise, but the service was excellent and I don't mind a slow pace when you have lots of wine and friends to engage with. Wine glasses were excellent and the servers iced, poured and decanted as appropriate. We had the back 1/2 of the restaurant to ourselves, but others were dining in the front or at the small bar at the same time. There are garages in the area, as the restaurant is only 1/2 block off of Rittenhouse Square (no valet though).

Not the least expensive foodie adventure you can do in Philly, but hanging out with a legendary chef and enjoying serious old-school French cooking is well worth the price of admission. The only disappointment was that while I got to shake Chef Georges' hand, he took off before we were done, and so no groupie photos to share!

This was my 2nd meal in Philly of the weekend, preceded by omakase at Royal Sushi and Isakaya on Friday and dinner at At the Table BYOB in Wayne on Sunday night.

I won't count chili dogs at Nathan's (NJ Turnpike) as a meal!

Baril
267 S 19th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Rittenhouse Square
(267) 520-4668
http://www.barilphilly.com
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Le Bec Fin cheese cart
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Black bass
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Bay scallops
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Cheers,
/<evin


"Ah! Dull-witted mortal, if Fortune stands still, she is no longer Fortune."
~ Boëthius, in Consolation of Philosophy

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