A return to the old, yet it’s new…

I had a chance to eat at an old favorite recently – “Friday Saturday Sunday” in Philadelphia.  I have many memories at this place over the years, from dinners with old friends and family, to running into co-workers while there with friends and family.  The restaurant closed about a year ago, changed ownership, and underwent a transformative renovation.

I was nervous to return for fear that it wouldn’t compare to prior visits.  Boy was I wrong!  First of all, the space itself looks terrific.  It’s warm and inviting, but it still feels classy and special.

Second of all, the food was great.  I can even say I think that the food now is better than before.  The prior menu contained a lot of old favorites, which were great.  However, the new menu is food-forward but in a good way.

Fellow eater and I decided to indulge in the pasta special of the day, which was a lamb and goat cheese ravioli with sorrel mushrooms and pecorino cheese.  I’m not a lamb fan but this was delicious.  The pastas are made on premises and you can definitely tell.

FE had the escargot which he really enjoyed (I ate most of the pasta, sorry FE).  FE had filet mignon and I had the grilled shrimp with grits.  Both were excellent.  The shrimp was so flavorful that it didn’t even need the sauce that came with it.

We didn’t try dessert.  I wasn’t in love with any of the choices so I didn’t want to waste the calories.  The homemade ice cream sounded intriguing but I wasn’t wild about any of the daily flavors that were offered when I was there.  Definitely next time!

Finally, the service was stellar as usual.  I was happy to see that Mr. Connelly is still working there, and we were fortunate enough that he took care of us on this particular night.

I’m happy to highly recommend this restaurant, but please don’t swarm it so I can still get a reservation!

A return to the old, yet it’s new…

Another excellent meal at Barclay Prime

We had an impromptu “family party” at Barclay Prime in Philadelphia recently.  Fortunately, we were able to snag a last minute reservation in the lounge for our party of five.  Matt took care of us and as always, he went above and beyond in ensuring our comfort and satisfaction.

We had wagyu sliders, truffle mac and cheese, butterball potatoes, kale salad, roasted cauliflower, brussels sprouts, filet mignon, salmon, and ribeye.  Everything tasted great and the pace of the meal was perfect.

We ended the meal with two of the warm deep dish cookies, one with mint oreo ice cream and the other with chocolate chip ice cream.  Delicious!

Fortunately I’m going back with colleagues soon.

FYI the Patriot Parking garage around the corner on Chancellor Street offers validated parking for $17.

Another excellent meal at Barclay Prime

Great eats in Fort Lauderdale

Fellow eater and I spent some time in Fort Lauderdale recently.  We had some great meals so I wanted to share them with you.  I also wanted to memorialize them for the next time we visit.  Here they are in no particular order:

1.Asia Bay – This was our second visit to this Asian gem on a canal on Las Olas.  Las Olas is the main drag in the town.  There are many high end shops, bars, and restaurants.  We were lucky enough to sit outside at a table right on the canal.  We split the spicy tuna sushi and spring rolls, both of which were out of this world.  I had the shrimp fried rice, which had a nice kick to it.  I went with the medium spice level and that was plenty hot.  I was hoping to return for another meal but we ran out of time.

2.Steak 954 – We had both breakfast and dinner here.  This is a Stephen Starr place, somewhat similar to his Barclay Prime in Philadelphia.  The only discernible difference is the weather!  We sat outside overlooking A1A for both meals.  As with all Starr establishments I’ve been to, the service was impeccable and the ingredients were high quality.

I had the wagyu sliders and the scallops as my entree.  FE had a 22 0z. ribeye.  Everything was great.  We shared the ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  OK, OK, I ate most of them.  The red velvet cookies with cream cheese gelato and the gingersnaps with green tea were my favorites.

3.Hoffman’s Chocolates – This is an ice cream place and a chocolatier, also on Las Olas.  The stellar coffee ice cream was great.  I would go back just for that.

4.Kilwin’s – Another ice cream place and chocolatier, also on Las Olas.  The cookies n’cream on a homemade waffle cone was delicious.  FE had a chocolate-covered twinkie which FE thought was great.

5.Seasons 52 – Although this is a chain, we love this location.  The food is always terrific and the place has a great vibe because of the weather.  You can’t go wrong with any of the items here, especially the mini desserts!  I recommend the chocolate peanut butter one.

6.Serafina by the Water – This is an Italian restaurant located on a canal.  The setting is perfect – right on the canal along a row of docked yachts.  The portions are large so we didn’t order an appetizer.  I had the pappardelle bolognese and FE had king crab with squid ink pasta.  This was FE’s favorite dish of the week.  For dessert, we had chocolate mousse and tiramisu.

7.Angelo Elia Pizza – This appears to be a local chain.  We visited the Federal Highway location.  The pizza is fantastic and we shared the arancini appetizer.  We were too full for dessert there so we stopped at Whole Foods for cookies.

Great eats in Fort Lauderdale

NYC eating…

So I returned to NYC for a sweltering day of eating.  This would usually be followed with a ton of walking around but alas, the walking was curtailed by the oppressive heat.  I actually used an umbrella!

It was time to return to the usual NYC haunts which did not disappoint.  First up was Lupa for lunch.  Fellow eater and I love getting to Lupa early for the first round of pasta for the day.  It just tastes better!  We decided to go for the five course pasta tasting menu.  It was a great decision except for the total overload of carbs.  We enjoyed the tonnarelli cache e pepe, the saltimbocca ravioli, and the bucatini all’amatriciana the most.

The tonnarelli was a delicious blend of pecorino and parmigiano, and a heavy dose of black pepper.  Perfect flavors for a small plate!  The ravioli was stuffed with veal, prosciutto, mascarpone, pecorino, and parmigiano, and served with prosciutto breadcrumbs and sage butter.  Another small plate of deliciousness.

The tasting menu came with a peach sorbet at the end.  It was surprisingly tasty and especially welcome on such a warm day.

Our second stop was ABC Kitchen for dinner.  Fellow eater and I shared the Akaushi burger and the mushroom, parmesan, and farm egg pizza.  I know, we always order the same dishes but where else can I eat these?  We were so stuffed we didn’t even need an appetizer or dessert.

I’m already planning our return visit.  Happy eating!

NYC eating…

DC eating…

Have you been wondering what I’ve been eating and drinking?  Well I was in DC recently with the fam and there’s quite an eating revolution going on down there.  What with all the monied millennials (yuppies in my day) cavorting around with disposable income, eating and drinking must evolve.  Hey, I’ll reap the benefits.

This time, we had brunch at The Riggsby.  It’s located in the Hotel Carlyle on New Hampshire Avenue near DuPont Circle.  I found this place on yelp based on really great reviews.  It was really enjoyable.  The restaurant itself looks old-school cigar-smoking wood and leather at first, but the huge skylight and chandelier set up in the middle of the room gives the place a modern feel.

The food was very good.  A few of us had the buttermilk pancakes which were light and fluffy, but satisfying.  Fellow eater had the burger and fries, which was an instagrammable plate, and according to him, very tasty.

It was time for a caffeine respite after brunch.  We headed to our usual haunt, Coffee Bar on S Street.  It was hot and humid so definitely an iced green tea day.  Fellow caffeinater had an iced vanilla latte.  We were able to snag a table outside, usually an impossible feat.  We soon figured out why we were able to, as there was ear bending construction going on at the school across the street.  However, the verbal exchanges overheard between the workers was worth it!

Pre-dinner cocktails were at Provision 14 on 14th Street.  What a beautiful space!  I’m looking forward to returning here for dinner.  My fellow drinkers raved about their cocktails.

It was then on to DC Noodles on U Street for dinner.  The food was excellent as always.  I had the pad see ew with chicken, taro spring rolls, and fried wontons.  I wanted to finish the pad see ew but I just couldn’t.  It’s a great place with something for everyone to eat.  FE had the squid ink noodles with seafood, which had great heat and flavor.

We couldn’t get into Le Diplomate for brunch with a large group so that’s definitely on the list for next time.  Happy eating!

 

DC eating…