April 24, 2013

Dining Out

Crossed off 2 restaurants of my always growing restaurant list. Lately, I've feel like I've just been returning to the same places repeatedly so with only a few more weeks left in Philly, I made a bigger effort to branch out  more. And what's particularly exciting is that there are quite a few new restaurants that have made Philly Mag's Top 50 Restaurants for 2013.

Dinner at Vernick Food & Drink:

Vernick is a new Italian-ish restaurant which has been receiving rave reviews from critiques and social media alike. We went based on the ecstatic recommendations of a friend. She rarely raves about finer dining so I figured this was a big deal. Our meal was enjoyable and the entree was out of this world but not sure if I'm going to go back any time soon, the appetizers were good but nothing spectacular.

[Beef Tartar]: Horseradish, on toast with some kind of cheese. A very hearty appetizer but still fresh tasting without any gameyness from the meat.
[Pork Steak]: Onion marmalade, mustard greens.  It looks like duck and tastes like duck (actually almost better than duck) but its not duck, its pork! We were mind blown. Easily one of the best entrees I have ever eaten.
[Hamachi]: Ruby grapefruit, jalapeno. We ordered this dish since everyone on Yelp was going crazy about it but I wasn't very impressed. Just a nice cut of yellowtail sashimi with acid to balance it out.

Lunch at Matyson:

Matyson, on the other hand, I am now obsessed with. Lunch was delicious, but what they're really known for are their dinner tasting menus that change weekly. If lunch is any indication of the dinners, I am definitely returning to this place sometime in the next 2 weeks. And did I mention they have fresh hibiscus flowers in the bathroom?

[House Pasta of the Day]: Linguine in Harissa sauce w. cauliflower and I think oysters? Not sure how I felt about all of the components of the dish but it was definitely creative.
[Hanger Steak]: I don't think I've ever eaten hanger steak before, or ordered it, but this was cooked so incredibly well. It was cooked perfectly on the inside, still moist and juicy, and who doesn't love a huge side of truffle fries?
[Mascarpone Cheesecake]: The cheesecake reminded me of the panna cotta dessert we had in Venice. It was light yet creamy. I'm normally not a fan of cheesecakes but this one was so good, especially with the almond crust on the bottom.

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