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Everything posted by Buckethead

  1. Seems it's too late to edit my post, anyway there was actually a little bit of broth in the bottom of the bouillabaise dish. It was actually ordered by someone else at my table, not me, and they just let me know that it wasn't totally devoid of broth as I said. It was pretty scant relative to the other ingredients, if the restaurant did intend to serve the broth separately that would have been a nice addition to what we got. As I said above, even discounting the bouillabaise entirely, nothing else I tasted made me want to return.
  2. Can you elaborate a bit on this bouillabaise preparation? I tried Neuf last week, ordered the bouillabaise, and was served a dish of fish, shellfish, and veg with no broth whatsoever. I figured it was some broth-less version of bouillabaise I'd never had (I don't get it often), but from what you're saying, that's not true and they totally forgot to serve us the broth course. That would be a big letdown for a dish that costs (I think) $28. Of course, everything else we had was also a letdown so we figured the bouillabaise was just ill-conceived, not incomplete. Even without that apparent screwup, I wouldn't recommend Neuf, I like Noord a lot but the menu at Neuf made a lot of promises that the dishes just didn't deliver on.
  3. I stopped by here again for lunch a week or so ago. There are about 10 seats. I split the "Noah's Ark" (2 pies, 2 servings of mashed potatoes and parsley liquor) with another person, it was to say the least a very hearty lunch for each of us. I still haven't braved the jellied eels, but I did get an apple pie to go, very good.
  4. I checked out the new Kanella over Apopelypse weekend, it was as great as ever. The space is very nice, much more inviting than when it was Village Belle and a big step up from the spartan (though comfortable) setting at the old location. Our service was a little off (wine glasses empty for too long) but the servers were mostly new faces to me, I guess with the bigger space they've had to hire some new help. I couldn't swear to it but I believe the signage and menus all said just "Kanella" and not "Kanella South". The wine list is inexpensive, if I remember correctly the prices topped out at $14 with several $8-$9 choices, including some Greek varieties that you don't see very often in restaurants, like Retsina. The food was spot-on as it usually is at Kanella.
  5. It's a small place for sure, it's in the old cupcake shop at the corner of Passyunk and Mifflin. If I recall, there were 4 tables, maybe 10-12 seats total? You can definitely sit down though.
  6. The thread is titled "New Philadelphia Restaurants 2015", I'm not sure why you'd expect opinions on the cheesesteak (ugh) or the roast pork and rabe sandwich (High Street on Market).
  7. The lamb one was, the beef and onion one was a little smaller. But I got them to go, so I just got the pies themselves. If you dine in, you also get a side of mashed potatoes and a couple other accompaniments too I think.
  8. Was Joncarl involved with Tivoli? I know he's from Philly originally.
  9. I'm a big fan of Kanella and Konstantinos' food but I am a little worried about that location, it's kind of out-of-the-way. I wasn't surprised Village Belle closed though, I didn't have a good meal there. Ditto Neuf, unless you walk right by it it's hard to tell there's a restaurant there with the Italian Market stalls and awnings blocking it. I'm glad Spotburger is finally getting a space, their burger is easily my favorite in the city.
  10. Le Cheri is OK but I only went once, my dining companion had better luck with their dishes than I did with mine. I do recall the wine list being well thought-out and not terribly expensive. In any case, after spending some months in the kitchen there after it opened, Pierre Calmels is now back in the kitchen at Bibou, which has switched over to an all prix-fixe, all the time menu which I have yet to try.
  11. I stopped by there for lunch and picked up (to go) a beef and onion pie and a special pie with lamb and some offal (I don't recall which cut), that one was good too but the beef and onion was my favorite. I believe they do at least one dessert pie as well but I didn't try it. They also have a small selection of British groceries: Lyle's Golden Syrup, Colman's mustard, Pressed Cod Roe (?).
  12. Has anyone noticed that the food at Han Dynasty is missing the Szechuan peppercorns recently? Someone made this complaint a month or two ago but I hadn't been recently. I went a couple days ago and had several dishes which have in the past had szechuan peppercorns in them (mapo tofu, dan dan noodles, the cabbage side dish), and the tongue-numbing, brain-pleasing effect was absent from all of them. Their absence was obvious in the cabbage dish because they were visible in the dish last time I had it.
  13. If you like spicy Szechuan Chinese, Han Dynasty is fantastic in Old City. The Khyber Pass recently underwent a big change and is now a really good gastropub, I'm not sure they're fixed for wheelchair access but there is only (if I remember correctly) one step up to get in the door and then a step down into the dining room (with the bar area in between). Zahav is my favorite restaurant in the city and is nearby at 2nd and Dock St., but I don't know how a wheelchair would get up there unless you went in via 3rd St. Amada is also right down there and is very good.
  14. Actually there's a very good gastropub right in Kensington: the Memphis Taproom. If you want something a little more interesting, a couple of the city's best BYOs are a bit south of there: Koo Zee Doo and Modo Mio. KZD's menu is geared towards sharing though, and the plates are huge, for two people (it sounds like you'll be two) it may not be ideal unless you don't mind not being able to sample more of a restaurant's variety on one visit. Modo Mio is Italian, not as good as Osteria in my opinion but still very good. Osteria is still great, one of my favorite places in the city but only slightly further away in Old City you can go to the city's best restaurant, Zahav. Their $36 prix-fixe is a great deal, you get as much food as I could imagine wanting to eat (and I love Zahav). Pumpkin is fine but if you're just visiting there are many other places that I would go to over Pumpkin.
  15. Seen what? The space? I'm pretty sure what Peter Johnson meant by "it" is a "an open restaurant that I can eat in".
  16. Nope, delayed 6 weeks: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/the-insider/Hold_on_a_Speck_there.html
  17. Han Dynasty is a small chain, there are three locations but the one you would be going to is at 108 Chestnut St. Personally I've never had a great beer at Nodding Head, everything they brew there is slightly above average but that's about it. Ditto PBC (Philadelphia Brewing Company), though they don't have a brewpub there anyway. Philly's best brewer is Yards IMO (though I have yet to go to Earth Bread and Brewery, and EBB is pretty far away from center city for you anyway), Yards beers are available at many bars across the city, and they have a small brewpub at the brewery. I wouldn't recommend making a special trip there though. There are quite a few bars in the city with "Tap Room" in the name but the one you want is SPTR. Of Iron Chef Jose Garces' places, I'd rate Distrito #1, Tinto and Amada tied for #2 (really all three are very good), and Chifa a distant fourth. If you're into burgers the city's best pub burger is at Village Whiskey, Garces' bar next to Tinto.
  18. Of course, "they all suck" is my opinion, just as the assertion that those places "all make great cheesesteaks" is yours.
  19. seriously?? Yes, seriously. The one that sucks the least is Steve's in the northeast. But none of them is something I ever crave, or would recommend to someone who's visiting Philly and only has a limited amount of stomach space with which to sample our city's food. The cheesesteak isn't worth the real estate in my opinion. But if you've gotta try one, take the trip to Steve's.
  20. How many days will you be here? My top 5 places in the city right now are Zahav, Bibou, Kanella, KooZeeDoo, and Han Dynasty. Vetri, Amada, Osteria, and Fond are all excellent too. If you want to check out our gastropub scene (Philly invented them), South Philly Tap Room is my favorite. Skip the cheesesteak, they all suck. Some suck less than others. Stop by Paesano's at 9th St. and Christian St. for an Arista instead. You can walk a couple block afterwards for very good water ice at John's (7th and Christian).
  21. That's good to know, good options are sparse up there. I was going to recommend you go to the Blue Sage in Southampton but they're closed the two days you were in the area.
  22. You mean for the First Monday dinners, I hope? If it's any consolation, I went to the last one, and I've been there for the regular menu, and I'd rather order off the regular menu any day of the week. The spice levels on all the dishes at the Monday dinner were toned down, and one dish in particular (the spicy cucumbers) I had both off the menu and at the Monday dinner, and they were better off the regular menu. The variety of dishes at the Monday meal obviously can't be beat for the money, but at least the time I went, only about half of the dishes were things I'd want to eat again. I don't know if it was just lucky ordering, but when I went and just ordered off the menu, we ordered five dishes and they were all great. At the Monday dinner, we didn't have five great dishes all night. It was definitely an interesting experience but I have no desire to repeat it, I'd rather go back and order off the menu.
  23. I've been to Bridget's (http://www.bridgetssteak.com/), I didn't have anything I'd care to eat again. The prices are comparable to a good steakhouse (expensive), but the food is sub-par. I was there maybe 18 months ago.
  24. I still haven't been there, but Earth, Bread & Brewery is not far away, 7136 Germantown Ave. If you're coming via the turnpike and getting off at Willow Grove, the Blue Sage in Southampton is not terribly far away and is great. It's vegetarian. http://www.earthbreadbrewery.com/bread.html http://www.bluesagegrille.com/Dinnermenu.htm
  25. My wife is in the food media and sometimes when we go out, we get free dishes sent out to us. We are charged for everything we actually order, though. I was just wondering what's expected, tip-wise, by servers when this kind of thing happens. Should we just ignore it and leave a tip based on what's on the check? Should we calculate the tip as if we did pay for those dishes? Add the cost of the dishes to the tip? What we've been doing is just tipping extra generously (30% most recently) based on what's actually on the bill.
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