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The Divine Miss "M"


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Yes, Ma'am. The bar opens at 4:45PM. And I'll be behind it.

Please come in and introduce yourself.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Yes, Ma'am.  The bar opens at 4:45PM.  And I'll be behind it.

Please come in and introduce yourself.

Now that my back surgery is done planning to be in town the end of the month. I was wondering how late the Spiritual Adviser is available for consultation on a Friday night?

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Hi Mike:

Firday nights the bar closes around 10:30-11PM, depending on how empty the dining room is at that point. If we have a lot of late dinner reservations then sometimes a little later. We're not a late night kind of place, but that's fine with me. I closed enough places at 2AM and later in the past.

Come in early and sit outside while it's still light out. The courtyard is lovely...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Hi, I just wanted to post a thanks to Katie for 2 great cocktails (what did you call the lemon one?) and making me feel at home at M on Friday night. The bar is really comfortable and everyone is friendly. What more could you ask for? Perhaps a barkeep who is really great at her job? M has that too!

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Thanks Natasha! A pleasure having your company at the bar. I hope you'll be able to bring your hubby in with you next time.

The lemony drink was likely the Corpse Reviver #2 that's been getting a lot of play lately. And since I have the attention span of a gnat on meth, I don't even remember what other drink I made you that night. Was it a Parisian Martini?

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Yes, it was definitely the Corpse Reviver #2 (there was a #1?) You made the Parisian Martini for someone sitting next to me. It looked really good. My first drink was something you made that uses the same base as your mimosa. It ws good too, but sweeter than the Corpse Reviver. I will definitely be back with husband in tow. Thanks!

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I will be back in Philadelphia on Saturday for the naming of our next tanker down at Aker Shipyards. My wife is meeting me there and I promised to take her somewhere nice for a cocktail. (I owe her diamonds after she has had to live with my travel schedule this month - Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Korea, China, Korea, Philadelphia (saturday), back to Korea (tuesday))

This place looks wonderful. Is it somewhere where we can stop off for some cocktails and little plates of goodies at the bar? We would probably get there around 8 or so. Is this doable?

Thanks,

Bill

"There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry." - Mark Twain

"Please pass the bacon." - Me

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This is an excellent idea. One caution: it's a small bar, and so can get crowded. I'll let Katie fill you in on what the odds are for scoring a couple seats at the bar on a saturday night. I think it's worth the risk!

There is a small menu of bar food, mostly cheese, charcuterie, etc, but you might be able to talk them into letting you order some appetizers too.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Is this doable?

Bill:

Under normal circumstances this would be totally doable, but this coming Saturday we have a wedding booked and will be closed to the public. :sad: So sorry.

I hope you won't hold this against us and come back another time. This time of year we have a lot of Saturday weddings since we're attached to the Bed & Breakfast and folks will literally rent out the whole place. May and June and September is "Wedding Season" when one has a lovely outdoor courtyard and the capability of catering a fabulous meal in said lovely space.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Is this doable?

Bill:

Under normal circumstances this would be totally doable, but this coming Saturday we have a wedding booked and will be closed to the public. :sad: So sorry.

I hope you won't hold this against us and come back another time. This time of year we have a lot of Saturday weddings since we're attached to the Bed & Breakfast and folks will literally rent out the whole place. May and June and September is "Wedding Season" when one has a lovely outdoor courtyard and the capability of catering a fabulous meal in said lovely space.

gallery_7720_4754_32478.jpeg

I can <barely> fit into my tux. We can talk our way in...

Oh well. I am open to other suggestions. The company ponied up for the Rittenhouse Hotel, so as long as they're buying I am pretty much game for anything. If anyone has any ideas, please PM me.

"There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry." - Mark Twain

"Please pass the bacon." - Me

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There is a small menu of bar food, mostly cheese, charcuterie, etc, but you might be able to talk them into letting you order some appetizers too.

Any further comments on what sorts of charcuterie might be available? The restaurant is on my short list of places to dine soon, but I'd happily add some meaty delicacies to the meal if any are unusual or of particular note.

David aka "DCP"

Amateur protein denaturer, Maillard reaction experimenter, & gourmand-at-large

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:laugh: Bill, you are really too funny.

Any further comments on what sorts of charcuterie might be available?

David, there are three different meats (currently Rosette de Lyon, Gentile and Italian dry sausage) and usually six to eight different cheeses available. My current favorite cheeses are the La Tur (triple milk - very creamy) and the Roaring 40's (cow's milk blue from Tasmania). There are sometimes oysters available as well. You can certainly cobble together a nice bar snack off the Tavern menu or can order from the regular menu as well. Please do introduce yourself if you come in.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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M Restaurant, June 13, 2007

Guest Chef: Shola Olunloyo

Spring Garlic Soup

Roasted Parsley - Garlic Purée

Boneless Chicken Wings

Les Argiles Clos Baudoin Vouvray, Lore '04

gallery_23992_3286_13293.jpg

Sweet Corn - Parmesan Custard

Black Truffle Caramel

Toasted Brioche

Patrice Rion Bourgogne Aligote, Niuits St. Georges '04

gallery_23992_3286_49523.jpg

Roasted Suzuki

Caramelized Eggplant - Pistachio Caponata, Sultanas, Lovage

Wild Asparagus

Yuzu Brown Butter

Roncus Tocai Friulano '03

gallery_23992_3286_21254.jpg

Loin of Australian Lamb

Chick Pea Puree

Braised Lamb Croquette

Fennel Marmalade

Ridge Zinfandel, Three Valleys, Sonoma '05

gallery_23992_3286_43138.jpg

Chocolate Cherry Ganache

Coffee Fluid Gel

Smoked Chocolate Soil

Pistachio Ice Cream

Rosenblum Late Harvest Zinfandel, Russian River '03

gallery_23992_3286_23842.jpg

(ETA wine pairings)

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Veeeerrry Inteh-ress-ting!

This one is a dead ringer for a dinner at the late, lamented StudioKitchen, unlike the Apamate menu. Any distinctive M-traces in the food that might not come through in the description?

And what's the difference between "coffee fluid" and the stuff I drink in the morning?

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You're right, it was pretty much a dead-ringer for a classic StudioKitchen meal, with the only slightly disorienting twist of being served by waiters and waitresses in a larger room!

Food was absolutely on-par with SK, both in terms of general composition and execution. Although it was unmistakably a Shola menu, he told us at one point that the M chefs were doing most of the cooking, that he was mostly finishing the platings, so big props to chef Katz and his crew as well.

And serious respect to chef Katz for the wine pairings too, they were excellent throughout. That late harvest Zin at the end seemed like it had been manufactured to go with the chocolate-cherry ganache, picking up that fruit, and sliding comfortably alongside the smoky chocolate soil.

Can we pause a moment and contemplate the smokiness in the dessert? At almost seemed like there was bacon in there, and I mean that in a good way!

That spear of wild asparagus atop the suzuki provided an extra spark to an already entrancing dish. The fish was terrific, but I was busy immersing myself in the sweet earthiness of the eggplant and white raisin caponata beneath.

Make anything into a croquette and I'm happy, and if it happens to be flavorful shreds of lamb shoulder, all the better. Set it beside tender medalions of lamb loin, simultaneously medium-rare and darkly-seared, and I'm ecstatic. Set those on top of a sweet fennel jam and an earthy chickpea slick, and I'm over the moon.

Sweet corn - funky truffle, is there a better match?

The first course gave yet more evidence in favor of the theory that we really should be urging Shola to open SoupKitchen, just so we could eat his soups every day. Perhaps several times a day...

Every dish was thoroughly enjoyable, so I'd call that a pretty successful dinner!

Here's hoping they do some more of these dinners right here at M, the whole thing was very smooth and well-run. And it doesn't hurt to start the evening with some fabulous Katie Loeb cocktails!

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Food was absolutely on-par with SK, both in terms of general composition and execution. Although it was unmistakably a Shola menu, he told us at one point that the M chefs were doing most of the cooking, that he was mostly finishing the platings, so big props to chef Katz and his crew as well.

If that's the case, then I *really* missed out on StudioKitchen, because that meal last night was one of the best I've ever had. Every dish was spectacular. I particularly loved the fennel marmalade and lamb loin combination.

Can we pause a moment and contemplate the smokiness in the dessert? At almost seemed like there was bacon in there, and I mean that in a good way!

Even though my expectations were very high for dessert in particular, I couldn't believe how great it was. I would like a vial of smoked chocolate soil to carry around and sprinkle on other, inferior chocolate desserts, please.

Here's hoping they do some more of these dinners right here at M, the whole thing was very smooth and well-run.  And it doesn't hurt to start the evening with some fabulous Katie Loeb cocktails!

We talked to Shola briefly before we left, and he said he was doing it again next month. Didn't say where, though.

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Speaks to my questions as to how Shola's style translates to a restaurant kitchen. Very successfully. Bravo.

Not taking anything away from the rest of the meal, but there I'd love to see lamb croquettes on a restaurant menu somewhere.

Edited by Holly Moore (log)

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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katie - the inlaws called Tues for a reservation last night - said it was booked and sort of sloughed of a "i dunno, guest chef, something something something".

and so we went elsewhere completely incomparable :(

and lo and behold the guest chef was Shola....man have I been dying to try his stuff AND there wasn't a raw egg (in any of the pictures) for once (there seems always to be one in his beauteous meals (I am a raw egg-o-phobe).

darn! so sad to have missed this! (and missed the Apamate one).

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phil- i thought that spear atop teh fish was lovage. no ?

Nope, it was Wild Aparagus, which I've been seeing in posts on line, but hadn't had the pleasure of eating before!

I think the herby lovage was in the caponata, but I could be wrong...

Edited by philadining (log)

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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Thanks y'all. I had fun too. I only got to taste the lamb, but it was delicious. I'm hoping there's some leftovers for staff today. I'm on my way in to find out right now!

Saw nothing but smiling faces last night and got many compliments on the service and drinks. Always nice to know we're doing a good job. :smile:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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We had a terrific time last night. The food was, as others have said, clearly SK-level, and pretty much flawless. This should put to rest any fears that Shola's style of food cannot thrive in a restaurant environment.

With the disclaimer that mentioning the following things does not indicate that other aspects of the meal weren't outstanding, but just that I'm a bit rushed:

The flavor of the lamb was really great. It's so unusual these days to get lamb that tastes like something, but last night's lamb (Australian) was bursting with lamb flavor. In the case of the loin apparently this was due in part to vacuum marination and sous-vide cooking.

And, yes, the smokiness of the chocolate soil. It was pretty uncanny how closely this resembled the smokiness of Benton's bacon. Maybe it's just that I've been having too much Benton's bacon lately, but there really did seem to be something about the character of the smokiness that was Benton's-like. Benton's is hickory smoked, and the soil was (IIRC) applewood smoked, so maybe I am just hallucinating things...

In any case, I was worried at first that the smokiness would be too much for the rest of the dessert, but eating the soil with the rest of the dessert quickly dispelled this fear.

The wine pairings were really good, though we thought that the white Burgundy (mostly Chard, some Aligote) didn't stand up very well to the corn custard. I think I understood the idea behind the pairing -- by itself the wine had a complex earthiness that you'd think would go well with the truffle, but it turned out that the custard was too much for it.

The Ridge Zinfandel was explosively fruity, excellent by itself and with the lamb.

We didn't get a late harvest Zin at the end! (maybe they ran out?) we had a Tawny port instead.

My only complaint about the evening was that the service was insanely rushed. Food came out almost instantly after we sat down, plates were often cleared while other people at the table were still eating, and the gaps between courses seemed tiny. I feel like we finished the whole meal in a little over an hour.

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Yeah, the pacing did seem a little too fast, but I didn't feel actively rushed. I suspect that the kitchen was in high-gear, thinking that a full dining room full of tasting menus was going to be a nightmare, but it actually all went smooth... I'll bet they could dial it back a bit if they do it again (which I certainly hope they do!)

They were definitely a little TOO quick with clearing the table, it did feel like one's plate was gone as that last forkful was being raised to the mouth. I know there are different schools of thought on this, but I actually prefer it if they wait to clear the plates until everyone is done, which they most definitely were not doing.

But those are minor points to me, it's not as if the next course was showing up before we were done with the previous one, it's just that they came out very promptly after one another.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

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