Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pub & Kitchen

Wade's Take:
May’s dinner led us to Pub & Kitchen. It was an easy choice once we realized that we’d been to 23 of the 25 top restaurants listed by Philadelphia Magazine as their favorites. This was the only one left (except for the, ahem, suburban restaurant Blue Fin – which my Philly Foodie colleagues cannot travel to in good conscience. They have an oath to the restaurants of the City, some would say a blood pact, that cannot be broken.)

It was a nice May evening, and there we sat at a sidewalk table at Pub & Kitchen. Although the table was miniscule, the meal was grand.

I selected several small plates, and dug in.

The gnocchi was fantastic. The pasta was ever so light, like small pillows, with a slight pan-fried crisp edge. It sat in a pool of browned butter with samplings of roasted artichokes. Texture, flavor, and uniqueness made this dish one of the best pastas I’ve had in quite some time.

The gnocchi was followed by steak tartare. The cut of meat was ideal, supple but with enough sinew to give it some heart. It was blended with a light, dry mustard, topped with greens, mint, and onion. Not remarkable, but a good dish.

The duck toasts were on the money. Bits of toast, smeared with a duck pate that was smooth and rich. This was a bar menu item on the menu, and I could easily see myself downing several rounds of these toasts at a happy hour.

Though full, we opted for dessert in the form of baked, sherried apples served with donut holes dusted with cinnamon sugar. The donut holes were good (but could easily be replicated at home) and the baked apples had the texture and flavor of something roasted in an EZ Bake Oven (no dis to EZ Bakes).

The atmosphere was fun and vibrant. We had a waitress that bubbled throughout the night; she was like the foodie version of an MTV VJ.

For the gnocchi alone, I say 3 out of 4 pasta pillows.

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