Thursday, September 23, 2010


Jess' Take
AH-MAY-ZING. Yep. That pretty much sums up my thoughts on Fond. I had been told that this was an incredible spot, and even with all of the buildup, I was not disappointed.

We arrived for an early dinner, as we have a very young diner in our group, who tends to be a little unpredictable in restaurant situations. We have discovered that if she eats with us she is much more accommodating, so she enjoyed some pureed prunes with her formula while we ate. Definitely a foodie in training.

The menu is limited, but was supplemented with several specials. I decided to start with one of the specials, which was escargot served with truffle foam. I believe this is the only time I have had escargot where it is not drowned in butter. I assumed it was always served that way because the actual taste was offensive, but it turns out that’s not the case. It actually has quite a delicate, almost earthy taste. It was unexpectedly light and delightful.

I went for a menu item for my main course, trying the octopus stew, which was served with chorizo, preserved lemon and fennel. Simply put, this was the most amazing octopus I’ve ever had. I didn’t think you could make octopus that tender. I was wrong. It almost melted in your mouth. The chorizo was an excellent compliment, giving just a kick, but not too much spice. I was sad when the dish was done.

We ended the night with two desserts. The first, dark chocolate cake served with Earl Grey ice cream. It was very good, but not as dense as I was expecting (and hoping). The Earl Grey ice cream was spot on. The second, malted milk chocolate ice cream served with peanut brittle, chocolate crumble and peanut butter ganache. This was the clear winner in the dessert category. Salty and sweet – what more could you ask for?

Despite the fact that this restaurant is WAY down in South Philly, we will definitely be back.

Four out of a possible four tender octopus tentacles.

Wade's Take:

SPEC-TACU-LARE (french accent). I'm with the Mrs. on this one. Great meals come in small packages, especially in the case of Fond.

Yes, they had sweetbreads. Yes, I have an automatic bias whenever they are on a menu.There was no doubt that I'd order them as my appetizer course. The tender morsels were evenly pan-fried, crisp and scrumptious. The succulent white thalamus goo still had its smoky rich flavors. Topping off the dish were microgreens, melted onion slivers, a red pepper confit and a fried egg. Yes, I've had many sweetbreads in my time, but Fond's are by far the best.

Since I always gravitate towards food items with action descriptors, I ordered the harpoon-caught swordfish for my entree. It was served with cucumber tzatziki, heirloom tomatoes and a saffron nage. The swordfish was seared and retained a tender center. Balanced with the zesty tzatziki and the sweeter saffron nage, this dish had great symmetry.

I'm very... what's the word?.... fond of Fond, and hope to be back for more.

4 out of 4 Fond memories.

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