Dining in Philly

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy new year!!!  I clearly took the week off from blogging since I was not in class, but I still want to share some good eats from the week!

I spent new years eve and the rest of the weekend in Philly with my sister.  She took me to some great restaurant spots that were all within walking distance of her apt in center city.  When I first arrived on Friday afternoon, we were both starving and headed straight to lunch at the Marathon Grill.  I ordered an omelet with roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, and goat cheese (with a side of FRIES).  The omelet was pretty good. I love anything with goat cheese mmm!  The fries were perfectly crispy and slightly salty.. nom nom nom!

We went to Tria Wine Bar for a glass of wine before getting ready for the NYE party.  I had a wonderful zinfandel that was very full-bodied and flavorful.  We decided to split the fig and gorgonzola bruschetta for a light snack.  We both agreed that the fig jam was very overpowering and the gorgonzola tasted more like a tart blue cheese.  I would love to go back there because all of the other small plates sounded very interesting!

We had a blast at the NYE party at the crystal tea room!  We were VIP, so we arrived at 8:00 for the extra hour of drinks and hor’deourves (including shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, brie & pineapple bites, and lobster quiche)! 

The next day, we were pretty lazy and ate a late breakfast while watching “The Hangover”—hilarious!  We finally ventured outside around 2 to check out the crazy parade in the city (lots of creepy old men dressed up in weird costumes—I was scared..).  We got a little hungry again and decided to get take-out from a vegetarian Chinese restaurant around the corner.  We split the eggplant and tofu in garlic sauce, which came with brown rice and a side (we chose sweet corn).  There was a lot of food, so it was perfect to split for a light lunch.  I loved the eggplant and the rice was perfectly sticky ;)  .. I wasn’t crazy about the tofu because it was fried and tasted sort of rubbery.  The sweet corn.. well.. wasn’t sweet.

For dinner we went to El Vez, a Mexican restaurant.  I loved the décor and atmosphere.  There was also a great crowd at the bar.  We got there very early for our 8:00 reservation, so we went to the bar and had a Sangria.  The Sangria tasted great and had a little spicy bite to it, but it gave us both heartburn.  I still drank it because it tasted delicioius ;).  After a drink we started getting really hungry so we ordered GUACAMOLE.  Holy wow, this was the best guacamole I ever had.  It was so fresh and had goat cheese, pistachios, and roasted tomatoes mixed in.  After demolishing the guac (and ordering another round of drinks) we were way too full to even consider sitting down for dinner.  However, we weren’t too full to stop at Max Brenner’s Chocolate Factory to grab a chocolate molten cake To-Go, which we ate while watching Julie & Julia :)

The next day we had a lovely brunch at the Continental Café.  I was also impressed with the décor at this restaurant—very chic.  We sat on the top level in cute swinging chairs.  

We were each given a shot-sized lemon granita as soon as we sat down.  I thought this was a great touch and really cleansed my palate.  

I ordered the egg white frittata with tomato, spinach, parmesan, and croutons.  It was the perfect, satisfying brunch with a side of multigrain toast and an oversized mug of tropical green tea.   

My sister had the poached eggs over a smoked salmon hash with dill hollandaise.  

Afterwards, I had a sweet tooth and was freezing walking around outside, so what better way to cure this than another trip to Max Brenner’s for hot cocoa?!  (yes, it was our third trip there in 2 days—don’t judge).  This was seriously the best hot chocolate I have ever had, and was served in the cutest “hug mug” that I just had to buy!

I was a lucky little girl and got to experience one of the best steak houses in Philly—Butcher & Singer.  I had the perfect medium-rare filet mignon.  It was divine.  So moist, flavorful, and succulent.  I usually don’t order steak when I’m out to dinner, but obviously had to when I’m at a top steak house..and I must say, I have never enjoyed a steak so much.  The table shared sides of sautéed mushrooms and onions, along with a large potato pancake stuffed with a creamy sour cream filling.   Everything was delicious, especially paired with a wonderful bottle of red wine!

Now I am ready to get back to school and continue my culinary adventures!!


Joy Manning said...

Next time you visit Philly you have to e-mail me for restaurant recommendations! I live here and write about restaurants for a living. There is so much excellent eating to be done here.

La Bella Cucina said...

I definitely will! I'm hoping to plan another trip out there the end of the month. Me and my sister are always looking for great restaurant spots!

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