We've got the best tasting houses all around Philly.
LACROIX AT THE RITTENHOUSE
Jon Cichon’s dinner menu of five-course tastings at reliably excellent Lacroix is thoughtful and playful, with recent and seasonal combinations like rabbit, caramel apple, chanterelle and pistachio; lobster, escargot, lima beans and watercress; and veal cheek, leek, sweetbreads and beets. But the real fun starts when the caviar cart is wheeled out. Lacroix offers four different varieties to supplement the tasting: Russian Imperial, Royal Imperial, Crown Osetra and Royal Siberian, as well as a flight of aged caviars.
Nicholas Elmi is one of the most creative chefs in town, evidenced nowhere more than in his seven-course tasting menu at Laurel on East Passyunk. His secret weapon? The shed in the back of the restaurant, kept at the ideal temperature for his various preserves and ferments made with raspberries, ramps and other produce. They flavor stunning dishes like foie gras tart with elderberry vinegar and albacore crudo with fermented carrot juice.
Housed in a historic Victorian home in West Philly, Marigold has been reinvented by different chefs half a dozen times since its inception, the latest of which are Tim Lanza and Andrew Kochan. The owners and co-chefs are all in on their seasonal tasting menu (there’s no a la carte) which features 10 or more courses. Think sousvide pumpkin “poke” on a pedestal of sticky rice and cauliflower soup with brown butter snow.
The third Wednesday of every month, Will’s Christopher Kearse offers a five-course tasting menu built around a specific ingredient. One recent tasting featured crab, for example, unfolding with a hamachi crudo in crab green curry and a whole soft-shell with pickled watermelon avocado while truffles headlined another. The BYOB has just been renovated, too, with a faux tin ceiling, soft padded chairs and driftwood tables laying a backdrop for Kearse’s colorful, exquisite plates.