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Old City's Newest French Eatery: Forsythia

By A.D. Amorosi | November 18, 2019 | Food & Drink


Seven years after opening his molecular gastronomical wonder, Will, and helping to usher in the East Passyunk Avenue restaurant renaissance, chef-owner Christopher Kearse has left his comfort zone— and the avenue—for the historic charm of Old City and the sensuous menu of his new Forsythia. “I’m not a guy who looks back,” says Kearse. A classically French-trained chef with an eye for subtly revolutionary cuisine and dramatic plating, Kearse has evolved as a restaurateur—with the exposed industrial decor and hearty yet delicate menu of Forsythia as proof. Here, Kearse’s signature is prominent in items such as his masterful puddingy foie gras with plum and buckwheat brioche and rich mains such as the Rohan duck. As decadent as every bite is, Kearse sought to also make Forsythia accessible. “I’m different, and the way people eat is different in 2019 than it was in 2012. I want to do something approachable that’s still very much me—not dumbed down—with detailed components, but streamlined. There’s ways of doing that, and I’m able to do that.” 233 Chestnut St., 215.644.9395,

Photography by: Lexy Pierce