May 17, 2017
By Brian Freedman | December 19, 2016 | Food & Drink
Toast to 2017 long after the ball has dropped at these top-knotch kitchens.
OH LA LA
The traditional caviar service at The Rittenhouse Hotel’s Lacroix is not to be missed. Its private-label caviar debuts this winter.
This past autumn, Lacroix moved to a single five-course tasting menu for $105, as well as a stunning caviar service. Whether you’re in the mood for something as deceptively simple as domestic caviar paired with potato rosti and smoked salmon, or 30 decadent grams of Royal Imperial caviar with traditional garnishes, this new offering “elevates our guests’ dining experiences to unprecedented heights,” says Executive Chef Jonathan Cichon. They’ll even be rolling out their own private-label caviar this winter. 201 W. Rittenhouse Sq., 215-790-2533
Who spilled the beans? A trio of beans are bound by a delicate white bean puree and seasoned with house bacon before being “spilled” onto the plate and decorated with a garlic nougatine and wild flowers at Marigold Kitchen.
University City BYOB Marigold has, over the years, been home to some of the top chefs in the city. This is undoubtedly the case yet again thanks to chefs Andrew Kochan, Tim Lanza, and Keith Krajewski, who are turning out 10-course, $90 tasting menus of electric originality. “We love to play with colloquialisms and how people’s expectations alter the way that they approach a dish,” says Kochan, who says the phrase “spill the beans” inspired a haute riff on canned beans. “We have used pumpkin in the style of sushi and as faux foie gras.” 501 S. 45th St., 215-222-3699
The second-floor dining room at Gran Caffe L’Aquila is inspired by the old-style Italian region of Abruzzo.
Philly has always been known for its top-tier Italian restaurants, and Gran Caffe L’Aquila is a more-than-worthy entry into that upper echelon. With a serious coffee program (proper espresso! killer cappuccino!), swoon-worthy gelato, and a menu full of the Italian delicacies fans clamor for—think speck from Alto Adige and mortadella from Bologna—Gran Caffe is the next best thing to hopping on a flight from PHL to Rome. 1716 Chestnut St., 215-568-5600
POSH ON PASSYUNK
Diver scallops are a delicious mainstay on Laurel’s holiday menus.
Ever since Chef Nicholas Elmi opened his East Passyunk restaurant Laurel after winning Top Chef, it’s been one of the toughest rezzies in the city. No wonder: Elmi’s background in French haute cuisine, combined with his stunningly original culinary vision, has won over those lucky enough to dine here. Now, this BYOB also offers wine pairings for $65 to frame the seven-course, $89 tasting menu. So: Roasted duck breast with chanterelle, turnip, and rose washed down with an Uwe Scheifer Blaufrankisch? Yes, please. 1617 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-271-8299
Barclay Prime’s winter-ready libation The Walking Dead uses seasonal ingredients like almond and star anise.
If you’ve grown tired of the same old steakhouses, make tracks to Barclay Prime immediately where your carnivorous faith will be restored by Chef Mark Twersky. Since opening nearly 10 years ago, the Rittenhouse stalwart has proven to be one of the most satisfying places around for a drink and a steak and, okay, maybe another drink while we’re at it. Start with a martini and oysters, move on to a gorgeous bottle of red, and tuck right into one of Barclay’s epic steaks, like the 18-ounce, 28-day dry aged ribeye. 237 S. 18th St., 215-732-7560
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMANDA ROSE; PHOTOGRAPHY BY DALLYN PAVEY (MARIGOLD KITCHEN); COURTESY OF THE RITTENHOUSE (LACROIX); STARR RESTAURANTS (BARCLAY PRIME); GRAN CAFFE L’AQUILA (DINING ROOM);