For the last few years, I’ve made it a resolution to try at least 6 new restaurants in a year. Here are a few of the latest places that I’ve tried….
The first really is fine dining. A friend & I ate at Vedge, Philly’s answer to NY’s Dirt Candy. This is an all vegetarian restaurant, located in the old Deux Cheminees on Spruce Street. I got stuck in traffic, and arrived a little late. My dining companion had already ordered an appetizer sampler plate with pickles, peel ‘n’ eat lupini beans, and both black and green olives. Vedge has small plates, so we shared a few of those. Some Brussels sprouts (yum), some beet stacked thing (super yum), carrots, and something else which I forget. We also availed ourselves of the cocktail specialites de maison–some vaguely phosphorescent gin thing for her, something with rum and bergamot for me. For dessert, I got the sweet potato dumpling and she got the caramel pudding, which was totally delish. (Sorry for the vagueness of the descriptions….I’m having difficulty opening their menus online.) Overall, the food was very good, but a little pricey. The “small” plates weren’t that small, and the service was outstanding. (When I shot one of the lupini beans across the room, a waiter caught it and assured me that it happens all the time.)
Another place with small plates that aren’t that small is Radice in Blue Bell. At this meal, we tried the sweet potato gnocchi (One of the daily specials, and overwhelmed by the cream sauce. not bad, but everything else was better.), the salumi plate (with an assortment of Italian meats, smoked olives, and figs), and the Rustica pizzette (with argula, proscuitto, and ricotta…yum). Again, the service was stellar. In a crowded restaurant, where the tables are fairly close together, they managed to get a man with a walker in & out without disturbing anyone….and I only noticed because they were at the table right next to us.
At a more reasonable price point than either of those is the Pub at Wegman’s in Collegeville. We ate at the bar (yes, they have a full bar, and make a nice Stoli O cosmo). Initially, we intended to get the wontons as an appetizer. But the man next to us got the zucchini fries, and they looked soooo good….and they were! (No, we did not eat his. We actually ordered our own.) For entrees, my dining companion had corned beef on rye. I had one of the seasonal offerings–a BBQ braised short rib sandwich. Both were quite tasty. For dessert, Wegman’s offers a cake-, cheesecake-, or scratch pie-of-the-day. We shared a piece of the apple pie, with whipped cream. What’s not to like about that?
So, it’s still only February, and I’ve already eaten at more than 6 new places this year. (Bridget’s in Ambler, Tiffin in Elkins Park, Cantinas los Segundos, Buddakan in AC, Chap’s Taproom in Jeffersonville, and the three mentioned here)….maybe I should up my quota!