I picked Barbuzzo for our last meal before driving back home. Finding a parking was challenging. My husband was losing his cool and all of a sudden the parking Gods found a spot for us five minutes away from the restaurant. Food was pretty good and portions were generous considering the prices. Service was friendly.
Heirloom Tomato Panzanella buffalo mozzarella, freshly toasted bread, soppressata, tomato vinaigrette, radicchio, shaved red onion
I forgot to take a picture of this salad. The heirloom tomatoes could have been more flavorful but otherwise it was a refreshing salad.
Caciocavallo Stuffed Meatballs house ground short rib and pork, oregano and Calabrian chile
This dish was a bargain at $11. We got three big meatballs that were very flavorful, no surprise considering the short rib and pork combo. The sauce reminded me of my own sauce. Very bright and tasty. Plenty of melted cheese to go around.
Orecchiette house made garlic sausage, oven roasted tomatoes, pecorino, and bread crumb
It was a good pasta cooked al dente. The sausage was flavorful and the roasted tomato was very good. I actually have made this dish minus the tomatoes a few times before. We were full from the other two dishes so we took most of it home. It was still good the next day.
Salted Caramel Budino with dark chocolate crust, vanilla bean caramel and sea salt
They are famous for this dessert. It was good but too sweet for me.
Zahav, a modern Israeli restaurant, is owned by the award wining chef Michael Solomonov. He has many restaurants in philly and a hummus place, Dizengoff, in NYC. Getting a reservation even one month prior, was not possible. I was the second person on the waiting list and still did not get the call. I was told to come half an hour before the opening of the restaurant to be seated at the bar. We got there at 4 pm and five minutes later another couple showed up. By 4:30 there was a long line formed. Good thing we got there early. They usually open up at 5:00 but started sitting us a few minutes early which was appreciated by everybody. The menu was on the short side but they use high quality ingredients. The only negative for me was the excess of salt on many of their dishes. The bartender who took care of us was very friendly, informative and gave us a couple of gratis items. It pays to converse with your bartender!
Turkish Hummus with butter & garlic
A great warm hummus. Very buttery and delicious.
I am not into this kind of bread but took a bite and it was good.
Twice Baked Eggplant
I told our bartender about the twice baked eggplant that we had at Dizengoff in NYC and what do you know, he brought us a small bowl of it. Very gracious. Unfortunately as the case was with Dizengoff, it was too salty.
Heirloom tomatoes and Tzatziki
We were also given flavorful heirloom tomatoes with a very good Tzatziki. They don’t even offer the Tzatziki on their menu. They should though.
Sirloin Shishlik plum tomato, za’atar
This was our favorite dish. Juicy seasoned beef cooked on a charcoal. A must order for beef lovers. I wish we had ordered two!
Beef Heart Shawarma mujadara, sumac onion, chermoula
It was a good dish but it paled compared to the beef.
Lamb Merguez tomato matbucha, roasted squash, corn
This was a good dish also but it did not wow us as much as the beef. The damn beef ruined everything else that followed.
Eggplant black-eyed peas, harissa, walnuts
A very smoky delicious eggplant dish. No surprise considering they cooked it in the wood burning oven.
Malabi Custard peach, raspberries, hazelnut, caramel
It was a light fruity dessert and did its job.
Our bartender asked us what we were doing in Philly and we told him that we used to live there and was in philly celebrating a birthday and an anniversary. So he went and brought us this plate of halva. Very sweet of him.
Shattered Lives, Harvey K. Littleton, Bulletproof Glass, 1984
The Climb of the Courageous, Tolla Inbar
Dale Chihuly, Flame of Liberty
Peace, Vladimir K. Pogrebnoi
Jagged Edges, Colin Reid
Wallenberg’s Vision, Steve Tobin
Angel, Robin Grebe
Tyrant, Etta Winigrad
The Jellybean People
Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava brychtova
Find the Hero in You
Marc Chagall, Moses Receiving The Ten Commandments, 1966
Marc Chagall, The Painter and the crucifixion, 1965
Marc Chagall, Abraham Receiving the Three Angeles, 1978
5-Spice Hot Chocolate star anise, Sichuan pepper, peppercorn, clove, fennel
The hot chocolate’s temperature was more like room temperature than hot. I had to ask them to re make it. The new one was better but still not as warm as I like. It tasted good though with the hint of the advertised spices.
Croissant and Chocolate Croissant
The plain croissant was more like a yeasty bread than a croissant. No buttery layer or crispness.
The chocolate croissant was just like the plain, yeasty bread like with the addition of the chocolate. A disappointment.
Grilled Stone Fruit summer berries, mint, Caputo bros ricotta, honey, buckwheat
It was a nice light dish. A good assortment of berries and stone fruit with creamy ricotta. The presentation was impressive also.
Breakfast Ruben on Rye pastrami, kraut, Russian dressing, guldens mustard
My husband’s pick. It was a hefty breakfast sandwich. Plenty of flavorful pastrami, fluffy eggs and kraut on a rye bread.
It was a good bread and had plenty of cherries.
Malted Peach Tea Cake
I asked the girl behind the counter if there was a peach inside the cake and she said there was. Once at home, I cut it in half and did not find any peach inside. It was a flavorful cake though.
Vernick Food & Drink is on everyone’s list of places to try in Philly. In May 2017, Chef Greg Vernick was named the Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic by the James Beard Foundation. One month prior to our trip, I tried to book a table on Open Table and had no luck. Luckily when I called the restaurant, I was able to make a reservation. Their food was really good and service was helpful and polite. Prices were very reasonable considering the quality and the portion size. Something that you rarely saw in California and now in the D.C. area. I wish we had a place like this in our area. I will definitely come back next time we visit Philadelphia. Since it was our anniversary, they started us with a toast of a sparkling wine. That was very generous of them. I always say, gestures like this leaves a lasting impression.
The Brilliant Green gin, matcha, apricot, citrus, bubbles
I picked this drink for my husband. It was very refreshing and had a good amount of alcohol.
Amuse Gazpacho and Corn Bread
A nice start to a wonderful dinner.
Maryland crab on Toast
This was so fresh and tasty, we could have eaten a few. Like a crab roll but much better.
Sea Urchin, Warm Scrambled Eggs
Very fresh sea urchin atop what I think was Crème fraîche or yogurt and creamy scrambled eggs. We were instructed to dig our spoon deep so we can taste all the layers. It was very decadent.
Lightly Cured King Salmon, Summer Melon, Mezcal, Lime Crème Fraîche
The king salmon was really good. Melon and Crème Fraîche added sweetness and creamy tang to the dish.
Yellow Fin Tuna & Sugar Snap Peas, Olive, Yogurt, Mint
I might sound like a broken record but the ahi was very fresh. The snap peas added a little crunch. Mint was a nice touch.
Wagyu Beef Pastrami, Nectarines, Green Gooddess Dressing
My other favorite dish besides the crab. It was the best pastrami we have ever had. According to our waiter the process of making it takes a whole week. No wonder it tasted so good. The only miss, the nectarine slices were not sweet. Visually amazing also.
Strawberry Cannoli chocolate-strawberry ice cream, aged balsamic
One of my favorite deserts of all time and only $9 for such a beautiful delicious dish. It was so good that I almost ordered a second one. Delicious strawberry cannoli plus strawberry chocolate ice cream were addicting. Strawberry creme and aged balsamic added more decadent.
Sweet ending to a wonderful dinner.
Jesse Engaard, Untitled, 2014
Mohamed Bourouissa, Skin and Paper, 2014
Mohamed Bourouissa, Keason, 2017
Vincent Van Gogh, The Factory, 1887
Vincent Van Gogh, Still Life: Majolica Jug with Wildflowers,1888
Vincent Van Gogh, Thatched Cottages in the Sunshine: Reminiscence of the North, 1890
Vincent Van Gogh, The Smoker, 1888
Walnut Street Cafe is located in the bottom floor of the FMC Tower only two blocks away from where we used to live 12 years ago. Only if we had such a cafe back then! The space was bright with a high ceiling. There was a bakery counter on one side. Prices were reasonable considering the quality. Service was friendly.
Steak and Eggs roasted potatoes, sauce bordelaise
Steak was a hanger cut and it was cooked well and tasted pretty good. There were plenty of crispy potatoes with the tasty sauce bordelaise to put a smile in our face but sadly increase our blood sugar.
Black Scrapple romesco, black rice, hazelnuts, fried egg
This was our first time trying scrapple which is a combination of corn meal and meat or organ scrapes. It was very good and we liked the fact that it was served with black rice.
One of the best we have had. Buttery and low in sugar. Just the way I like it and worth the $3. I was tempted to go back on our last day for more but we never made it there.
A very good butter croissant but a touch salty for me.
Ham and Cheese Croissant
At $5 it was less expensive than the one from the hungry Pigeon and almost as good. Plenty of cheese and a good amount of ham.
Pistachio Cherry Croissant
As soon as I saw this, I knew my husband would love it. It had plenty of pistachios and sour cherries.
I picked Ambra for our first dinner in Philadelphia. Their cuisine is modern Italian. They only offer a tasting menu at $78. It was a great deal considering all the food we were served. I called them a head of the time and told them that I don’t eat poultry and whether that was a problem. I was assured they could accommodate my dietary needs. The day we dined there was a dark rainy day and there was not much light inside the restaurant. My pictures reflects that. We even had a hard time reading the menu! Service was very friendly and informative.
Started with a complimentary apéritif. A nice gesture that rarely happens.
Corn and Truffle Cannoli
Great start to a wonderful meal.
Pesce Crudo di Corvina all’ Acqua Pazza
A nice refreshing crudo.
A lovely salad with tasty tomatoes.
Focaccia + Burrata
A great cheesy focaccia and a very creamy buratta. What is there not to like?
Eggplant Tortellini, Squash, Cacio e Pepe
Great flavor. Very smoky.
Spaghetti with Crab Gravy and Corn
Interesting dish and presentation. Squid ink pasta and crab on one side and a sweet corn fondue on the other.
Prosperosa Eggplant Parm
Breaded cube of eggplant parm with a tomato sauce center, I believe.
Local Tilefish, Mussel, Zucchini
A nice fish dish cooked perfectly. The mussels were fresh and tender.
Painted Hills Beef, Miral Corn “Polenta”
By this time I was full so I probably did not enjoy this dish as much as I should have. The beef was a flank cut and was tasty. The corn polenta was good but this dish lacked the creativity of other dishes. The blackberries were a nice touch though.
Duck, Miral Corn “Polenta”
My husband did not realize he had a duck in front of him. He said it tasted something between a liver and a beef.
A nice refreshing bite.
Peach & Corn Zuppa Inglese
I love peach so enjoyed this summary dessert.
This was the only miss. Too sugary to enjoy and I left most of it in the cup.
Michael Nichols, Young Lioness with Her First Cubs, 2012
Michael Nichols, Lagoon Breaking into the Ocean, 2004
Michael Nichols, Infant African Bush Elephant, 2011
Michael Nichols, Sita with Three-Month-Old Cub, 1996
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, The Angel of Purity, 1902
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Diana, 1892-93
Camille Pissarro, Apple Tree in the Meadow, Eragny, 1893
Claude Monet, Marine near Etretat, 1882
Claude Monet, Marine View with a Sunset, 1875
Claude Monet, Under the Pines, Evening, 1888
Vincent van Gogh, Rain, 1889
Giovanni Boldini, Highway of Combes-la-Ville, 1873
Pablo Picasso, head of a Woman, 1901
Henri Rousseau, Carnival Evening, 1886
Vincent van Gogh, Sunflowers, 1888 or 1889
Pierre Auguste Renoir, Still Life with Flowers and Fruit, 1890
Pierre Auguste Renoir, Two Girls, 1892
Joan Miro, L’Orniere (The Rut), 1918
Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Madame Augustine Roulin and Baby Marcelle, 1888 or 1889
Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Camille Roulin, 1888 or 1889
Pablo Picasso, Seated Female Nude, 1908-9
Fernand Leger, Man with a Cane, 1920
Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower, 1925
Cy Twombly, fifty Days at Lliam, 1978
Cy Twombly, The Fire that Consumes All Before It
Henri Matisse, Mademoiselle Yvonne Landsberg, 1914
Juan Gris, Man in a Cafe, 1912
Paul Klee, Village Carnival, 1926
Heinrich Campendonk, Love in the Forest, 1920
Man Ray, Fair Weather, 1939
Andy Warhol, Portrait of Joseph Beuys, 1980
Jasper Johns, Untitled, 2002
Jasper Johns, According to What, 1964
Jasper Johns, The Critic Sees II, 1964