Philly Restaurants – Rave Reviews

Although I don’t love the word “foodie,” Luke and I do love to try new restaurants, order unusual dishes, and try to recreate them at home. Since we’ve been in Philly, we have been cooking most of our own meals, but on special occasions, we’ll venture out to try new-to-us places. Recently, we’ve enjoyed two incredible meals within walking distance of our house.

Little Fish

Little Fish is a charming BYOB seafood restaurant that specializes in using fresh ingredients in inventive new ways. There are only ten tables in the place, and the tiny kitchen is a two-man-band of awesomeness.

Little Fish – a lot of magic happens in their small kitchen

We started our meal with a sampling of East and West coast oysters alongside homemade bread with chimichurri sauce. Our starter plates consisted of a red snapper ceviche and (heavenly) seared scallops in a corn chowder with pistachios. Our entrees were halibut served with a fish cake, tomatoes, and olives, and shelled lobster served with seared duck (!) and rice. Just as we were about to shy away from dessert (so full!), we learned that the pie selection for the evening was huckleberry served with fresh cream. So, yup, we made room for that, too.

I captured each dish with my camera, but the dark atmosphere of the restaurant (which I enjoyed!) didn’t make for great photos. So you’ll have to use your other senses to imagine the loveliness of this meal.

Zahav

We went to Zahav Monday night for our anniversary dinner (yes, we like to celebrate!). Our friend Veronica recommended it after reading good reviews, and we received generous gift cards from family and friends to help us plan a perfect meal out. The restaurant recently received a James Beard Award, and I must say, it was nothing short of spectacular.

The tasting menu ($39/person) met all of our needs and then some. We started with salatim (8 small salads) and hummus-foul, brought deliciously to life with fava beans. For our mezzes, we enjoyed watermelon salad with feta and pistachios, crispy haloumi served over dates and walnuts, sweetbread schnitzel, and roasted zucchini with cheese, hazelnuts, and white anchovy paste. Then the entrees! I had seared salmon with spicy tomato stew and couscous. Luke went all out with duck kabobs seasoned with foie gras, pistachios and saffron.

Dessert was a combination of nectarine sorbet with Turkish Delight and rugelach made with hazelnuts and dates. We also sampled delicious cocktails from their bar, including the Desert Rose (gin, hibiscus, grapefruit and cucumber), Smoke on the Water (cachaca, Hungarian pepper, and lime), and A Wee Saint’s Dram (scotch, cinnamon, honey and lemon).

No pictures for this one, either. We were too busy enjoying the food and celebrating our first year of married life. (Clink!)

If you are planning a trip to Philadelphia, and you should be, I highly recommend both restaurants for your “must-do” lists. Yay for foodies!