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September 04, 2013

Three Must-Try Philadelphia Restaurants

By Nell McShane Wulfhart | Restaurants

Three Must-Try Philadelphia Restaurants
Michael Persico

For those in the know, Philadelphia has been a hot restaurant town for quite a while now. Outgrowing its cheesesteak roots, the city has welcomed tiny BYOBs with innovative spirits, glitzy empires of celebrity restaurateurs (Stephen Starr, Jose Garces) and more. Here are three new places where you must dig in.

Fond
In December, chef-driven Fond moved to a new and larger (though still intimate) location in the middle of East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia—one of the city’s brand-new foodie hot spots. Fond’s small menu of contemporary American fare changes seasonally, but recent standouts included grilled duck hearts with fennel salad and tahini yogurt; skate wing with corn risotto, avocado and pancetta; and a housemade dessert of cannoli laced with Earl Grey crème anglaise. 1537 S. 11th St.; 215-551-5000; fondphilly.com.

Serpico
Peter Serpico (of Momofuku Ko fame) helms Serpico, restaurateur Stephen Starr’s latest venture, and although it just recently opened (on June 21), it has already garnered critical raves. The James Beard award–winning eatery has designed a menu that's both playful and serious, with dishes like deep-fried duck leg sliced off the bone, dressed with hoisin and scallions and tucked into a Martin’s potato roll in a creative spin on a lobster roll. A bowl of frozen foie gras (micro-pureed in a Pacojet) is mixed with grapes, candied peanuts and cubes of elderflower jelly for a stunning sweet-and-savory dessert. 604 S. St.; 215-925-3001; serpicoonsouth.com.

The Corner Foodery
For something a bit more casual, the six-month-old Center City location of The Corner Foodery is a perfect spot for a boozy lunch or late-night dinner. Floor-to-ceiling refrigerators line one wall, showcasing the 650 different beers on offer. The menu of Italian sandwiches is based on high-end ingredients, like house-cured charcuterie, broccoli rabe, roasted peppers with pine nuts and warm mozzarella, all of which go down perfectly with a cold Allagash Grand Cru. 1710 Sansom St.; 215-567-1500, thecornerfoodery.com.

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