Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Going Out

Aside from cooking for me and my boy, there are times when I'd like someone to cook for me. In fact, I really love the whole experience of going out to dinner. Apparently a lot of people do because there are tons of restaurants everywhere and, even though business may be slightly declining in this economic hardship, people still go out to eat. But, I love it for reasons other than having someone do all the work and clean up for me.
I digress.
Monday afternoon I got an unexpected call from work saying they didn't need me to come in. Given that I'd been working pretty much every single night since I started there, I was pretty psyched to not have to go in. In addition, today is my birthday and I knew I'd be working and was hoping for some night off this week to go have a nice birthday dinner.
Finding a place that can accommodate both my needs for animal byproducts and Spencer's disdain for them can be fairly tricky. Especially if he'd like to have more than a dry salad. After a little research I came across a place in Old City, right around the corner from where I work actually, called Farmicia. If you're too lazy to follow the link, they basically do what I love- New and Traditional American food, made from fresh, local ingredients, with a few vegan/vegetarian options. Oh, and lots of delicious, freshly baked bread.
I wish I'd brought my camera so I could provide some pictures on this post, but alas... just look at the website. It's restaurant week here in Philly and so they offered a Prix Fixe menu of three courses for $35. I ordered a glass of French Sauvignon Blanc and Spencer grabbed some sort of delicious alcoholic Arnold Palmer while we munched on some pumpernickle and sourdough bread. For starters I got a beet, fennel, and feta salad with a citrus vinagrette and what looked like pea shoots. For the gentleman, a noodle, tofu, nut, and roasted tomato bowl of deliciousness. We downed our apps pretty quickly and our entrees followed shortly after. A simple but wonderful meat and potatoes dish for myself- A boneless pork chop, buttery mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli. A rustic but interesting old Frenchie for the vegan- ratatouille with corn crusted risotto croquettes. I got pretty full pretty fast, as did Spencer. So we wrapped up the remainder of our meals and moved on to dessert- a flourless chocolate torte with chocolate mousse for myself and some coconut and lime sorbet for my date.
So how was it? My beet salad was incredible! The dressing was fantastic and pretty. Spencer really seemed to enjoy his appetizer as well though I didn't try it. My entree was good but not amazing. The chop was a little on the dry and also fatty side. I would have preferred a thicker cut, bone-in chop, like the one I had in Boston at Coda. The gravy they served it with was good but not plentiful, I wanted more! The potatoes were good but nothing special and the broccoli was naked. Pretty simple stuff really, nothing that wowed me. As for Spencer's meal, he seemed to enjoy it, though he didn't finish it so I'm not totally convinced. I tried it and thought it was alright. In general, I'm not big on ratatouille due to the high volume of bell peppers which, for me, taint everything...which was certainly the case in this dish. I'm also not huge on risotto cakes. It seems like all the ones I've ever tried are gluey and flavorless- again, this rang true here as well. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. Our desserts were pretty good. My cake and mousse were intensity to the extreme. I could only eat a couple bites of it. The cake was more like a slice of dry fudge (excellent)and the mousse was a lot like ice cream. So much chocolate. The sorbet was light and creamy at the same time, a nice touch. I'd like to have some more of that.
So over all, it was a good dinner. I wasn't wowed, but then again, it is restaurant week and we were there at the end of the evening. I'll probably go back some time, if only because it's a nice place that both my boy and I can eat at. Plus, their brunch looks phenomenal and drinks are half price!! woooooooooooo

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