8 Days of Eats---Django Report
Made it to Django last night for the South Street promotion.
I am now four for four in getting seated at the table closest to the kitchen. It has it advantages (watching the chefs prepare the food) and disadvantages (being in the middle of the waitstaff prep stations).
Django is basically serving their regular menu as a $30 three course prix fixe, with a $5 surcharge for 2 entrees (lamb and prime rib) and the cheese plate. It's really a good deal.
I started out with a raw scallop, in its shell, with a watermelon, red onion, creme fraiche, and caviar topping. There was a lot going on but it was very citrus-y and refreshing. My dining partner had a bibb lettuce, avocado, and jicama salad, which she enjoyed as well.
For main course, my companion had an entree sized portion of the goat cheese gnocchi with spring veggies (the app. portion is what is on the menu, with spring lamb, they graciously offered to make it vegetarian and entree size).
I had the black bass, over a shellfish/artichoke panzanella. It was perfectly sized, the fish was tender, and the panzanella was terrific. I really enjoyed it.
We shared the cheese plate for dessert, so they didnt charge us the $5 surcharge. I know there are mixed feelings about the cheese plate but I always enjoy it, its a perfect way to finish the remaining portion of our wine!
The noise level was bothersome at times but I guess that goes with the territory and the service was attentive.
We just returned from Djangos and I must say we were quite pleased. For the Restaurant Week menu it was superb! And I might add, a bargain for what we got.
We both started with the pasta appetizers: my dining partner had the Goat Cheese Gnocchi (which I tasted and enjoyed). I had the Taglitelle (sp?) with rabbit meat in a tomato base. We both agreed, that while hers was great, mine was even better and wiped the plate clean with the bread. Portion was equivalent to a half portion of such an entree. For entrees we both chose the Rack of Lamb (It is -as noted by JT $5.00 extra). I got 6 chops, My DP only 4 - but plenty for her. Perfectly done and tasty. The Risotto ball with melted mozzarella was fabulous. The Broccoli rabe had a salty cheese (assiago?) on it but also red pepper flakes, which was too spicy for us. We pointed out and the waitress brought us some without pepper. For dessert we both had the Chocolate Brownie with cice cream and chocolate sauce and wet walnuts. Again, a decent size portion.
The Rack would have been $29.00, the appetizers $10.00 and the dessert $7.00 for a total of $46.00 so the $35.00 was a good deal. (It’s BYOB). We don't usually spend that on a regular basis and I'm sure we might share something if it wasn't included. But we'll definitely be back the next restaurant week and I;d say the food was every bit as good as the previous owners. The new owner Greg and his chef Russ (I forget his last name) have done well.
Service was friendly and if I have to find a fault it was the time delay between courses. They seemed to be moving so they served each course to a group of tables at one time. There was a 15-minute delay from ordering till the pasta and a long 25 minute delay from entree clearing till the two brownies arrived. Noise level was acceptable for a room this hard.
Comparing this to our dinner on Thursday at Gayle (also 3 courses), Django won hands down for variety of menu. friendliness of service (Gayle was okay, Django better), atmosphere and portion size. These were not "small plates" and there was the bonus of being BYOB.
Wish I had time to go back during 8 days of eats, but we can't!
(Note we haven't been back to Greg's other restaurant RX in West Philly but Django is just blocks from our house.)
We ate at Django last night and were very impressed. My husband had the gnocchi for his appetizer and I had the beef carpaccio -- both were delicious. He had striped bass for his entree and I had the diver scallops. Again, both entrees were excellent if a little on the small side (3 scallops). For dessert I had the goat cheese cake and he had the polenta cake and we both enjoyed our own plus a taste of the other's. We had no problems with the service -- but we eat early before restaurants get too crowded.
We liked it better than under the previous ownership and will return.