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Jul 31, 2008 05:32 PM

Finally... a review for Rylei!

I have had dinner planned at Rylei in the Northeast for months and could not find any reviews anywhere for this restaurant, except a LaBan review from a year ago. These boards were oddly silent, it made me kind of nervous.

Anyway, we had dinner there last night and I'm really surprised I've not seen raves because this place is great. Duiring the week they offer a $35 three course tasting menu where you get to order anything off the menu (it was advertised as $30/pp which is annoying but it is still really reasonable considering apps range from $10-$12, dinners range from $22-$30 and desserts are $7). Luckily, I went with a group of friends who love food as much as I do so between us we ordered nearly everything from the menu, and shared everything so I got to taste everything. So, here are my thoughts

Appetizers - By far the apps were the highlight of the meal, each we had was amazing. The only complaint was that portions were small particulary for the $10-$12 price range. The house made pastas were the highlight. I got chocolate tagiatelle - homemade in house, a nice bitter dark chocolate flavor, with a mushroom broth, not sweet at all. Other favorites were homemade ravioli filled with potato and veal and little tiny gnocci with tomatos. Also good were the seared scallops. But the pasta dishes were really something special.

Entrees - Overall very good. Portion size varied wildle from a HUGE ribeye to a teeny tiny piece of seared duck. I got the ribeye and I felt like Fred Flintstone. It was nicely cooked and seasoned but the cut was a bit fatty. The best was a stuffed pork chop special, filled with fontina cheese, pine nuts, and other fun things. Also good were the seared duck and crabcakes.

Desserts - All desserts are made in house. There were a few standouts. The cream cheese mousse topped with candied apples was the hit of the table. Also good was their chocolate torte, very dark and not too sweet and surprisingly light in texture. Their cakes were good -we had a plum cake and a carrot cake. We also had a very good key lime pie.

The decor was nice and simple, the dining room was very small. It was fairly crowded for a Wednesday anmd seemed full of locals. We brought a ton of wine with us (always the sign of a good night) and they provided the right stemware for each type of wine. Service was ok, but honestly not great. We were having so much fun it did not bother us, but the waitress barely came over at all and we waited a while for things like water refuills. The waitress really wasn't overly friendly either. Not rude, not bad, maybe everything else was so good that my standards were set too high.

I definitely plan to go back, definitelty on a weeknight because the fixed price lets you have fun trying new things. I definitely recommend it!

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  1. Where in the Northeast is it exactly? BYO or a wine list?

    1 Reply
    1. re: crazyspice

      Its on Frankford Avenue, not too far from the Grey Lodge. Yes, it is BYO which is another huge plus.

    2. Finally tried this place....I was not impressed at all. My Hubby and I chose the $35- 3 course meal. Starters, He had a very bland chocolate pasta with a smidgeon of short ribs for appetizer. I had a gnocchi in a mushroom ragout which was underwhelming as well.....Both were about 4 bites each. My entree, a wahoo in a miso sauce was DRY DRY DRY. I've cooked more juicer flounder than this! The sauce was mediocre at best...actually it was very sweet. My poor husband who is a Duck lover was told by our waiter that this was Rylei's signature dish. He was accustomed to duck which was nicely sliced and usually enhanced with a (fruit) rasperry or cherry sauce. Instead he was served a hunk....oops...a filet...of fat skin still attached piece of duck in no sauce (may have been marinated) Though it looked rare, it was DRY DRY DRY, not succulent as he is used to...It was a little sickening after a while he claimed... Neither of us finished our meals.... They were that undesirable. Last, came our desserts. He ordered a carrot cake, which was pretty darn good. Not the raisins nuts etc, kind but a ground carrot sweet and nicely textured witha dip of ice cream. I ordered a blue cheese mousse with poached apples. The blue cheese mousse looked more like Tzaiki (greek dip) or if you use your imagination it could be described worse.... the apples slices were really little and chewy...too carmelized, I guess. Perhaps we hit this place on a bad night (Saturday), but needless to say, we have had so many more enjoyable meals, Caramba, Julianos Bistro, Magnolia cafe, Hinge, in and around the Phila area...I cant imagine this place's popularity...but to each his own. It was one experience that w ecertainly dont want to try again. Sorry proprietors!

      1. I really enjoyed this place also. Don't quite remember what we ordered, but I remember really liking it. We were there last winter, and the prix fixe WAS still $30 :) . Haven't been back since, but I definitely would go again!