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Jun 6, 2009 11:00 AM

Philadelphia restaurant dishes that you dream about

Are there any local dishes that you just can't get enough of? I'd like to expand my repertoire. My current obsession is the mango tofu (they make their own tofu) at Aqua, the Malaysian restaurant on the 700 block of Chestnut.

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  1. Spring rolls at Vietnam (their wrappers are paper thin and so crispy)

    Roasted suckling pig at Amada (if you can't get 3 other people to join you for that, then order the pernil asado tapa...I also dream about that).

    Pappardelle with wild mushrooms and shallots at Paradiso

    My wife dreams about the spinach gnocchi at Vetri. I like them too, but she orders them every time we go there.

    Bacio gelato at Capogiro

    16 Replies
    1. re: Philly Ray

      perhaps we are related....
      I LOVE the spring rolls at Vietnam - and now usually have to get about 10 orders when I go to pick up lunch because my entire office has become addicted to them.
      I haven't had three pig eaters to go with me but the pernil asado tapa is heavenly
      I have a hard time NOT ordering the pappardelle at Paradiso
      and I dream of most things at Vetri - but I have to say the pastrami foie gras and the hen bolagnese top my list

      1. re: Bigley9

        If you ever need a 4th person to get your pig on, let me know and I will be there (I'm was THAT good that I would meet up with total strangers to eat it again).

        We can discuss family heritage then too.

        1. re: Philly Ray

          if a 4th could be found, i would gladly share in this pig on august 31st... when i visit from out of town.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            Bigley, Ray and Pinstripe, I would gladly be a 4th for the pig. I am looking for a fun and unusual way to celebrate my recent promotion at work. This sounds like it could be great.

            Are you guys seriously interested? I've never had it. If the date doesn't work out, I know my pig-loving boyfriend would gladly fill the place of the out of town Pinstripe.

            1. re: canadianbaconette

              FYI...Amada will generally do the pig for three and charge for four!

            2. re: pinstripeprincess

              Seems a good place for this post. Did the pig last night. My first time at Amada and will admit expectations were pretty high The place exceeded these expectations by a mile. Everything was perfect, tapas, liquor selections, desserts, service, coffee, and the PIG. Everybody was moaning all night long. l would recommend you minimize the tapas, as after eating like the proverbial pig, had enough to take home to easily duplicate the meal again. Also try the 'Inedit' beer from Spain and Ferran Adria, low alcohol, served in wine glass and very 'champagney'. l would do this as soon as my heart starts beating again.
              425/4 tax/tip included.

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                oh you're killing me.... i won't get a chance to do this it seems.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  Moaning is the right word. I swear that skin was the like the best Communion wafer I ever had melting on my tongue. And I'm not even a practicing Catholic anymore! I now worship the pig.

                  We limited ourselves to one tapa each pre-pig, and afterwards I felt like I gave up some valuable stomach real estate.

                  My favorite part of the night was when the carver placed the plate of pork on the table after we were served. He piled it high like some kind of "Pork Pyramid" and the look of horror on the face of a woman sitting at the table next to us was priceless! She must have been a vegetarian.

                  We also took home plenty for 2 more meals. I found the best way to reheat the meat was to seal it in a foil pouch and reheat in the oven on low heat.

                  Unfortunately, I can't sign up for Monday night, but if anyone wants to try again in a few weeks or months post it here and I'll see what I can do.

                  1. re: Philly Ray

                    I'll jump in. I'm going to be in town for a meeting Sept 10, 11, and 12 and I would LOOOVE to kneel at the altar of His Porkiness. Would you be available, Philly Ray?

                    1. re: Philly Ray

                      This sounds like fun. I can't do the Sept. dates, but I think Missy mentioned some October dates down-thread?

                      1. re: Ali

                        Yes, I'll be in town Sept 10,11, and 12. (The October dates were booboos, juggling too many meetings at once) I live in the northern Shenadoah Valley in Va., in a really teeny town next to a small city (24,000) where the best restaurant is the Golden Corral. So I'm definitely up for some good food when I visit ya'll. At this point all I have is a 7 p.m. reservation at James for Sept. 10, but I can change to whatever fits your sked.
                        Wow, I really hope this works out!!!!! After seeing a re-run of Anthony Bourdain's Malaysia show (the one where he enjoys the roast suckling pig skin basted with coconut water), I'm up for some porky fun.

              2. re: Philly Ray

                capogiro's gelato has gotten so bad. Their ice cream freezer doesn't work properly and all the gelato tasted icy and not in a good way. Also, I had the nociola gelato, it was made with stale hazelnuts. The avocado gelato tasted only like lime. No good, these people don't care about the quality of their gelato anymore. Philadelphia needs an amazing ice cream shop with ice cream that has great flavor and sexy texture.

                1. re: dugger

                  i was there a few days ago. the grape sorbetto was as good as ever.
                  only had the sorbets, not the gelato - so maybe that was the difference... have you tried any of their other locations?

              3. Octopus and Tomato/Mozz Salad at Dmitri's
                Branzino at Raddichio
                Calamari a la plancha and Serrano wrapped figs at Amada
                Stracciatella Gelato from Capogiro
                ok... now I am drooling

                1. Roast chicken at James.
                  Scallops at Little Fish.

                  1. Spring ginger salad at Rangoon.
                    Salt baked seafood combo at Shiao Lan Kung
                    All of the ceviches at Distrito
                    Octopus at Amada
                    Lombarda pizza at Osteria

                    1. Great topic

                      Banana nut pancakes at Figs

                      Sauteed plantains with cheese at Sazon

                      TROFIE CON FUNGHI E PATATE at L'Oca (OMG)
                      Artisenal Trofie pasta with braised potatoes, arugula, exotic mushrooms and tossed with Asiago cheese at L'oca (OMG)

                      Manchego frito and duck confit salad at Bar Ferdinand

                      Roast chicken and coconut creme pie at Matyson

                      Slider trio at Kite and Key

                      anything at Capagiro