When executive chef David Katz decided he wanted to open a restaurant he wanted it to be the type of place where he would like to eat in - a casual spot where the food speaks for itself. David Katz uses locally sourced produce to create rustic, yet contemporary food. The menu is small and is dictated by what is available in the market that day.
Mussels arrive at the table singing and dancing with joy; sizzling in a cast iron skillet the aroma is redolent. These plump beauties are devoid of their shell and suprisingly crispy. The flavors are strong and come from lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs. Can I get some more?
Sizzling Mussels with Lemon, Olive Oil, Herbs
Agnolotti were expertly crafted into little pillows. Instead of being stuffed with feathers these pilows were stuffed with a farce made of pig's face. I don't know if I would want to sleep with these, but I definately loved eating them. If I had a small complaint it would be that the dish was slightly underseasoned.
Pig's Head Agnolotti
Roasted Bone Marrow was stunning. The fatty goodness of the marrow played of well with the sweet onions. Scooped on a toasted baguette this was a morsel of food that will be remembered.
Roasted Bone Marrow with Toasted Baguette and Caramelized Onions
The only dish that failed to wow my palate was the garganelli. The dish was crying for acid and just didn't leave me craving for more.
Garganelli with Broccolini, Chilies, Parmesan
The safe dish on the menu of "meat and potatoes" was shockingly exciting. The strip was cooked perfectly and seasoned well. Every garnish on the plate was so flavorful and complemented the beef.
Roasted Strip Steak with Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Potatoes, and Chantrelle Mushrooms
A massive Pork T-Bone was well marbled and opulent. The meat near the bone was divine and the fat was super crispy, almost like a "pork foie gras". The sweet potato puree was comforting and incredibly smooth. This dish was a perfect example of how cooking on the bone greatly enhances the final product.
Pork T-Bone with Sweet Potato Puree and Caramelized Onions
A moist chocolate cake was gooey and warm, served with an intense vanilla gelato it was sublime. How can that not make your mouth water?
Chocolate Ganache Cake with Vanilla Gelato
Pound cake, studded with lemon zest, was refreshing and rich at the same time. The kumquats had a nice acidity and an interesting chew. Fresh whipped cream brought the whole dish together.
Toasted Pound Cake with Candied Kumquats and Whipped Cream
Service was amiable and very down to earth. Our server was joking around a lot and having tons of fun with us. The only mistake was a forgotten dessert, but that was fixed upon notice.
Meme is a restaurant where there is no pretense in sight. You can go and eat great food while feeling welcomed. If you are in Philadelphia and are craving exciting food in a cosy atmosphere this is the place.
Great review, and I totally agree. The first time we went to Meme, I ordered a whole branzino. I still remember how good it was and I have yet to eat a branzino so delicious. Love Meme. I wonder if they still have their byob Wednesdays.
Meme is a restaurant I want to like, as I live in the neighborhood and love the outdoor seating in warm weather. Ive been perhaps 4 or 5 times since they opened. However, on my two visits last year I left disappointed.
On the first, a steak ordered medium-rare came out virtually well. I sent it back, and the second one came out not quite as bad but certainly over-prepared. On the second visit, pan-seared scallops (a dish I order often in many different restaurants) came out with the center COLD. Those went back as well.
Unfortunately it is hard to decide to return and give them another chance when two visits in a row were disappointing.