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Very nice early dinner at bar Ferdinand

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myra Jul 1, 2012 06:41 PM

We like Bar Ferdinand and this evening(late afternoon), we were there for drinks and food. David Ansill has started adding specials of his design, so there was a great shrimp, artichoke, onion salad with very thin slices of dried tuna, salad. I've forgotten the sauce, sorry, but it was imaginative and delicious. And some good bacalao croquetas. We had a very good time, nice service, great sherry, wine and beer. The other Tapas we ordered from the menu: pan tomate; duck hearts; chicken livers with bacon and caramlized onions; assorted vegetables with romescu sauce(really yummy, veg perfectly cooked, but if you order, the sauce is at the bottom of the generous pile of veg, so be sure to unearth it when you start to eat). We ate every scrap, and then Ansill sent out a couple of comps, a great squid with chorizo and bits of red pepper, and finally a blood orange and rosemary sorbet, the sort of mouth experience where you taste a sequence of flavors rather than an amalgam. My husband thought it was too sweet, but I think he couldn't rise to the challenge--we were too full. But still lovely to try it.

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    Bigley9 Sep 19, 2012 08:54 AM

    I was there on sept 6 for the Egg dinner which was good they said then that there was a vegetable dinner and a fish dinner in the next two weeks, sorry I don't remember the order (as one has already passed)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bigley9
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      cwdonald Sep 19, 2012 08:53 AM

      Thanks for the information. Really wish they would put it on their website rather than puting it out on food media like grubhub.

      1. re: cwdonald
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        Bigley9 Sep 19, 2012 08:57 AM

        I agree - we couldn't find out what our ingredient was going to be until we got there!

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      Buckethead Sep 18, 2012 10:39 AM

      Grub Street has another few weeks worth of Thursday night tasting menus, it looks like they're changing the concept a bit from tasting menus focusing on one ingredient to a nose-to-tail menu from one animal: http://philadelphia.grubstreet.com/20...

      I like the looks of these:

      Sample: Chef's Tasting Menu for Thursday, October 4
      Nose to Tail: The Pig
      Offered Thursdays from 4:30 - 11pm; $40 per person (plus tax and gratuity
      )1st Course
      Warm Pig Head

      2nd Course
      Pig Ear salad w/ almonds & green beans

      3rd Course
      Crispy Pigs Feet w/ purple mustard

      4th Course
      Frisee Salad w/ house smoked bacon & quail egg

      5th Course
      Pork Belly w/ apples & roasted onion puree

      6th Course
      Confit Pork Cheek w/ white beans

      7th Course
      Pork Shank
      8th Course
      ~ Dessert ~

      Subject to change, based on available ingredients.

      __________________________________________________________

      Sample: Chef's Tasting Menu for Thursday, October 11
      Nose to Tail: The Lamb
      Offered Thursdays from 5 - 11pm; $40 per person (plus tax and gratuity)

      1st Course
      Crispy Lamb Tongue w/ chick peas & mint

      2nd Course
      Lamb Sweet Bread w/mushrooms

      3rd Course
      Lamb Heart w/ bacon pincho & lentos

      4th Course
      Lamb Belly w/ Lambs Lettuce

      5th Course
      Merguez sausage salsa verde

      6th Course
      Scallop and clams, chorizo and squid ink

      7th Course
      Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb w/ red wine & lamb jus

      8th Course
      ~ Dessert ~

      Subject to change, based on available ingredients.

      __________________________________________________________

      Sample: Chef's Tasting Menu for Thursday, October 18
      Nose To Tail: The Cow
      Offered Thursdays from 5 - 11pm; $40 per person (plus tax and gratuity)

      1st Course
      Bone Marrow Tosta (beef crispy parsley)

      2nd Course
      Beef Carpaccio baby arugula

      3rd Course
      Chilled Beef Tongue w/ apples & mustard oil

      4th Course
      Beef Tender Salad paprika & spiced almonds

      5th Course
      Beef Heart & Chorizo in Red wine

      6th Course
      Confit Beef Cheeks w/ pickled red onions

      7th Course
      Oxtail Conserve w/ sherry braised raisins

      8th Course
      ~ Dessert ~

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        Buckethead Aug 17, 2012 11:26 AM

        I was back here again for the Thursday night tasting menu (shellfish), unfortunately it wasn't nearly as good as the first one (tomatoes). I think it was due to the ingredients and their cost: an 8-course shellfish dinner (actually 7 courses, 1 is dessert) for $5/course has to make some sacrifices and in this case it was a scallop dish that I'm pretty sure was actually a "scallop" dish and a clam dish with the meat of one clam in it. The dishes with cheaper ingredients were much better, I loved the roasted mussel dish, the poached shrimp one was pretty good, and while the clam dish I mentioned did just have one clam in it, it was topped with Ansill's semi-famous pig trotter croquette/fritter. The wine pairings were as good as the first time, there were two very good pairings (the muscatel with dessert, especially) and some Spanish wines I've never had before. I'll definitely return for more of these dinners in the future but I'll probably skip ones that rely on expensive ingredients.

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          Bob Loblaw Aug 12, 2012 06:59 AM

          We also had a nice and fairly early (6:30) dinner at BF on Friday.
          Food was very good, though I wouldn't put it up with Amada.
          Service was attentive, polite and all that - the one qualm was that we ordered 5 items (1 cold 4 hot). The cold one came out very quickly, on its own; then w/in 10 minutes (probably less) all of the dishes were on the table at once. It hadn't occurred to me to ask them to pace things *slower* but I would have appreciated the dinner more, I think, if we'd had more time w/each dish separately.
          It's a place I'd go back to if someone else proposed it, and I'd look forward to it, but since we get to eat out rarely enough as it is, a 2nd visit it pretty low on our list now. Other things to discover.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bob Loblaw
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            cwdonald Aug 12, 2012 07:00 AM

            What particular dishes did you have? Anything stand out?

            1. re: cwdonald
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              Bob Loblaw Aug 13, 2012 05:44 AM

              we had both shrimp dishes we saw - cold one was excellent. hot one was weaker, and - uhm, 'oily'? I mean, it's kind of beyond that, and intentionally so - it's like hot olive oil as soup broth. Didn't like it as much. I imagine that if we'd had a larger party and more bread for dipping, it woudl have been a bigger hit.
              there was a special chorizo flatbread that, along w/ the cold shrimp, was probably my favorite. also liked the duck sliders a lot.
              we also got the rabbit leg, which i liked less but my wife liked a lot.

          2. k
            kasiav Aug 10, 2012 09:55 AM

            Ate here last night and really appreciated that not everyone at the table was obligated to order the tasting menu (jamon). My partner and I were able to order 1 tasting menu as well as a few other classics. Having the side by side, it was very clear that Ansill's tasting dishes were more elevated, thoughtful and light in comparison to the more rustic and a little clunky menu options. We really enjoyed the jamon menu - the only miss was the frisee salad which was overwhelmed by the balsamic dressing. The dessert ended up being a bright lemon curd and butter cookie which was a nice finish to the meal. The only other item we truly didn't enjoy was our server's recommendation of the monkfish and pork belly skewer (menu item). The pork belly was not seasoned at all and just tasted like bland fat (I didn't finish mine) and the monkfish seemed undersalted as well, which the roasted lemon couldn't really fix.

            Our service, on the other hand, was pretty bad. The restaurant was populated but wasn't super busy, so I'm not really sure why we were so neglected by our server. As courses were delivered to the table, they were simply dropped off, little to no explanation of the dish or ingredients, unlike the server working the table next to us. We actually were missing one of the tasting courses entirely and had to flag our server down to ask about it. Took forever to have anyone other than a busboy come to check on us so we didn't get to order a drink until 3/4 of the way through the meal. All in all, if one of the Thursday tasting menus grabs your eye, go for it. $40 is a great deal for the quality of the food and a great way to taste some of Ansill's influence but still get some of your old favorites.

            1. b
              Buckethead Aug 9, 2012 01:19 PM

              Grub Street has the next 3 week's worth of Bar Ferdinand Thursday tasting menus, I could see myself eating all of them:

              http://philadelphia.grubstreet.com/20...

              Chef's Tasting Menu for Thursday, August 9
              Featuring the Jamon (ham
              )Offered Thursdays from 5 - 11pm; $40 per person (plus tax and gratuity)
              1st Course
              Trio of jamon…
              Serrano, marcona almonds
              Iberico, pickled vegetables
              Mangalica, stone fruits

              2nd Course
              Jamon croquette

              3rd Course
              Pork terrine, sangria jelly

              4th Course
              Jamon stuffed mussels, sherry vinegar

              5th Course
              Greens, potatoes, jamon, quail egg

              6th Course
              Grilled swordfish olive oil and jamon smashed potatoes

              7th Course
              Albondigas tomato, jamon broth

              8th Course
              ~ Dessert ~

              Subject to change, based on available ingredients.

              __________________________________________________________

              Chef's Tasting Menu for Thursday, August 16
              Featuring the Mariscos (shell fish)
              Offered Thursdays from 5 - 11pm; $40 per person (plus tax and gratuity)

              1st Course
              Crab croquette, lobster roe aioli

              2nd Course
              Salpicon of razor clams

              3rd Course
              Oil poached shrimp, crispy baby artichokes

              4th Course
              Grilled cigales, fennel and saffron

              5th Course
              Roasted mussels, orange and rosemary

              6th Course
              Scallop and clams, chorizo and squid ink

              7th Course
              Zarzuela

              8th Course
              ~ Dessert ~

              Subject to change, based on available ingredients.

              __________________________________________________________

              Chef's Tasting Menu for Thursday, August 23
              Featuring the Asado (roasted)
              Offered Thursdays from 5 - 11pm; $40 per person (plus tax and gratuity)

              1st Course
              Roasted oyster, pineapple

              2nd Course
              Roasted baby vegetables, pimento oil

              3rd Course
              Stuffed roasted piquillo pepper, goat cheese and hazelnuts

              4th Course
              Roasted scallop, "crudo" charred melon

              5th Course
              Roasted cod, heirloom tomatoes, olives

              6th Course
              Chorizo roasted in Rioja

              7th Course
              Slow roasted lamb shoulder

              8th Course
              ~ Dessert ~

              Subject to change, based on available ingredients.

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                808eater Aug 5, 2012 10:27 PM

                OK went on a date there last weekend. It was a Sunday night place wasn't busy around 7 pm. Got seated outside which was a +. Forgot to ask bout new chef . I was too into my date . Order the heirloom tomato special which was tasty . Forgot how it was prepared. Tomatoes tasted so pure . Ordered the veggie special roasted corn over truffle relish . Divine really , always order the manchego fritter 2 of them. Did the skirt steak with egg & truffle always a winner.Shrimp in garlic & olive oil. & pitcher of sangria .

                1. b
                  Buckethead Aug 3, 2012 06:53 AM

                  I was back at Bar Ferdinand last night for the first Thursday night tasting menu (http://philly.eater.com/archives/2012...). Long story short, it was an incredible value at $40 for the 8-course meal and $20 extra for 4 very good wine pairings to go with it. The 8 courses were all small but frankly for $5 per course they were bigger than I would have expected and the quality was ridiculously good. Ditto the wines at $5/glass, generous pours for the price and a couple really great pairings (Manzanilla La Cigarrera sherry with the gazpacho was my favorite). A few dishes stood out: a fried green tomato on top of a chorizo vinaigrette, a sliced tomato with fried parsley and mint, and grilled rouget with tomato broth, but all the courses were very good.

                  Like the tasting menus Ansill used to do at Ladder 15, which IIRC were also $5/course, it was a fantastic bargain and I'm hoping to go back soon. Our server said that next week's menu will be based on olives.

                  I did take a look at the regular menu also and some of the dishes I had as specials on my earlier visit have made their way onto the regular menu.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Buckethead
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                    cwdonald Aug 3, 2012 07:20 AM

                    Do you know if you are required for the whole table to do the tasting menu? Could a person who does not eat pork do this menu? I assume the regular menu is available on Thursdays? Sounds like Bar Ferdinand is really stepping up the quality.

                    1. re: cwdonald
                      b
                      Buckethead Aug 3, 2012 08:07 AM

                      The regular menu was available as well as the tasting menu, we were all there for the tasting menu so I don't know whether the whole table has to do it but I don' t think so. This particular one had a few dishes with pork in them (chorizo in one, pork belly in another, jamon serrano in another). The menu was themed around one ingredient (tomatoes), next week it's olives, so the dishes will presumably be totally different week to week.

                      1. re: Buckethead
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                        Bigley9 Aug 3, 2012 10:26 AM

                        do you need reservations for the thursday tastings?

                        1. re: Bigley9
                          b
                          Buckethead Aug 3, 2012 12:38 PM

                          We made a reservation but didn't end up needing one, we were in the back dining room and it was mostly empty.

                          1. re: Buckethead
                            b
                            Bigley9 Aug 3, 2012 12:39 PM

                            thanks

                  2. b
                    Buckethead Jul 23, 2012 08:49 AM

                    I was at Bar Ferdinand over the weekend and also had a very good meal. I asked the server about the menu and when it might change, he said Ansill is working out new dishes as specials and then once they have enough dishes that are good enough, they'll be overhauling the menu. There were 5 specials the night I went, we ordered them all, and they were all very good: bacalao croquettes, cold marinated shrimp, a coco flatbread dish topped with brisket and a few other things (really liked that one, the flatbread was excellent and the brisket was nicely crisped, much better than the huaraches you get at Garces' places), fried sardines, and a roasted rabbit dish with great crispy skin. I hadn't been to Bar Ferdinand in years but I will definitely be back sooner rather than later, even though our service was not that great.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Buckethead
                      c
                      cwdonald Jul 23, 2012 09:03 AM

                      Thanks for the great report. How were the croquette? That sounds like a very classic dish, similar to dishes I have had in Lisbon.

                      1. re: cwdonald
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                        Buckethead Jul 23, 2012 09:37 AM

                        It wasn't my favorite dish of the night, but it was done well: not greasy, lots of cod inside with a nice dressing holding it together. The brisket coco flatbread and the rabbit were both really excellent though.

                        1. re: Buckethead
                          caganer Jul 23, 2012 09:55 AM

                          FYI: the flatbread in question is called a coca not a coco. Not that it really matters.

                          1. re: caganer
                            c
                            cwdonald Jul 31, 2012 10:09 AM

                            Good foobooz story about how Ansil is helping freshen up the menu...

                            http://philadelphia.foobooz.com/2012/...

                    2. b
                      Buckethead Jul 16, 2012 12:20 PM

                      Has anyone else been to Bar Ferdinand since David Ansill took over? I was thinking of checking it out in the near future, just wondering if he's gotten around to putting his stamp on the regular menu. Their website makes no mention of his presence, they still list James Howard as the chef.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Buckethead
                        c
                        cwdonald Jul 16, 2012 02:54 PM

                        Knowing David he may consult and be in and out of there before it even makes sense to change the website........

                        1. re: cwdonald
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                          808eater Jul 16, 2012 05:18 PM

                          Have to agree David will just touch a few things on the menu, going this Saturday, I'll see if there are any different items on the menu

                          1. re: cwdonald
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                            Buckethead Jul 16, 2012 07:28 PM

                            Why? He was at Ladder 15 for years.

                            1. re: Buckethead
                              c
                              cwdonald Jul 19, 2012 09:24 AM

                              Its a fair point, though you will have to admit there are many other well known chef's who consult with restaurants on menus, or are named executive chefs at a place as an interlude between one finished project and the beginning of another.

                              So, I hope I am right, not because I think David is fleeting, but rather because he will have the opportunity to run his own restaurant again, in Philadelphia. And if I were to wish there were one place he would go in Philadelphia it would be Fork.. he would be a worthy person to follow Terence Feury.

                              1. re: cwdonald
                                JanR Jul 19, 2012 12:09 PM

                                That's an interesting thought. Also, he would be right across the street from Lucy's Hat Shop, where he cooked years ago.

                                1. re: JanR
                                  gina Jul 21, 2012 12:17 PM

                                  Well, I think that would be terrific, because I live near Fork. I'd always wished we had been able to dine at Ansill more often, but it was a little too 'far' away to be a regular place for us.

                                  It's so bizarre to imagine that Lucy's Hat Shop used to serve actual food, cooked by David Ansill, no less.

                                  1. re: gina
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                                    barryg Jul 21, 2012 12:36 PM

                                    This is what I always said about that 3rd & Bainbridge location... it just feels far "far" from anywhere else in Center City. And most people who would eat at Ansill (or Ela for that matter) are not the type to want to cross South St on a weekend night.

                            2. re: cwdonald
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                              Boognish Jul 17, 2012 08:03 AM

                              They've clearly stated that he won't touch the menu at all for a while, then bring his own thing in gradually.

                              Not sure what warrants the snarkiness considering that he's really only been in 3 restaurants in the last 10 years, his Jamaica excursion excluded.

                              1. re: Boognish
                                JanR Jul 17, 2012 08:25 AM

                                Yes, and two of the three were his. I hated to see Pif go but it is common for a chef to move on from a BYOB to a place with a liquor license. Wish David could have kept both and that both remained successful.

                                1. re: JanR
                                  b
                                  Boognish Jul 18, 2012 07:09 AM

                                  Absolutely. I took my now-wife to our first date at Pif (and later our wedding dinner was at Bibou). We love David's cooking, but coming from West Philly, it was just a little too far to frequent regularly. It's a real shame that it didn't work out.

                                  That said, fingers crossed that he can put his own imprimatur on their menu.

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