I can't believe that no one has written about this place. Or maybe they have, and I missed it.
But don't miss Vernick!
It's called Vernick Food and Drink and it's at 2031 Walnut Street. It opened in May.
There are two floors; the bar and a small room for dining are on the first floor. If you can't do steps, be sure to ask for the first floor.
The menu is mostly small plates, with just a few larger entrees.
The food was marvelous.
I had two small plates - the squash blossom and white anchovy toast, which was incredible, and the grilled romaine with figs and cheese, which I also loved. I had help from reading the reviews on Open Table and Yelp. We were a group of four, and every appetizer was a hit.
The group of appetizers that are called "toasts" are much better than your average bruschetta. The chef evidently changes the bread he uses - ours was sourdough bread - and it is grilled and perhaps buttered. Every topping sounded amazing.
Our friend who has been here a few times before said that the Dorade was fabulous, and that four people had shared it - kind of like another small plate. My husband had the Amish chicken, which he proclaimed among the best chicken dishes he has had at a restaurant.
We also got the beet appetizer for the table.
Dessert was a difficult choice, because our friend raved about the olive oil cake. My husband and I shared the blueberry pie - oooh la la! I need to have it again.
We need to go back and go down through the menu.
Service was not great. Our beautiful waitress was fine, but dishes were cleared away while some people were still eating and there were waits. Of course, this was a Saturday night.
But that's okay. Highly recommended!
Well, I said I'd go back to Vernick after a few months, and I did, and it was pretty great! My first visit there had a couple dud dishes and some over-thick, over-toasted toast, this time we tried about 10 things and they were all very good. We especially liked the eggplant-chanterelle toast (the bread seemed a bit thinner this time, and toasted dark brown, not black), a small whitefish salad, and the raw arctic char dish. Really though, everything was very good.
We had dinner last Saturday night and we both thought it was pretty terrific. Service and food were superb. Easily one of the best dinning experiences we have had in Philly and we have been to most of the higher end restaurants. I say go soon or else you'll have to wait for a reservation. Good luck to Mr Vernick, he is doing a great job.
Had dinner there last week and LOVED it. We walked in without a reservation and ate at the bar. Vincent is the senior bartender, and service was great. Impressive craft cocktails. I really enjoyed the Green Goddess. Food was fantastic -- beef cheek (one of the large plates) was the standout. Bar area is a little crowded and serves as the entrance to the restaurant, but it's not a deal breaker. I'd go back for the beef cheek and eat it while standing in a corner if necessary!
I tried it a few weeks ago, I liked it but not as much as you did. We tried a few of the toasts, I thought the bread was way too dominant, when I had them the bread was like an inch thick and overly toasted, the main thing I tasted was burned bread. I did really like the peas & bacon one though. The best thing we had was the oysters, they were perfectly shucked, full of liquor and the dressing was great. I also really liked the shrimp and avocado salad. It's a place I'd probably return to if it was in my neighborhood, or maybe after a few months and they've gotten into a groove and/or maybe changed the menu a bit.