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Apr 4, 2014 04:08 PM

End of an era at The Farm & Fisherman

When Judy Ni Tessier (one of the most engaging front of the housers in Philly) & Andy Tessier (Sous Chef) recently announced that they were leaving The Farm and Fisherman, which they have helped Josh & Colleen Lawler turn into one of Philly's finest restaurants, we knew we had to share some Champagne with them, and remember all the great meals we've had at F&F over the past several years.

Although F&F doesn't usually offer a tasting menu, they will do one if you ask, and Chef Andy really stepped up to the plate with one of the most memorable meals we've ever had at this wonderful restaurant.

9 courses (several of them off-menu), 8 bottles of wine, and 5 hours later, all I can say is that I can't wait to see what this charming and talented couple will do next...

Their last day is April 17th, so you still have time to visit before they leave. Since Josh has been spending a lot of time at the new Cherry Hill restaurant, we'll have to see who he chooses to fill Andy's shoes. Judy and Andy have been with the Lawlers since the beginning, so they will be tough to replace...

I've posted some photos on Facebook:

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  1. BTW, while knowing the two forever from Blue Hill at Stone Barn, Andy and Judy did were not on board with Josh for the first 12-18 months of F&F, then they came and in my opinion helped the restaurant dramatically.
    We are fortunate in Philadelphia to have in Charlotte Calmels from Bibou and Le Cherie and Judy Ni at Farm & Fisherman the two best front of the house l have encountered in a long, long time.

    3 Replies
        1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

          When there last had only 4 courses,
          Bloody Beet
          Long cooked Rutabaga
          Long cooked black carrots
          Wild boar rack

          Large portions of each which worked perfectly for me and my guest.
          As you know l do not do desserts so gladly avoided them.

          A neat thing Judy did, they brought an entire gigantic beet out on a tray before slicing it into portions as one would bring a cotes de boeuf before carving.
          This thing was the size of a cantalope.

    1. Went yet again to F&F last night with a friend from Southern France. Josh yet again did his wonders with vegetables. We had 6 vegetable courses, mostly one plate each and then we traded with each other. Yes the beet is still amazing, but a local white tomato course was also stunning, both visually and tastewise. Finished with the Ossibau pork chop, split and huge. This time served with a tomato enriched mound of farro, or as they call it emmer wheat. Can never finish it.
      My friend thought M Bras in Laguiole, France has nothing on this place.

      As stated before, l feel this is one of the best restaurants in the world. There is virtually nowhere l would rather eat. A bold statement but l just looked at my fave restos on my info page and that was my thought. We are very lucky to have this spot in Philadelphia.

      1. OK, here l go again and thought l would pop this thread.
        After 2 months in Europe came back to Philadelphia earlier this week. Went to my fave places, Tacconellis, Cafe Soho, Fuji, and here at Farm & Fisherman.
        Still rocks my world. Ate less than usual went with two friends and had the beet appetizer, another beet, Chioggia, appetizer as well and mine was the lamb ribs. Cooked to fall off the bone perfection.
        Next was an unordered Lawler version of Michel Bras gargouillou.Picked by Josh and his five year old, there were vegetables not often seen this small. Yellow squash under an inch long, haricot vert even smaller, and wonderful greens as well.
        Finally for me was the pork rib chop, huge medium rare and luscious served with a plate of my beloved root vegetables including three types of carrots, baby turnips, and potatoes the size of a child's fingertip, yum.
        My friends got the two fish options and were very pleased.
        Had to skip the beets for my dessert, too full but one chocolate dessert on millefeuille was shared. The chocolate reminded me of the Horn & Hardart upside down chocolate pudding of my youth.
        Check before tip for we three was $ 144, come on, almost free.

        While the front of the house is not at the level as when Judy Ni was there, understandable as she is unique, everything flowed with no flaws. One of the other longtime servers is leaving at the end of the month. Hopefully they can keep their game continuing for a long time.