Mon Ami Gabi: A bit of France in Maryland

I love all types of cuisines, but I have a special place in my heart for French food. There is a wonderful French restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland, Mon Ami Gabi. We were here previously for happy hour with Eric’s cousins, Tommy and Francine. The food then was fantastic, and I wanted to come back and see how they would do with brunch. Well, we finally got to go back to Bethesda and give them a try. It was awesome!

We started off with a couple of appetizers. Eric ordered an arugula salad, and I got their gazpacho. We also got an order of the chicken liver mousse pate. The salad was light, flavorful, but not overdressed. The gazpacho was perfect. It had a wonderful balance of spices and flavor. The chicken liver was very good. Everything was delicious. The cocktail menu looked amazing as well, so we ordered the French martini and French 77. Both tasted great. Vive la France!

For our entrees, I got the Eggs Benedict, and Eric got the chicken and mushroom crepe. Both dishes were fantastic and quite filling. My eggs were poached perfectly, and the Canadian bacon was cooked to perfection. The crepe was stunning. The chicken and mushroom filling was delicious.

We had been looking forward to having brunch here for quite a while, and we were not disappointed this visit. The food was amazing. The restaurant is beautiful inside and out. The staff were incredibly friendly, and the service was top notch. It was like eating at a French bistro in Paris. Make sure you stop by Mon Ami Gabi and give them a try. Bon appetit!

PassionFish: Seafood Galore!

We took a trip to Bethesda, Maryland, at the end of July for a baby shower. We had been here briefly before and really enjoyed it. So, we were really happy to come back and spend a long weekend. There are so many shops, bars, and restaurants to explore. The difficult choice was deciding on which one’s to visit.

On our good friend’s recommendation, we had dinner at PassionFish on our first night. as the name implies, the cuisine is filled with seafood, sushi, a raw bar, surf and turf, you name it, they got it. It was a warm night out, so Eric decided to start with the Maine lobster gazpacho, made with pico de gallo, crisp corn tortilla, cilantro, and of course, lobster. It was delicious. It had a wonderful balance of flavors. I ordered the lobster and carrot ginger bisque. This was so good. It was made with fresh lobster, carrots, and spring peas.

We then split an order of the char-grilled Spanish octopus. It was made with tomato sugar, garden vegetables, and chick pea croutons. It was delicious. The octopus was char-grilled perfectly, and had that wonderful grilled taste. The tomato sugar counterbalanced it just right. It was a wonderful dish.

We then ordered two of their sushi rolls. I got the wicked tuna roll, which consisted of ahi tuna, seared tuna tataki, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. Eric ordered “The Rock”, which was made with spicy tuna, mango, avocado, and dynamite tempura rock shrimp. Both rolls were outstanding. They both had a nice balance of heat, spice, and flavor.

We couldn’t enjoy all this food without a couple of cocktails! I ordered a glass of the PassionFish red sangria, and Eric ordered a My Tai. Both were made very well, and were very refreshing. Just what we needed to enjoy this wonderful meal with.

If you happen to be in Bethesda, check out PassionFish. It will be the best sushi of your life!

Inchin’s Bamboo Garden: The New Kid on the Asian Block

It seems like there are always new restaurants opening in Philadelphia. It’s hard to keep track of all of them. Luckily, we’ve become friends with many in the industry, and we knew about one in particular opening in center city. Inchin Bamboo Garden is a chain,  with locations throughout the United States. This is there first foray in Pennsylvania.

Inchin just opened up in Philadelphia a week before we ate there. When you first walk in, the decor is wonderful. There is exposed brick, sleek lightning, and a warm feeling throughout. The menu design is unique and very creative.

We sat at their beautiful bar and started out with a couple of cocktails. Eric ordered the Bombay Misbehavior, which is made ginger liqueur, dark rum, apple, cardamom, prohibition aromatic bitters, and lemon. It was fantastic. The spices, fruit, and flavor had a wonderful balance. I ordered the Tokyo Twist, which was made with soda water, cucumber vodka, spicy ginger beer, cilantro, lime, jalapeño, and Baltimore bitters. It was light and refreshing, with a wonderful spicy kick. Which, thank you so much to Sherwin for the fantastic drinks! I will never have any critiques for you.

We couldn’t wait to start tasting the food, so we started with the vegetable Tom Yum soup. It was flavorful, hot and spicy. It tasted great and had a wonderful balance of flavors with every bite. Eric thought it was a bit salty, but I was happy with this dish.

We next ordered their lamb potstickers. If you aren’t aware, potstickers are homemade pan fried dumplings. The presentation was good, but the taste was flat. Lamb should always have some flavor or gamey taste to it. We didn’t taste any flavor to this. It actually had no taste to it.

We next ordered the lo mein with chicken. It tasted okay, but just okay. There was no “wow” factor. We could have ordered this at any Asian restaurant. There was nothing here to make it stand out. It tasted good, but we expected a bit more.

We next tried their Mongolian beef, which was beef with caramelized red onion, and crispy rice. The presentation was nice, but the cook on the beef was a bit dry and lacking in flavor. It was also very salty in taste. We were really disappointed because on the menu, it sounded delicious.

The last dish we tried was the chicken Manchurian. It was made with chicken, cilantro, red onion, green chili, and celery. Again, we found it a bit too salty. The chicken was a bit overcooked, and there was too much sauce in the dish.

Overall, it was a bit disappointing that most or all the dishes needed work. But, the bartender told us that since the restaurant opened only a week prior, they wanted a lot of feedback. Unfortunately, we had a lot of feedback to give.

We really want Inchin to succeed. The staff and service were top notch. The decor of the restaurant was very well done. I hope Inchin takes off and succeeds in Philadelphia. It’s been about a month or so since we’ve been there. We will be back and se how they did, and I’ll be sure to let you all know. I have a good feeling that they will do much better!

Bistro Romano: New Happy Hour Launch Menu

I’ve written about Bistro Romano several times with great pleasure. It is one of the best Italian restaurants in Philadelphia. The decor, service, food, wine list and cocktails are all top notch. Last night, my fiancé and I had the pleasure of being invited to sample their new happy hour menu. We had a feeling that the food and drinks would be delicious, and we were right!

There were about a dozen food bloggers and social media people in attendance. We started out with a glass of either red or white sangria. The red sangria was made with red wine, brandy, pomegrante liqueur, orange, and berries. The white sangria was made with white wine, apricot brandy, orange liqueur, green apple, and orange. We both opted for the red, and it was very good. It wasn’t overly sweet, and had a wonderful, balanced taste.

The restaurant next put out a fantastic salumeria and cheese plate. It consisted of cured meats, cornichons, artisanal cheeses, and seasonal accompaniments. It was delicious. Everything was fresh, and the flavors balanced well together.

The next dish was a pork and pancetta polpette, made with tomato sauce, ricotta, and parmigiana. It was so good. It had a wonderful smokey flavor, and you could just taste the freshness of the ricotta and parmigiana. I wouldn’t have minded if they made it a little more spicy, but it was delicious just the way is was.

Next up was a fantastic truffle mac and cheese, topped with a fried egg, and marinated tomatoes. This was simply outstanding. Everything about this dish was delicious. The egg was perfectly runny. The truffle wasn’t overbearing so that it overtook the dish. It may have been one of the best truffle mac and cheese plates I’ve every tasted.

To cleanse our palates, they served us our next cocktail. It was a wonderful romano spritz. It was made with Tito’s vodka, elderflower liqueur, raspberry, and sparkling wine. It was so refreshing, and later on in the evening, Eric said it was his favorite drink of the night.

The next dish was a delicious crab croquette, made with a horseradish cream sauce, and marinated peppers. Sometimes, horseradish can be very strong in taste, and overtake a dish. This was perfect. It still had the distinct taste of horseradish, but it didn’t overpower the dish at all. It complimented it perfectly. You could actually taste crab without all the filler that you get in some places.

We were then treated to a caprese flatbread, made with marinated tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and basil. It was also drizzled with balsamic vinegar. This was so good. It was perfectly cooked, and all the flavors just complimented each other. It’s a classic combination, but if it’s not properly executed, can fall flat. This was delicious.

Time for another cocktail palate cleanser! We were now served an Italian mule, their version of the classic Moscow mule. It was made with Tito’s vodka, aperol, ginger beer, and lime. This was my favorite drink of the night. Eric commented that the ginger beer was not overly sweet, which can ruin a “mule” cocktail. The ginger beer that Bistro Romano uses is so good. It’s not overly sweet, and blended so well with the vodka, aperol, and lime.

The food kept coming! We were next served their crispy duck wings, served with a calabrian chili sauce, and gorgonzola cheese. The duck was cooked perfectly, and the meat just fell off the bone. The calabrian chili added a nice spicy kick, but not too spicy. It was perfectly balanced, and tasted great.

To wrap up this fantastic tasting, we were served a delicious lavender lemonade. It was so good! It was made with lavender and gin, and was the perfect drink to close this meal out. I think it may have been the favorite cocktail of the group! Chef DeLone came out at the end of the meal to introduce himself and talk about the menu. He got a deserved round of applause for a wonderful meal.

I would like to say thank you to Josh at JoshEatsPhilly for the invitation to sample a delicious meal, Bridget for making sure that the service went well, and Chef DeLone for taking the time to talk with us.

I can honestly say, every dish and cocktail we sampled this evening was fantastic. We’ve never had a bad meal at Bistro Romano, and their new happy hour menu is delicious. I know I’ve told you all this before, but you really need to come here and try their food. The decor is simply wonderful, and makes you feel like you are dining in an old world Italian restaurant in Italy. The staff are super friendly, and will go out of their way to make sure your time here is perfect.

 

 

Special Edition: East Passyunk Avenue!

East Passyunk Avenue. The hidden gem of South Philadelphia, where you can find restaurants, art galleries, clothing stores, and the most women-owned businesses in one area. We tend to visit center city restaurants and bars much more because of the close proximity to us. Lately, we have been visiting the East Passyunk area more and you should too!

One restaurant that is a must visit is Barcelona Wine Bar. If you like good food, good wine and good cocktails, all in a lively, friendly atmosphere, this is one place you definitely don’t want to miss. They have both indoor and outdoor seating, and a beautiful bar area when you first walk in. The menu is very creative, and has a wonderful selection of charcuterie, cheeses, and tapas. And of course, very heavily Spanish influenced.

We each started out with a glass of wine. I ordered a 2016 Gewürztraminer blend, Vinedo de los Vientos Estival, from Atlantida Uruguay. You don’t see many wines from Uruguay! This was wonderful. It was light and had notes of orange and tangerine. Eric ordered a glass of 2016 Tempranillo from La Montesa, Crianza, Rioja Spain. It was a wonderful dark color and tasted great.

For our tapas plates, we split an order of hanger steak with truffle vinaigrette, PEI mussels with chorizo and a smoked tomato broth, and the spicy cucumber giardiniera with fennel, celery and olives. Everything was absolutely delicious. The hanger steak was to die for. It literally melted in your mouth, and the truffle vinaigrette was amazing. We washed all this down with a pitcher of red sangria that was one of the best we’ve every tried. It was made with rioja wine, elderflower, citrus infused dark rum, and guava nectar.

Again, make the trip to East Passyunk Avenue and go to Barcelona. You will feel, taste, and eat like you are in Spain. On top of everything else, the staff are super friendly, and the service is top notch!

We continued our world cuisine tour just a couple of blocks away at a Mexican restaurant, Jose Pistola’s. They too have indoor and outdoor seating. When you first walk in, it’s low lit, but cozy and inviting. The bar area is beautiful. It’s lit up from lights underneath the glass.

We decided to order just a couple of entrees, but started out with a pitcher of their El Diablo margarita’s. It was delicious with a spicy, smoky taste. For food, we ordered a alf dozen oysters, and the spicy tuna guacamole. Everything was delicious. The tuna was made with samba, scallions, and sesame seeds. It was very good.

We went back to Jose Pistola’s a few weeks later from brunch. We ordered a pitcher of the El Diablo margarita’s again. Yes, it is that good. Eric ordered their mushroom omelette, which was made with poblanos, onions, chihuahua cheese, and came with a side salad. It was very good and full of wonderful flavor. He also ordered their fried plantains, but came out more sweet than fried. They were still very good and served with a chipotle honey and creme fresca.

I ordered a sampling of different tacos. I got the spicy pork with grilled pineapple, kimchi, and cilantro. I also tried the shrimp “Al Pastor”, that came with a pineapple salsa, cilantro, pickled red onions, and salsa verde. The fillings were are very good and cooked perfectly. I was a little disappointed that the soft taco shells weren’t made in-house from scratch. I also ordered a side of papas fritas, which were served with garlic and cotija cheese. I had to ask our server for another order because the first batch were cold and they didn’t have a lot of the cheese topping. The second batch was perfect. They were served nice and hot, and covered with cheese.

Overall, the food here is very good. There are many more items we want to try, and will definitely be back. Make sure you also give them a try when your visiting the area.

 

Last, but certainly not least, is a fantastic find! If you love limoncello, you absolutely have to visit Pollyodd. Owner Joan Verratti and her husband make all their limoncello’s by hand, and with only natural ingredients. No sugar is added or needed. They let the ingredients do the talking, and boy, do they talk. We sampled quite a few, and all of them were fantastic. Hands down, the best limoncello’s we’ve ever tasted.

They have customers that drive for hours from other states, just to come here and purchase their products. The hardest choice you will have to make is which one’s you want to take home. We ended up buying the orange, chocolate, banana, and strawberry limoncello’s. A portion of Pollyodd’s proceeds go to fund a scholarship for underprivileged children in memory of her late son, Thomas Joseph. Joanie, is a wonderful, sweet person, that you can spend hours talking with. She loves interacting with her clients, and her passion for limoncello shows with every sip you taste.

Folks, you have to stop in Pollyodd, sample some limoncello’s, and take a few home. Trust me when I say, you will be back for more. Cheers!

Caribou Cafe:A dessert tasting!

Welcome to August everyone! This is one of my favorite times of the year because August is my fiancé’s birthday month! It’s his, his brother’s, my soon to be official nephew’s, and many, many more people in my life. August is also the two month mark before I get to say “I do!”

Now this post about Caribou Cafe is a little late, of which I apologize to Chef Olivier DeSaintMartin and those of you that were expecting this sooner. It was the same evening that we had dinner at Philadelphia Distilling. We thought it would be a good idea to visit Chef Olivier, but he was otherwise occupied. We did get a lovely surprise visit from server Ms. Meredith Magoon. Click here to see her fantastic website!

Since we were pretty full from our earlier dinner, I decided to do a simple nightcap of Kir Royale, traditionally made with Creme de Cassis and sparkling wine. Eric had the cocktail of the day, which I believe was a cucumber martini.

For dessert, I had the chocolate mousse, while Eric had a light and airy sorbet made out of pear, and paired with homemade biscotti. My mousse was also paired with biscotti and freshly made whip cream. Both were simply delicious, and a nice way to end the day. If you still haven’t made it to Caribou Cafe, I recommend that you do so ASAP!

The service, quality of the food, and how at home you will feel are some of the best things here. Take a chance on Caribou. I guarantee it will be great! Vive la France!

Bastille Day: A Parc experience!

Bastille Day is France’s version of America’s Fourth of July celebration. It includes food, wine, and family fun for everyone! For the last three years, I have participated in different Bastille Day celebrations. I have been to barbecues, quiet dinners, and hotel celebrations. In all that time, I never once went to Parc for Bastille Day. This year, however, I made the change!

Sunday, July 14th was the day, Parc was the location, and brunch was the meal! Now, for those of you that follow my blog, Parc is my absolute favorite restaurant. The staff, attention to detail, and how perfectly they take care of you is one of the many reasons I love this place. This is the restaurant that I had my first date with my fiancé Eric. It’s where I have celebrated scholastic accomplishments, birthday’s, and yearly anniversaries. Three and a half years of memories in one restaurant.

For this day, we ordered many of our favorites on the brunch menu. We started with a couple of hazelnut mocha’s and the chicken liver mousse parfait. For cocktails, I ordered a kir royale, and Eric ordered a French 75. For our entrees, I ordered the Norwegian eggs Benedict, and Eric ordered the spinach and goat cheese omelette. And of course, everything was delicious. We had zero complaints with the coffee, cocktails, and food. We’ve never had a bad meal here. Never.

Outside the restaurant, the city closed the block off so Parc, and a couple of other restaurants were able to set tables up right on the street. There were also activities for families and kids. It was just a wonderful day to head outdoors, and celebrate this wonderful French holiday. Parc is near and dear to my heart, but I am very serious when I say this may be the best restaurant in the city. Please make sure you give them a try if you haven’t yet! Vive la France!

 

Philly Magazine and Lexus Wine Festival Winners!

I’ve written about this before, but every May at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, there is a wine event that supersedes all other wine events in the area. The Philly Magazine and Lexus Wine Festival is something all wine lovers need to experience at least once in there lifetime.

It’s held inside the Lincoln Financial Field, and wineries from all over the world attend this event. You also have some of the best restaurants in Philadelphia on hand, tempting you with delicious appetizers. One very important thing to remember. If you go, make sure you eat a hearty meal beforehand. The number of wineries that attend this event run in the hundreds, and they all have several wines to sample. Do the math!

We purchase VIP tickets to the event for a couple of reasons. First, you get in an hour and a half before the general public ticket holders. Second, you have access to the VIP lounge, where you can sample extra food and wines not available to the general public. While we were in the VIP lounge, Philly Magazine was holding a contest. Just fill out a card, drop it in a box, and you may win a fantastic prize. We never win anything, but figured, why not?

Fast forward to three weeks later. Eric is at work checking emails on his phone, and the unthinkable has happened. He won! We both could hardly believe it! The prize was an overnight stay at the wonderful Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, and dinner at Iron Chef Jose Garces’ flagship restaurant, Amada.

We obviously chose to stay at the hotel, and have dinner at Amada the same evening. It was an amazing night. The Loews Hotel is one of the finest hotels we have ever stayed at. The staff were so friendly and accommodating. We originally were given a room with two doubles beds. We asked if they had a king or queen sized room, and that we’d pay the difference. They upgraded us to a king size room, no charge! The views from the room were amazing.

After we settled into our room, we had to time to kill, so we headed downstairs to the hotel’s restaurant, Bank and Bourbon for a quick cocktail and snack before dinner. We’ve always wanted to try this place, and now was the perfect time. It was wonderful. Our bartender was fantastic, and the cocktails were delicious. We put in an order for the chicken liver parfait, which was delicious. It was served with boozy grapes, and a fruit and nut bread.

It was time to head to Amada. We have eaten here many times, but never had dinner basically taken care of for us. It was time to have fun and splurge! And splurge we did.  The service and staff at Amada have always been exceptional, and on this night, they were above and beyond amazing. They were all so friendly, and the general manager and wine sommelier stopped by several times to see how we were doing. The sommelier even joined us for a drink, but more about that later!

They started us out with a complimentary appetizer of tuna, capers, and crispy tortillas. Eric only likes ahi tuna, but really enjoyed this dish. It didn’t have a strong tuna taste that can turn off some people. The saltiness of the capers, and crunchy texture of the tortillas made it a light and flavorful appetizer.

Our next dish was the pulpo a la gallega, which is Spanish octopus. It was grilled, and served with slices of grilled potato. It was outstanding! The octopus was perfectly cooked, and seasoned exceptionally well. It’s one of our favorite tapas. We next ordered the lubina, which is Mediterranean sea bass. This was the first time we tried it, and it was delicious. It was also cooked perfectly, and the skin had a nice crispiness to it.

Our third tapas dish is one of our absolute favorites, the albondigas, which is lamb meatballs with shaved manchego cheese,  black truffle, served in a sherry sauce. This is so good that it actually brings tears to my eyes. These may be the best lamb meatballs we’ve ever eaten. Everything about this dish is amazing. The sherry sauce, manchego and truffles all pair so well with the lamb. It’s perfect.

With all of our tapas, we had a bottle of 1995 Caves Sao Joao Quinta do Poco do Lobo Arinto white wine from Beiras, Portugal. It was fantastic! It had a hint of sweetness, and paired perfectly with all of our tapas. It went really well with the lamb meatballs. The wine just elevated the flavors of the food. But the best was yet to come.

For our main course, we ordered the lobster paella. It takes 45 minutes to prepare their paella’s, so if you want this, order it right away to give them time to cook it. The lobster paella came with a cilantro, and an heirloom tomato salad, smoked paprika aioli, squid ink rice, head on shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, split lobster tail, calamari and prawns. Let me tell you, this was Iron Chef Jose Garces’ finest dish. It was the first time we tried it, and it was beyond words. The ingredients speak for itself. It was just delicious! Everything was cooked perfectly. We paired this with a bottle of 2007 Tempranillo, Rioja Reserva, López de Heredia, Viña Bosconia. The wine went perfectly with the paella. This dish serves four, so we were more than happy to take home leftovers!

We were just going to have a glass of sherry for dessert, and we asked the sommelier for a recommendation. He selected, and joined us, for a glass of Lustau East India Solera sherry. It was fantastic! It had a beautiful color, great aroma, and the taste wasn’t too sweet. It was exactly what we were looking for. The restaurant also served us their Pintoxs, which is a selection of bite sized desserts. They consisted of a Spanish cheesecake, almond polvorone, and a chocolate cream puff. The sherry paired very well with these tasty bite sized desserts. 

It was just a wonderful evening at Amada. The staff were so friendly and kind. The wines were amazing, and the food was out of this world. It was the perfect meal. I can’t thank everyone at Amada enough for taking such good care of us, and being so attentive. It’s no wonder why this is one of our favorite restaurants in Philadelphia.

The next morning, we ordered breakfast in our hotel room. We each got an egg white omelet, which you could customize, and it was served with a side of potatoes. The breakfast was very good. It came hot, and was cooked to our exact specifications. We added a bottle of cava to wrap up our amazing staycation.

I have to thank the staff at the Loews Hotel for their exceptional service. This is a hotel I would highly recommend to anyone. I also want to thank the staff at Philly Magazine for making the reservations, and keeping in constant communication with us to make sure everything was going smoothly. We can’t wait for next year’s wine festival. You know who will be entering their contest again!

 

Drink Philly: Red, White & Blue boat party!!!

For those of you that enjoy boat parties, good food, awesome cocktails, and the picturesque Delaware River, Drink Philly’s boat parties are for you. Back on June 29th, they hosted a pre-Fourth of July event aboard the Spirit of Philadelphia. It was our first time on the boat, and we had a great time. It was three hours of food, wine, beer, cocktails, a live DJ, dancing and games. What more could you ask for?

The cruise started by heading south on the Delaware at a nice slow pace. The weather was perfect this evening, so many of the guests were outside taking in the wonderful views. We passed under the Walt Whitman Bridge, and could see the stadiums from afar. We got to pass the ship, MSC, that made local and national headlines. It was the ship that authorities seized over one billion dollars worth of cocaine last month. After a couple of hours, we turned around, and headed back north, going under the Ben Franklin Bridge, before turning once more to head back to dock.

 

During this time, we drank, ate, and drank some more! There was a wonderful signature cocktail provided by Skyy Vodka. It was a watermelon flavored vodka that wasn’t overly sweet, but tasted great on this warm summer evening. The food was served buffet style. You options included, a salad, pasta, chicken, mac and cheese, fish, broccoli, cookies and brownies. We made sure to eat something first because we knew we would be drinking our fair share.

Being out on the Delaware River, when the sun is setting, is one of the most picturesque places to be. Seeing our beautiful city bathed in the setting sun from that perspective is something I wish everyone could experience. All of this would not be possible if it wasn’t for the tireless efforts of Adam Schmidt, who runs Drink Philly. He, along with his second in command, Nina Starner, go above and beyond when it comes to cocktail events in Philadelphia. They, along with their amazing staff, and the staff of the Spirit of Philadelphia, made this one of the most enjoyable nights we have ever had.

Please, make sure you go to DrinkPhilly.com and check out their amazing website, and the wonderful cocktail events they have coming up. I do believe there is another boat party this month! Cheers!!!

 

 

Philadelphia Distilling: Summer Cocktails!!!

If you like really good gin cocktails, there is only one place to go, Philadelphia Distilling. They distill one of our favorite gins, Bluecoat. If you have never tried it before, I highly suggest you do. It is smooth, and has a wonderful taste. Philadelphia Distilling has always had a great cocktail menu, and a very good food menu. We noticed that they expanded their food menu, so naturally, we had to go and check it out for ourselves.

We started out with, of course, cocktails. I ordered the Virtue, Liberty, Independence. It is made with Bluecoat gin, blackberry, peach, lemon, Fever Tree tonic, and mint. Eric ordered the Treaty of Shackamaxon. That was made with Bluecoat gin, herbal liquor, maraschino liquor, cucumber and lime. We’ve had these before, and they are excellent. The drinks have such a wonderful layer of flavor, and no one flavor overpowers the other. I’m telling you. This place has the best gin cocktails in the city!

Time for some food. We started with the crispy duck wings, which were delicious! They were cooked perfectly, and when you bit into them, the meat just fell off the bone. We next ordered the salt and vinegar sunchokes. They were served with a wonderful charred jalepeno buttermilk sauce. The balance of flavors was spot on. The spiciness of the sauce paired very well with the salt and vinegar of the sunchokes.

We ordered another round of cocktails. I asked for a dirty martini, with gin of course, and Eric ordered the Mountain Laurel. That was made with Bluecoat elderflower gin, raspberry, calamansi orange, grapefruit, and sparkling wine. Once again, both tasted fantastic.

We tried a few more items off their food menu. We ordered the mushroom toast, which was out of this world! It was made with maitake and oyster mushrooms, rustic Italian bread, and truffle labneh. The bread was toasted perfectly, and the oysters and truffle paired beautifully together. We also tried their Manilla clams. This was made with house smoked jowl bacon, Calabrian chili, ginger, garlic, and served with charred bread. Once again, they knocked it out of the park. Philadelphia Distilling have really upped their food menu! All the dishes we tried so far were absolutely wonderful.

Believe it or not, we had room for two more food orders. Eric ordered their mussels, and I ordered the Smash Burger. And yet again, both were outstanding. The burger came with caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, there own sauce, and fingerling chips. The mussels were served in a beautiful curry sauce, and came with charred bread. Everything was so good, if I could only order one thing next time, I’d be hard pressed to choose. Yes, the food was that good. Pair their food with fantastic cocktails, and you have all the makings for a wonderful experience.

We did order a few more cocktail, because they are so good here. In addition, the bartenders at Philadelphia Distilling are so friendly and engaging. Don’t be shy if you want to know more about a drink, or what the ingredients are that they are using. They will be more than happy to talk with you, and answer any questions you may have. Be sure to check out Philadelphia Distilling. They have a lot of fun events during the summer, and they also have tours of the distillery. Go to their website for more information. Cheers!