Saturday, December 29, 2007


Edited to add: Closed

232 Woodbine Ave. Narberth, 610.660.0160

It was a Friday. I called three hours ahead to reserve a table and found our prime times to eat (between 8 and 8:30) were open. As a side note: although we've been in the "suburbs" seven months, we're still dining on city time. We were easily the last people to be seated. Out here, the restaurants clear out by 9:15. In the city: restaurants are just getting character.

I had heard from acquaintances that Margot was THE place to go for good food, intimate dining, and, bonus, it's a byob. I looked up the reviews and most were positive so it was clearly worth a visit. Much of what I read was true: the parking wasn't great with only on-street available, the dishes are basic but have a surprise ingredient. Narberth is a movie-cute town, but this restaurant isn't even close to the main drag. Aside from that, the food and service was good. Our server was friendly and honest about dishes.

Margot is a small room with unfittingly bright turquoise-greenish walls, some exposed brick, open kitchen. Votives on the white-clothed table, but lighting was still a tab brighter than I care for. Noise level wasn't horrible, but we sat next to a spirited group, if you know what I mean.

Husband had Margot's Bolognese with Rigatoni. I don't eat red meat, but it smelled really great and apparently didn't disappoint. I started with the Sweet Potato Pancakes with carmelized apples, chipotle and chive sour cream. There was a nice balance of sweetness and spice that worked well. I nearly ordered the Sea Bass special as my entree until I overheard the person at the next table complaining about it. He took one bite of his and never touched it again. I decided to try the Jumbo Lump Crabcake with Lemon Tarragon Nage, parsnip puree and baby bok choy. Definitely a winner.

Overall, it was good, but we wouldn't go running back.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

261 South 21st Street, Philadelphia, 215.546.4232

You know you can't go wrong in a good restaurant when they know you by name. Friday, Saturday, Sunday is easily the restaurant we've dined at the most. The food is very good, but we go for the people who work there. Namely, Dan the host and Bill the server. Love them! In fact, we won't eat there if we aren't in Bill's section.

My husband decided he wanted to celebrate his birthday there. Didn't have to twist my arm. We were seated at one of the better tables on the first floor (the second floor has the Tank Bar and additional seating). We squeezed in and got cozy.

The specials were enticing but not enough to steer me away from my old standbys-Five Leaf Salad with Goat Cheese and Horseradish-Panko Crusted Tilapia with Cilantro-Lime Beurre Blanc and a side of mashed potatoes. Yummy!

The birthday boy had the special appetizer Mexican Tortilla Soup which he declared excellent, and his usual Herb Grilled Double Thick Pork Chop with Roasted Garlic-Roquefort Sauce and mashed potatoes. And, it wouldn't be a birthday without a candle-topped Double Layer Chocolate Cake.

As usual, it was good food, great conversation and a fun time all around. Make reservations!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

McGillin's Olde Ale House

McGillin's is a Philadelphia staple - the oldest tavern in the city. It's the warm, cozy place you go to hang out and drink beer (by the pitcher) with good friends, especially when it's cold and wet outside. This is not where you go dressed up to have a frou-frou cocktail or sip good wine. My favorite time to come here is during a mid-afternoon, winter day, preferably while it's snowing outside and the kids are at grandma's for a sleepover. There isn't much better than kicking back in front of that fireplace. There is an upstairs level for crowd spillover, but the atmosphere doesn't compare to downstairs.

As far as food goes, it's pretty much what you would expect from a tavern. Good pub grub. There is karaoke one or two nights if you're into volunteering yourself for public humiliation (unless you can really sing). I couldn't tell you which nights because I have zero tolerance for anything karaoke-esque. And, I'm being polite. It gets packed, so get there early to score a table, settle in and get comfy.

Monday, October 8, 2007


This is by far my all-time favorite restaurant. I really think I could eat here every week if it was feasible. It has yet to disappoint on any level.

The flamenco dancing on Wednesday and Friday evenings is phenomenal - it gives me goosebumps. I was mesmerized and was disappointed when it ended, especially since it only lasted 30 minutes. Make reservations on these nights at least two months in advance. And try as you can to get a table near the stage. Otherwise, you'll be leaving your delicious food to see the show. You simply can't miss it.

Go with a group - there is so much on the menu it's the only way to really experiment. If you really can't decide what to order, go with the chef's selection. Tell them of any aversions and they'll customize it.

Wine recommendations from the bartender were on point.

Make reservations early - this place rocks!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Iron Hill Brewery, Wilmington, DE

I can't rate the beers. I go here occasionally with co-workers for lunch. While I would have a beer, no one else does so I don't want to be the lush. I recently had the turkey burger with guacamole and aioli (no bacon) and it was way too greasy. Fries were okay, but dry. Unfortunately, two days later and I'm still feeling the repercussions. I've been told the Asian wrap is excellent. I'll try that next time.

La Lupe, South Philly

I have never actually eaten in this place, but we ordered delivery from it nearly every Friday night. It was that good. I had to have my La Lupe fix. This is real Mexican. You know it's real when you call and it's easier to pronounce your phone number in Spanish.

My favorite was first the quesadilla pollo, then I took a chance and tried the enchiladas verdes. I didn't need to try anything else. My feeling was that if I didn't order the enchiladas verdes than it was an opportunity missed. We almost always had the pico de gallo with chips. That would prove to have surprise ingredients every time. Sometimes there would be avocado, sometimes not. Sometimes a lot of onions, sometimes radishes. Sometimes the container would be half empty... always exciting. The chips, more often than not, would be delivered warm. You just can't beat that. Jeff would almost always order the bistek burrito. It was huge. Easily enough food for two meals.

Marigold Kitchen, University City

New American cuisine in a restored Victorian twin. Decor was sparse, semi-dimly lit, votive on the table. Intimate. BYOB. Good service. Some parts of the meal were great others, not so. B+

If you're expecting to bring home a doggy-bag, you will be disappointed. Portions are perfectly sized. Although, when my appetizer of Tuna Carpaccio with Poached Tuna Salad and Tabouleh arrived I thought for sure I would need to find a McDonald's after this meal. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. I was able to enjoy the hot breads (sourdough, raisin and nut, and crusty French) with olives and oil. The Tuna Carpaccio was very tasty, fresh, sushi grade but definitely a teaser, not a meal unto itself, which is fine with me because reheating leftovers of this nature can never recapture the full essence of the dish. Then came the Poached Salmon with Potato Pancake and Pickled Wax Beans: three mini cuts of perfectly cooked salmon, topped with a sprig of dill and accompanied by a potato pancake which resembled more of an overcooked latke. Dessert followed with a Cardamom Creme Brulee with Pistachio Tuile which wasn't as crusty on top as I would expect, but had a nice flavor. And surprisingly, by the end of the meal, I was completely satisfied. Would I return? If someone else was paying, then yes; but probably not until I tried every other restaurant on my list.

Peace a Pizza, Ardmore

Review in a nutshell: Good for kids - there is a TV with a kid-friendly movie on; crayons and paper and a kid-size table (only 1). Pizza is pretty good although occasionally overcooked. There are a ton of pizza options, plus salads. You can order by the slice or whole pie. So far the only negative is that it does get that overcooked-pizza-crust smell that makes it a little hard to breathe, and it sticks to your clothes. Staff is friendly. Friday early evening gets busy, but they do deliver. When we had delivery it came sooner than they said, which is always nice.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Welcome - pull up a chair.

We love to eat out. Love to try a new restaurant. Only when the restaurant is really good do we even return for a second meal. There are enough dining establishments in the city to try a new one each week.

These are our reviews - real and honest, the good and the bad, and simply the opinions of two people who dine out frequently. I dine with my husband as a couple and with our two young kids. We dine with friends, separately and together. We think we have pretty high standards as far as food goes. In fact, everyone who's ever asked us for a restaurant recommendation has never been disappointed. We lived in the city for 9 years, only recently moving to the Main Line, so we feel pretty comfortable sharing our thoughts. We can appreciate gourmet in an elegant dining setting as well as grub in the local pub. We'll give it to you real.
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