Thursday, July 16, 2009


3945 Chestnut St., Philadelphia

The Girlfriends and I dined at Distrito for the latest Girls Dinner and left disappointed. We had high expectations -- it's a Jose Garces restaurant after all, Amada being my all-time favorite restaurant in the city. Plus, the previous Guys Dinner at Distrito was nothing but positive praise.

We even left the menu selection up to the chef -- whether it was Garces or not we have no idea --by opting for the $55/person tasting menu. What happened?

It started off well. Decor is funky, movie theater-esque, a vintage convertible Volkswagen Beetle houses a table, a large wall of creepy wrestling masks, and the Jack Black movie Nacho Libre playing on one wall. Upstairs, we walked by porch swings and giant-sized wicker booths.

We, of course, started with a pitcher of margaritas ($49). That's right. $49. The margaritas were good, but not Copa good. If you don't know what I mean, go to Copabanana and have a margarita. At that price, we stopped after one. Very un-Girls-Dinner-like. Even the wine list was too pricey for us.

Because it was easier to let someone else do the deciding we chose the Tasting Menu. It was a lot of food. Complimentary peanuts showed up first, limey and spicy, then the food assault began. Jicama and Watermelon Salad, Salsa and Guacamole topped with shredded cheese and crabmeat. Delicious! Next was a spicy Yellowfin Ceviche with mango sorbet. Roz thought it was just ok, but I liked it. Huaraches (pizza) Los Hongos with mushrooms was the best so far. Scallops were tasty but had some grit. Carne Kobe Tacos showed up and were not very good according to my carnivore friends. They thought the lamb chops with bacon had nice flavor. Then fried plantains arrived sweet and desserty. Seemed out of place. Finally, lobsters on the half shell with beans and rice arrived chewy. We deemed it just okay. Dessert was Dolce La Leche, light and fluffy.

We topped off the evening with a recap of how unthrilled we were, and a watermelon margarita that Roz loved so much she "wanted to marry it." If we were to go back, it would be for the appetizers and a drink.


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