January 4, 2011

Two very different meals

As promised (you're welcome, all 3 followers of this blog!) I am going to write about Marigold Kitchen! And, in the interest of comparison, I'll tell you about a really fantastic sandwich I had from Tommy DiNic's at Reading Terminal Market.

So, let me set the scene.  Marigold Kitchen is in an old Victorian here in West Philly, and I walk by it like, twice a week and always think "I love that door!" (it's copper) "What a classy looking place!" "I can't wait to go here!" and finally got a chance when Rx was closed for a private dinner party.   We made our way over to Marigold hoping we could get in without a reservation.  And lucky us! We were able to get a table.  Inside is just as warm and attractive as the outside, with an old stove serving as the hostess table, dim lights, and simple table settings.  We were led through the main dining room and upstairs to another room, which if you know these old Philadelphia houses, was a charming space with bay windows and old wood floors.  Somehow, they are able to combine down to earth homey with upscale ritzy.  I am an avid Top Chef watcher (yay Anthony Bourdain judging this season!) and have always wanted to try some of the things the chefs whip up on the show.  Before our meals came, we were given at least 6 amuse-bouches (yup, learned that on T.C.), including parsnip frizzles, sweet corn chowder with thyme bubbles, cheese and cracker (a homemade cracker filled with warm gooey Gruyere), fizzy apple cider with cinnamon foam, plain yogurt with flash frozen carrots... We ordered "How 'bout them apples" for an appetizer (though after all the little bites leading up to it, we probably didn't need it) and it was my first real experience in molecular gastronomy.  It is described as "local apples in various forms and textures" which is a nice way of saying "a plate full of really crazy things".  There was apple mousse, dehydrated apples, rich blue cheese, puffed wild rice, apple gellĂ©e, black olive powder, and foam! 

Intermezzo! I had never had an intermezzo course, but they brought us each a different bite of gelato to cleanse our palates.  So freakin' classy.  I got fig, and one bite was definitely not enough.   

On to dinner.  I ordered the Washington Wild Coho Salmon which was, quite honestly, one of the best slabs of fish I've ever had. "Autumn Hash, Massaman Curry, Cilantro Yogurt, Snow Peas"... yum. Evan had the beef prepared 3 ways, which was a brave choice considering he didn't know if he would like one third of the dish (I'm looking at you beef tartar).  But he really loved it, and the tenderloin was topped with, what else, red wine foam! 

Now, if you are not yet convinced that you should go to Marigold, let me tell you the kicker.  It's a BYOB! We brought a bottle of Fin du Monde and Three Wishes (the Whole Foods version of Two Buck Chuck) which means we probably only spent about $15 on booze! So, the moral of the story? Get your butt to Marigold Kitchen!

So from one of the most expensive meals I've ever had, to one of the greasiest, cheapest and yet equally delicious ones: Di Nic's roast pork sandwich with greens.

I have fallen deeply in love with Reading Terminal Market -thanks to my dear friend who used to work at Fair Food Farmstand and first introduced me!  You can really get ANYTHING at the market, and if you enjoy people watching you can't beat it (we saw the Chief of Philadelphia Police buying some plants this time for example). I can't say enough good things about the place. 

Look at these beautiful mushrooms!

Though I am a "vegetarian", in reality I am more of a "flexitarian", and I couldn't resist the DiNic's roast pork sandwich this time. Though the wait at DiNic's is, well, horrendous, it is worth it for THE GREENS! Dear God, the greens.  You can choose spinach or broccoli rabe, which are cooked with garlic and generously piled on top of the pork on a crusty (Amoroso's perhaps?) roll.  I couldn't finish the whole thing (must.take.one.more.bite) and was sad to see the last little bit go to waste. 

And of course, it wouldn't be a trip to RTM without a ricotta and chocolate chip cannolli from Terminis for dessert!


  1. ahhhhh i love top chef too! all this talk of food is making me so hungry. Happy New Year to you and Evan!!!

  2. happy new year to you guys too! give the little one some love for us :)