Last Sunday, I headed to Philadelphia with my sister, her boyfriend and my mom to have dinner at Talula’s Table. It turns out that Paul’s old roomate had gotten a reservation after a last minute cancellation, and needed ten people to go. The restaurant is actually a market that does a tasting menu in the evenings for one group and normally takes a year to get into. It sounded like a fun little adventure, despite the fact that it was going to be on a Sunday night and I had to work the next day (and might I mention, I WAS at work the next day, despite only about three hours of sleep!).
In any case, we headed to Philadelphia in the early afternoon, intent on seeing a little bit of the city… despite how close it is, I’ve never actually been there. Our first stop was the Liberty Bell, but we didn’t actually go in since there was a rather long line. Instead, we just peeked into the windows of the room where it’s located. Is it wrong that I was a little disappointed that it’s not just outside like a statue? I understand the need to preserve it, and I’m sure security would be impossible if it was outside, but it being inside of a modern day building kind of takes away from it a little (and makes the How I Met Your Mother episode where they lick the Liberty Bell in the middle of the night completely implausible).
Anyway, I do enjoy looking at old historical buildings, and Phildelphia is definitely the place to do so. Here’s independence hall:
Next time, I’ll actually go inside, but you need tickets and we didn’t really have all that much time anyway. Instead, we went into the old meeting hall of congress, and toured the building. I, of course, got distracted by architecture and the little details of the building that would make good pictures:
And thus we moved on… mom actually had a funeral to go to, and Lindsay and Paul wanted to go to a restaurant they had visited the two other times they had visited Philadelphia. Thus, we went our separate ways for a few hours.
The burgers and mussels at the restaurant were worth eating, even though we were going to another dinner in a mere few hours. However, it was nice to just sit for a little while, since we had been walking (it’s an awesome walking city). But then it was time to go to the restaurant for the dinner. I was really excited about it, since I’d never been to a tasting menu with set courses before. We had all looked up the menu beforehand and were excited to try everything.
And so dinner began. First course was Langoustine Crudo, Root Vegetable Tango, Egg and Truffle:
Until I was typing this post, I had no idea was langoustine was. Turns out it’s also referred to as a “Norway lobster” and it is a small shrimp/lobster-esque creature. Not too bad for a first course… though knowing what is now, I have NO IDEA which part of the course it was!
Next course was a trio of broccoli dishes or, more specifically Swallow Hill Broccoli Degustation: Croquette, Soup and Shaved Salad:
The soup was amazing, and I want to make a healthier version (I could tell this one was laden with heavy cream), and the croquette was probably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten; it involved cheese and bacon, all fried up with the broccoli. The shaved salad was also good, but paled in comparison with the other two options.
Our third course was Duck Sausage Ravioli, with Braised Escarole and Duck Broth:
As with everything that came before it, this was also really good, but I think the one I remember the least.
Fourth course was Mustard Dusted Salmon, Glazed Beets and Buttery Sauerkraut:
Turns out that when salmon tastes like butter, I’ll eat it (normally I’m not a fan!).
Fifth course was Young Poissin, Smoked Foie Gras, Ginger Apples and White Beech Mushrooms:
The foie gras was the best part of this plate, especially when paired with the chicken.
Then it was Venison Loin, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Poblano and Pumpkin Seeds:
I’ve never had venison before and was surprised by it, as was everyone else (apparently it tends to be gamey, which this wasn’t).
And then on to the cheese course: Gouda Galore with Pears, Grapes, Olives and Juniper.
Oddly, the little grilled cheese was my least favorite on this plate (though don’t think that means I didn’t like it!). I preferred the basic cheeses with the fruit.
And finally, dessert. It was A Trio of Pie Surprises, which turned out to be pecan with bourbon ice cream, sweet potato and pumpkin. The pecan with the ice cream was BY FAR the best one.
With that, the dinner and the evening were brought to an end and we all headed home sleepy and full!