I am an adventurous eater but my husband is not. He has gotten better with trying new dishes in the last couple of years. He now eats his veggies and will even try certain types of seafood. But this past week was a real first for him. He actually ate snails and enjoyed them.
Last week, my husband and I were invited to have dinner at Table 31 in Philadelphia. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted by our server, Justin, and Peter,the general manager. They explained the menu to us and we decided to order entrees and let them pick out our appetizers, sides and dessert. Chef Chris Scarduzzio combines traditional Italian cuisine with contemporary twists to create food that is memorable but not intimidating. The menu consists of hand-crafted pastas, thin-crust pizzas, USDA Prime steaks and chops along with fresh seafood. It seemed that steak was the specialty at Table 31 so I ordered one and it might have been the best steak I have ever eaten.
Our first appetizer came out on a cast iron skillet topped with pieces of toasted bread. It was an array of different types of mushrooms in a red wine sauce ladened with butter and herbs. We weren’t told exactly what it was. My husband and I both dug in. When Justin came by to check on us, he asked our opinion of the dish and then dropped the news about the snails. These snails were not in the shell so they blended in with the mushrooms, having a similar texture. They were absolutely delicious. Dunking the bread in the sauce was heavenly. I am pretty sure the skillet was wiped clean when we were done with it.
Next came a dish of Lobster Puttanesca with grilled scallops along side of a miniature Nicoise salad. I loved the playfulness of this dish. My husband could not get enough of the sauce and I adored the scallops which were cooked perfectly.
Our entrees came and we were flabbergasted. My husband ordered the Lamb Osso Bucco. This is a special they only have on Wednesdays. I had the 16 ounce fillet on the bone served Oscar style. My entree was recommended by our waiter. The steaks that the restaurant serve are from DeBragga and they are as high end as you can get. My steak was dry aged and served with lump crab meat, asparagus and a rich Hollandaise sauce. Next time, I will skip the crab meat and asparagus to allow more room for the steak. The extras were wonderful but this was just pure steak perfection!
My husband’s Osso Bucco looked as big as something Fred Flintstone would eat. The lamb was so tender that only a fork was required. It came on a bed of creamy polenta and was served with some garlicky broccoli rabe. We were also served sides of fresh spinach in a garlic sauce and a medley of mushrooms with caramelized onions.
After this satisfying meal, who would have room for dessert? We didn’t but but decided to share one anyway. Justin, our waiter, brought us out this plate with a small piece of caramel cheesecake , a fresh doughnut and creamy Bourbon vanilla ice cream. It was perfect for sharing.
Everything about this dinner was first class. From the attentive service to the creative plate presentations to the mouth watering menu, this restaurant is a real gem. We will definitely be going back soon. Need I say more?