June 7, 2009
The weather was perfect, I just couldn’t imagine sitting inside a cold restaurant with nothing but carefully selected background music to set whichever tone the particular place was going for. So me and Frank ventured through Old City to find a street table so we (or more me, since he was playing with his super cool new palm pre most of the time) could people watch in the warm June air. We ended up deciding on Prive, a restaurant we had been to once before to have a late breakfast/early lunch at before going to the airport. The first time had not left the best impression (I’m convinced it was simply the waitress though, the food was quite good) but I was interested in trying them for real as I like to believe you can’t really know how someone cooks from eggs and toast, since almost anyone with a skillet and toaster can make a half decent breakfast.
So we chose a nice little table out front and I watched the different people pass and listened to the sounds of frustrated city drivers trying to navigate their automobiles through skyscrapers and historic landmarks. It’s so nice to be in the city and just sit still for a while. One of my favorite things is to lay in Rittenhouse park and look up at the buildings and around at the people walking their dogs and playing guitars in the grass, there’s nothing quite like it in my opinion. It’s hard for me to understand people who love being in the country side because I just feed off the energy you find in cities. Everyones moving and going somewhere and doing something, you can’t help but get caught up in some of it yourself.
In any case, Prive gives you a sample of olives and a Mediterranean cheese with small rounds of bread in place of the normal rolls and butter. I forget what the watiress told me it was, but she said it was the only non-melting cheese which leads me to believe it might have been Paneer although its not necessarily mediterranean. In any case it was delicious. Similar to feta in texture and look but not nearly as salty. It had much more spice to it, without being too spicy. I only wish I had taken a picture of that.
Then came the Entrees.
Frank, of course, got Steak with Potato Puree (in other words, mashed potatoes)
and I was feeling adventurous and got a Lamb-burger.
The steak was apparently very good. I know this not only because he said so, but also because by the time I had figured out how to attack my sandwich I looked up and the steak was already gone. He said the sauce particularly was quite fantastic.
Now ordering lamb can be dangerous. Typically I don’t simply because it’s a meat that can either be fantastic or atrocious. This was quite good. The meat was cooked just perfectly, the bread was good. Everything was quite nice. It was also served with “chips in chips” (Home-made chips inside a shaped chip – impressive I must say!), and although I’m not a big chip-fan the home-made chips were quite good, although the chip it was in was pretty bland.
Unfortunately neither of us were really up for dessert so I can’t really comment on that. But everything was lovely. I was partly annoyed/partly amused by the host who stood out front though. He reminded me so much of the hosts you see in Miami Beach who practically chase you down trying to get you to even take a peak at the menu, and I feel like it shouldn’t be done in Philly. Me and Frank actually talked about how Philadelphia really has become a fantastic food city. We haven’t really had a bad meal, and more than not we leave happy. It’s hard though since there are so many restaurants we’d love to go, but there’s also so many we want to go back to.
Really, if you live near Philly, you should have dinner there as often as possible and learn to enjoy truely great food instead of settling for mediocre food (yes Jersey, I know you love your diners, but don’t you think its time to extend your pallet?)
To find my review for this and other restaurants in Philly and beyond, you can visit my Yelp.