Lacroix and Art
June 20, 2009
Ahhhh did I mention I love how Philadelphia is such a great restaurant city! I really believe its completely underrated when it comes to food. People assume all we have is cheesesteaks and thats it, but really we had such a great variety of not just good-but great restaurants. Just the other day me and Frank were talking about how we’ve had so many meals in Philly and at worst they were still good – never horrible (although Bistro St.Tropez was close to bad- but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt because we did go during restaurant week and they were very understaffed that night). Frank still in fact mournes the closing of Brassarie Perrier (oh George Perrier why did you take such a culinary gem from us?). All of this talking about what fantastic restaurants our small city contains was backed up once again by a culinary triumph at Lacroix Restaurant in The Rittenhouse Hotel.
The restaurant is on the second floor and provides a lovely view of the hotel and the park across from it. The tall windows and clean white pallet help keep it a fresh and inviting atmosphere (I much preferred this atmosphere to Le Bec Fin- which can feel very stuffy and snooty, as if fine-diners need to be kept in a dimly lit room at all times). The waiters and staff are all very friendly and didn’t make me feel as though they thought of us as little kids playing dress up for the night (I hate that!).
They brought us a “shot” of the chef’s chilled melon soup which was an interesting taste. It was refreshing and very different than anything I’ve had before. To continue with my recent dedication to broadening my taste pallet, I opted to try the Muscovy Duck Breast with a Strawberry Reduction Sauce (pictured in the foreground above) with a side of Green Asparagus in a White Chocolate and Black Garlic Sauce. I was hesitant to try first at both but I just made myself do it, and I’m so glad I did. Both dish and it’s side proved the Chef(Jason Cichonski)’s fantastic ability to take traditionally sweet ingredients and tranform them into savory accompaniments to the dishes. They were complex flavors and I feel they really showed the talents of the chef. Frank, of course, went with the steak on the menu – the Organic Rib-Eye in Harissa Beef Jus with a side of fingerling potatoes. I of course was head over heels with the food at this point and couldn’t help but steal tastes of both. The steak was perfect in my opinion (although, heads up, order it a temperature higher than you actually want it- he asked for medium well and got medium) and the potatoes were soft and deliciously seasoned
When it came time for dessert we decided to split the Chocolate Souffle. It was light and airy with just the right amount of chocolate (not overly chocolate, like some places sometimes do). They brought it with a small dish of complimentary petit fours as well which were all quite tasty.
When doing my review for it on yelp, I gave it 5 stars which I tend not to do. But I honestly couldn’t find anything I didn’t like about it. Everything just seemed so perfect!
After dinner we met a few friends at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for “Art after 5” which I’ve been dying to go to for a while now. It was absolutely lovely to sit on the stairs and listen to music and then wander the galleries (I, of course, swooned, as I always do, over the collection of Degas and poked fun of the modern art section). Its fantastic to see people wandering around the huge main room with their glasses of wine listening to the imported musicians, I would definitely suggest it to any lover of art and culture.
us on a walk around the building after wandering the galleries. What weirdos!