Tapestry Brings Queen Village the Neighbor It Always Wanted

Brian Freedman reviews Tapestry at 5th and Bainbridge in Queen Village. He finds this neighborhood pub might have the right stuff to succeed where Coquette and Adsum did not.

Order a Ballast Point Piper Down Scottish-style ale from California and tear into a plate of fried chicken, a salty, dizzyingly crispy, thick-crusted plateful that’s among the better versions in the city right now. A side of slaw, or some sort of acid to cut it, would have framed it even better than the excellent fries, but it’s hard to complain about a plateful as well-prepared as this.

Neighborhood-Friendly Tapestry on Fifth and Bainbridge Is Drama-Free [Philadelphia Weekly]
Tapestry [Official Site]

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  • MrMarsellus

    Link is broken!

  • http://gideonsbible.tumblr.com gijyun

    I found Tapestry to be very boring. Adsum was a gem.

  • barryg

    “Dizzyingly crispy?” Can we get rid of this hack already?

  • barryg

    Tapestry is very much just slightly above average in every category, but the neighborhood was dying for a pub like this at this price point. They are busy every night and even though I don’t love anything about Tapestry, I end up there quite a bit.

  • Andrew

    I loved Adsum when i first went there. Im not from the neighborhood and dont care how utilitarian a spot is, so my opinion really doesnt hold as much weight as a local. I dont know why it took three restaurants to figure out that this area isnt a destination for foodies.

  • rory

    @ Andrew: this area isn’t a destination? You mean the area that now has Ela a couple blocks away to the east, bistrot la minette around the corner, cochon and little fish just to the south, and chick’s to the west?

    few areas are as rich in foodie places in philly. i *wish* my part of the art museum were such a non-destination for foodies!

  • Alex

    Not sure I agree Andrew, you’ve got a number of very good Italian places (Ulivo, Monsu, Saloon, Cucina Forte), French (Bistrot La Minette, Cochon… Beau Monde if you like crepes), some very solid American options (ranging from Supper and Southwark to the more humble BBQ of Percy Street), and a couple of good brunch spots (Sabrina’s, Morning Glory). You’ve even got the only respectable German spot in Philly (Brauhaus) and some half-decent pub grub competition in Royal Tavern a few blocks away. Plus you’re close to the Italian market which is a destination of sorts for anyone that cooks their own food or at the very least enjoys good cheese, charcuterie, pasta, and baked goods. I’d say that for a neighborhood that still has some semblance of a working class past (as opposed to Center City & Old City) Bella Vista & Queen Village are as good a food destination you’ll find in Philly.

  • Tex

    In Andrew’s defense, the McDonald’s and DQ/KFC on South Street near that area closed some time ago. If I recall correctly, that area may have lost a Subway too.

  • Andrew

    All points taken, I amend my comment to mean “a destination for people who want burgers made with tastykakes.”

  • barryg

    @Alex, the problem isn’t that the area isn’t a “foodie” draw, but that it doesn’t draw enough people willing to drop dollars on an expensive dinner. Many of the places you list, and others in the area one could list, are not really in the same neighborhood (Supper and that stretch of South), are actually cheap neighborhood destinations (Royal), are only breakfast/lunch destinations (Beau Monde, Famous), or are small owner-operated BYOBs that probably aren’t making very much money money and don’t have to pay out a lot of salaries to stay afloat (Cochon, Little Fish).

    The only real exception to the rule that this area has failed as an upscale dinner destination is Bistrot la Minette. Southwark has some draw, but the bar area is easy to fill and the dining area is barely every full. Ulivo and Ela are new so their existence is meaningless… I think Ela will be the bellwether to see if this neighborhood can really support a higher-end destination restaurant, which needs to draw from other city neighborhoods and the suburbs. The problem is that people don’t like to deal with that part of South Street on weekend nights, and I don’t blame them.

  • Anon 2

    Do you people have jobs?

  • Alex

    I don’t disagree but I was responding to the post that it wasn’t a destination for foodies, so pointing out that many of those places aren’t high dining is a bit of straw man argument. Nothing in the definition of foodie requires pricing to be on par with Vetri or Lacroix. I quite like the dining options in the area, mostly affordable and in the aggregate some of the best food for the buck in the city. It’s an area full of older working class Italian families with mostly young professional and bohemian types as well so it’s mostly good food at decent prices. Even La Minette is fairly affordable considering the quality of French food they prepare. It wouldn’t make much sense to expect it to become a Rittenhouse like dining scene without six figure demographics pushing out all the middle class folks from the area. Very high dining establishments generally follow demographics changes, not vice versa.

    Oh and lest we not forget Bibou is in Bella Vista (and on the edge of dumpy Wash Ave at that); I believe they’re doing quite well, even before their recent review, it was one of, if not, the hardest res to get in the city.

  • steve

    Cool review, this place has great food the atmosphere is pretty simple and could use a few decorations but other than that the neigborhood should support it, plus it has one of the better beer lists in the city. Anything and everything you can think of as it comes to the range of beers, we have had a blast more than a few nights

  • JTA

    Straw Men!! Twice in one day on Foobooz. Internet debate at it’s finest

  • barryg

    @Alex, sure there’s a lot of good food around but seems more relevant to me to discuss why the neighborhood can only support breakfast/brunch, casual BYOBs, and pubs. That’s why Ad Sum failed, the neighborhood can’t or won’t support restaurants like that. True about Bibou; Bibou is exceptional in many ways, but I wonder if it was as big as Ad Sum and had a liquor license if they would be filling the seats as consistently. In any case the problem is that people from outside the ‘hood don’t want to deal with clusterfuck that is 5th & South on a weekend night, Bibou doesn’t suffer from that problem.

    As I said, Ela is the latest test, we will see.

  • FattyFatMan

    Stephen Starr is right.

    South Street in general is disgusting and has been neglected, especially east of 10th street. If an ambitious restaurant succeeds in that neighborhood it will be in spite of the area, not because of it.

  • brian

    Sometimes it takes awhile to realize it, but if you end up there quite a bit, you love it.