Craig LaBan visits Fitler Dining Room, the newest restaurant from the team from Pub & Kitchen and Avalon’s Diving Horse, and comes away impressed.
There should be no complaints, though, about Marzinsky, whose Philly debut as a head chef has been one of the year’s biggest revelations. His butter-poached oysters are such an elegant modern riff on stew that they’d make his muse, M.F.K. Fisher, consider the oyster anew. Ever-so-lightly poached, they’re placed atop brioche croutons with a fine dice of potato, fennel and celery root, then lavished with a froth of rich chowder cream poured tableside. His raw Beausoleil oysters, on the other hand, are transformed with just a few jewels of smoked trout roe and ginger mignonette, each gulp a three-part fade from tang, to smoke, then brine.
A clever new technique for gnocchi results in ethereal puffs of meltaway potato dumplings. But it is the elegant contrast of textures and vivid colors – snappy toasted hazelnuts, tender earthy snails, tart pickled snips of pink ramp, and a pale green gloss of Chartreuse butter – that makes the dish so memorable.
Three Bells – Excellent