LaBan Pours Out the Praise for Fitler Dining Room


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

Fitler Dining Room [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Fitler Dining Room [Official Site]

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  • hmmm

    3 bells after only 3 months of being open…hmmm…
    doesn’t laban usually do his review after a certain span of visits and time?

    • badjack

      Yes. He generally visits 2 or 3 times, over the course of a few weeks. Nothing to “hmmm” about. Or, maybe it’s a big conspiracy or some shit. I think it’s a much safer bet that he just liked the restaurant, but hey, whatever makes you feel better about things, man.

      • hmm


  • hmmmmm what

    Yes. Three months

    • lol

      Foobooz commenters are the best.

      • hmm

        i guess he was there opening day :/

        • Sour Grape Stomper

          You don’t know what you are talking about. Common practice in cities that aren’t New York is three months. Laban is almost clockwork in his timing. Bufad is reviewed next week and they opened 3 months ago. Is that OK by you?

      • Foie Milkshake

        Agreed…99% of you assholes need to get a life and find something better to bitch about. Doesn’t anyone have anything better to do than make negative/snarky remarks on a site about the Philly food scene? Yes, it used to be more legit/relevant before the politics of philly mag strangled it, but still…the constant cunty responses ain’t necessary. Will you call in a coffee order for me? I agree that this site hasn’t been the same since the Lipson acquisition but still visit it regularly to stay abreast of the happenings of the industry.

        I can’t even imagine what this comment thread would look like if Victor had written this post…yes, he likes a free meal in exchange for publicity, but who doesn’t?

        If you don’t like the site, go somewhere else. Stop wasting your time posting senseless negativity if you don’t. Why even visit if you hate it?

        @Barrygster; insert negative comment here:

        • Frenchy Le Fudge

          Lighten up, Francis!

  • Food Yee

    He changes it up. Farm and fisherman had all three visits in one week.

  • Jimmy

    @Foie – right on. FDR is a solid newcomer on the Philly dining scene with a young, up and coming chef. It deserved a great review, and it should not be spoiled by the boneheads that troll this site.

    By the way, evidently BarryG sweats message boards.

  • Frenchy Le Fudge

    I believe this joint is run by Adolph Fitler.