The Philly Mag 50: Restaurants 1 to 20

10. Morimoto
10. Morimoto
We admit: We’d nearly forgotten about Morimoto. The Iron Chef (whom the restaurant still, unfortunately, promotes by that name) has moved on, and so has Stephen Starr. But we were thrilled to discover that the kitchen has admirably transcended those brushes with celebrity. Oh, this is still Masaharu Morimoto’s cooking — and this is still a Starr restaurant, so much of the menu is unchanged from opening day — but the well-thought-out and often surprising flavor combinations that made the Japanese restaurant a destination are as strong as ever, as is the attention to every detail on the plate. We’re still happily ordering slow-cooked pork belly, fresh tofu, and sweet, dramatic yellowtail buri bop in the energetic dining room, where sashimi comes seasoned with house-fermented soy, real wasabi is grated tableside, and the stylish waiters are well-versed in these essential minutiae. And the desserts are better than ever, blending Japanese and French flavors — miso in an apple-topped shortcake? Yes, and so much the better for it — without a hint of Iron Chef gimmickry.



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