Poached Mussels with English Peas, Shaved Radish and Vinaigrette | Photo via Aldine
When I heard that Aldine was changing its menu format, I thought maybe that meant the menu would no longer feature stupid colons in between ingredients (like sorry but,”sugar snap peas : pickled chili : smoked almond milk : rhubarb,” just does not look right). But alas, that was too much to hope for. Instead, Aldine is abandoning its unique tasting menu, which was divided into either the “omnivore” or “herbivore” menu, in favor of a more traditional format.
Chef and owner George Sabatino’s new menu is divided into first, second and third courses. First courses are either served cool or room temperature, second courses are slightly larger and served warm, and third courses are really the bigger main courses.
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I was at Aldine for dinner on opening night, and it was awful.
Of all the dishes set before me, I only found two of them appetizing enough to finish, and with another one, I had to pull the old Oh look, some of it fell on the floor trick just to make it appear as though I’d taken more than one bite.
But it’s okay. Don’t worry. Aldine got better.
I ate at Sbraga years ago, shortly after it opened. It was one of the most talked-about restaurants in the city, but not all the talk was good. And, frankly, neither was dinner. It was gimmicky, too clever, muddled in a way that I think was supposed to feel casual and fun but didn’t.
But Sbraga got better, too. Read more »
Photo by Emily Teel (who gets a great shoutout in the review)
There is more than one kind of two-bell review. The surprisingly good neighborhood joint, the disappointing debut of a big-name chef and in the case of George Sabatino’s Aldine, a two-bell review going in the right direction.
Craig LaBan’s review sees progress in several dishes over just a couple of months. And others are already there.
Dishes such as the lamb rillettes, its tender milk-braised meat shredded and formed into a crispy cake over silky Hubbard squash puree sparking with red chile heat, evoke both visual beauty and a deep satisfaction of soulful flavors. Sabatino’s clever crudo deconstruction of the ubiquitous sesame-crusted tuna – raw tuna sashimi brightened with blood orange, fennel crackers and sesame seeds – was like tasting Mediterranean sun.
Two Bells – Very Good
For George Sabatino, years of experiments paying off at Aldine [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Okay, so this whole snow thing is getting old already. And the cold? Tired of it.
Apparently, so are George and Jennifer Sabatino, because they’re bringing in their buddy Scott Schroeder and the three of them are throwing a backyard, 4th of July-style barbecue at Aldine on February 2nd.
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Photos by Courtney Apple
Everyone knows that opening a restaurant is the surest path to an empty checking account, but George and Jennifer Sabatino know better. For truly shredding your bankroll, nothing beats not opening a restaurant — as the couple spent an agonizing year doing before the first customers finally came to Aldine in October.
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Two of the Sabatino’s dogs | Emily Teel
In the run-up to George Sabatino’s Aldine, the chef promised a tasting-menu dining option. But when the restaurant opened a couple of months back it was a la carte only. Now, Sabatino has rolled out his first tasting menu. The five-course dinner is $55 per person and a drink pairing is available for $30.
Aldine has also rolled out something else, bread! Sabatino posted to Instagram his sourdough Parker rolls with coffee salt.
The tasting menu »
Photo by Emily Teel
George Sabatino’s Aldine is offering three tasting menus on New Year’s Eve. The first seating at 5:30 p.m. is three-courses and $55 per person. The second seating is at 7:30 p.m. and features a special four-course tasting menu for $75 per person. The final seating is at 9:30 p.m. and includes the $100 per person dinner will feature five-courses of primo ingredients like uni, foie gras and lobster. A Champagne toast will also happen at midnight.
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If you’re taking to Center City to do your Black Friday shopping, you’re going to need a bite (and drink) to recover. Aldine, at 19th and Chestnut, will be open early, at 3 p.m., to accommodate anyone who’s looking for a shopping respite.
But it gets better, George Sabatino’s new restaurant will be offering half off draft beer, $5 house red and white wines, $2 oysters, $3 popcorn, and $5 rabbit rillettes crostini.
Get a drink and have a snack at Aldine. That way, you won’t feel badly about spending a ton of money on food after spending so much all day.
Aldine opens | raw beef : mushroom : gribiche : quinoa
Aldine officially opened to the public yesterday afternoon at 4pm, and we were right there to witness it.
As a matter of fact, we were the first, official paying customers in the place, and so felt it our duty to give the kitchen and the bar a bit of a workout. Wisely, we also had our cameras with us. So in order to help you decipher (at least a little) the heavily colon-ated menu (rabbit : sour cherry : turnip : brioche is actually one of the more descriptive of the minimalist menu items, but it still doesn’t explain that you’re getting a terrine, or how excellent the vinegar-brined cherries are), we offer you this–our photo tour of Aldine’s opening menu.
We didn’t eat and drink everything on offer, but we did get most of it. At least enough to give you an idea of what’s you might be eating this weekend.
Menu photos, right this way
It was a rush to the finish line, but Aldine–George Sabatino‘s new, second-floor restaurant in the old Noche space at 19th and Chestnut–got open late on Friday afternoon for its first night of service. And while the official first night of business isn’t actually until tomorrow, we’re happy to report that the Aldine crew managed to get through the weekend without burning the place down.
Now we’ve already been inside to snap some photos of the interior. And we’ve been tracking Sabatino via Instagram as he did some menu testing. But now, for those of you maybe thinking about heading over to Aldine to check it out tomorrow night, we have an official version of the opening night menu.
Show me the menus