A couple days back, Danya Henninger from the Philly Zagat blog put together a great list of the 20 best secret menu items at restaurants in Philly. And while yes, there are a few odd ones in there to round out the list (the pork pastrami sandwich at Fitler isn’t exactly “secret” and the blistered shishito peppers at Bar Ferdinand come with the patatas bravas), but that doesn’t matter because the list, as a whole, is awesome for those who don’t already know about the existence of these dishes, and a fantastic reminder of some of the best one-off plates in the city for those seen-it-all souls who think they already know everything.
Fitler Dining Room has added happy hour. The Center City restaurant is offering sangria and snacks from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. The menu includes half-price oysters, a daily cheese special, a veggie plate and popcorn dusted with Rogue Creamery’s “Blue Heaven” cheese.
The highlight however is the Japanese Fried Chicken Sandwich which includes bread and butter pickles, slaw and is served on a semolina roll. On the drink side Fitler Dining Room is offering Tiger Lager for $3 and summer sangria (white wine, lillet, berries) for $5 a glass, $23 a pitcher.
Full Fitler Dining Room Happy Hour Menu »
On Friday, April 25th, Fitler Dining Room is inviting winemaker and sommelier Nicola Biscardo of Nicola Biscardo Selections and ConExport Italy in for a special seven-course dinner. The dinner will feature Biscardo’s wine from various regions of Italy. Fitler’s executive chef, Robert Marzinsky will pair these wines with an impressive spring menu that includes bacon rabbit loin, sorrel-stuffed lamb belly and of course ramps. The pasta dish alone just screams spring.
Ramp spaghetti, peekytoe crab, bottarga, sea urchin butter, breadcrumbs, baked nettle cavatelli, wild watercress, full nettle jack cheese, semolina gnocchi, lamb ragu valley shepherd pepato
There will only be one seating at 7 p.m. and dinner is $190 per person, not including tax and gratuity.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling Fitler at 215-732-3331.
Fitler Dining Room [Foobooz]
Tomorrow, February 5th, Fitler Dining Room is welcoming wine consultant David McDuff for a special four-course wine dinner featuring wines from the Savoie region of France. Before Fitler Dining Room opened, chef Robert Marzinsky toured through France and Savoie in particular. For this dinner he’ll be highlighting the region’s cuisine with gruyere souffle, musssel cream soup and spiced duck breast.
There will be two seatings, 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Dinner is $85 per person and includes wine pairings (but not including tax and gratuity).
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 215.732.3331.
The four-course dinner will have two seatings (6-6:30 p.m. and 8-8:30 p.m.) and will cost $55 per person. Each course is paired with Frecon Farms cider. Call 215-732-3331 for reservations.
It’s a week later than usual this month but Alla Spina is hosting Fitler Dining Room this evening. Fitler chef, Rob Marzinsky will be turning out a Polish feast of kielbasa, pierogies and galumpkis (Polish stuffed cabbage).
Alla Spina’s crew will be turning out a Thanksgiving feast of turkey gobbler sandwiches, sweet potato gratin, soft pretzel stuffing and more.
The drinks will include a tap takeover from Deschutes Brewery and cocktails made from the organic cold-pressed juices of Pure Sweets and Co.
As always, the fun starts at 10 p.m. with the food being free and the drinks being on special. Current pay stub and valid ID are necessary for admittance.
Fitler Dining Room at 22nd and Spruce had been open Wednesday through Sunday since the restaurant’s opening. But starting this evening, Rob Marzinsky and company will be serving up his menu seven nights a week.
Also back at Fitler Dining Room, the pair of dog statues. When the restaurant opened the corner door was flanked by two dog statues. But then one went missing. Now we’re happy to see they’ve been reunited.
Fitler Dining Room [f8b8z]
On Tuesday, September 17th, Fitler Dining Room is hosting a special wine dinner with Pares Balta Wines and John Toler of Dreadnought Wines. Pares Balta is an interesting story. The wine makers went to school together in Bordeaux and ended up marrying the brothers who owned the winery. Check out the menu and for reservations, call 215.732.3331.
Fitler Dining Room is hosting its first ever wine dinner on Tuesday, August 20th. The dinner is a collaboration with Seth Biederman of The Wine Merchant and will focus on the classic wine regions of France. The five-plus course dinner starts at 7:30 and costs $125 per person. Check out chef Rob Marzinsky’s menu here.
Every so often I’m asked how often the opinions of Craig LaBan and Trey Popp differ. Here’s one such case. LaBan heaped the praise on chef Rob Marzinsky and Fitler Dining Room. Trey Popp? Well, not so much.
But when I returned later for a second meal, those hints of magic turned halfway black. First, dynamite buttermilk-sauced beets with crispy maitakes and onion rings—then mealy carrots with a merely fine braised beef cheek. Here were outstanding ginger-sparked oysters; there was a tagliatelle too scarcely sprinkled with peas, nettles and ramps to maintain interest. And the walnut-oiled beef tartare with pickled chanterelles I’d loved before came out this time crudely cut and faintly slimy under a slush of grated raw turnip. It tasted like a punishment.
One-and-a-half stars – Fair to Good
Philadelphia Restaurant Review: Fickle Fare at Fitler Dining Room [Philadelphia Magazine]
Fitler Dining Room [Official Site]