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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As the trees turn green once again, so do our dinner plates as restaurants transition their menus to lighter and brighter fare.
Mercato, the longstanding Italian BYOB on the 1200 block of Spruce Street, just introduced its spring menu, with new appetizer, pasta and meat dishes.
The new market salad includes ricotta salata, shaved asparagus, fava beans, strawberries, bibb lettuce and balsamic. Their pasta dish is a spinach cavatelli with veal ragu, pecorino romano, cream and fava beans. They also have a grilled spring onion risotto with (you guessed it) fava beans, mint, fennel, meyer lemon and pecorino romano.
Mercato also recently left OpenTable for Yelp’s reservation system. You can make reservations on their website here or give them a call at 215-985-2962.
Check out Mercato’s full menu »
Juniper Commons | Courtesy of Sbraga Dining
Juniper Commons, Kevin Sbraga’s ’80s themed restaurant at the corner of Broad and South, has debuted its new menu for spring, and it boasts big changes. The overhaul may have come in response to a series of lukewarm reviews from critics who called the restaurant’s food good but aggressively normal to the point of almost being boring.
Gone are the days of the rotating weekly rotisserie menu. In fact, the whole menu has been streamlined.
Some of the new dishes include garlic shrimp, eggplant fritters, lavender fried chicken, blackened salmon, broiled scallops, a soft shell crab sandwich, Wagyu flank steak and an $80 32-oz rib eye. In fact, the only entree that seems to have made the transfer from the old menu to the new one is the Surf and Turf, and even on that the lobster has been replaced by king crab.
Spring menu at Juniper Commons »
Chefs Andrew Kochan and Tim Lanza generally like their tasting menus at Marigold Kitchen to be a surprise for diners. But what with spring coming and a new menu now taking shape in the kitchen, they’ve decided to give a little preview.
As they did with their secret New Year’s Eve menu, the crew at Marigold are now teasing a couple dishes from their new, 12-course spring menu. That one above? That’s edamame hummus with lemongrass, black sesame seeds, chile oil and a puffed rice cracker.
Check out more after the jump
New counter at Plenty Cafe on East Passyunk
, which has locations in Center City and on East Passyunk is adding a third location, this one in Queen Village. Still a year away, brothers Anthony
and Damon Mascieri
are opening at 705-707 South 5th Street. This will be the biggest Plenty Cafe yet. The 1,500 square foot corner space sill anchor another venture of Damon, Fabric Lofts, eight bi-level apartments with 13-foot ceilings and a green roof deck.
Plenty Cafe’s original location at 1710 East Passyunk Avenue has recently been renovated, installing a 12-foot reclaimed ash wood high-top bar and adding ten additional seats.
Read on for news on the tasso ham sandwich »
Interested in what Justin Bogle is doing with the bounties of spring at Avance? Check out the recently refreshed a la carte, tasting and bar menus.
The signs of spring are particularly noticeable in the five-course tasting menu, where ingredients include spring peas, morels, spring onion and rhubarb.
On the bar menu, a few new exclusive offerings have been added including “bacon and eggs.” a dish that seems similar to what Bogle served at the Foobooz After Dark with Bogle and Will’s Chris Kearse.
Avance Spring Menus (PDF)
Lee Styer has rolled out his spring 2014 menu at Fond. The East Passyunk eatery’s menu now offers signs of spring like yellowfin tuna crudo with mango, cilantro, yogurt, jicama and plantains as well as beef sirloin served with roasted beets, farro, goat cheese and sauce Bordelaise.
Full menu »
Photo via Sbraga Dining
Kevin Sbraga is now serving his spring menu at his eponymous restaurant, Sbraga. The four-course prix fixe menu is now $55 and includes a complimentary amuse course of his very famous foie gras soup (vegetarians can look forward to an amuse of carrot ginger soup). Also new is an all-new pasta and grains course. An optional beverage pairing is available for $40. “At Sbraga, our focus has always been hospitality,” says Sbraga. “It’s about giving your guests what they want without them asking. The foie gras soup is one of our most popular items, so we thought it would be nice to give everyone a taste before dinner, making it part of the nightly experience.”
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Bisou on Main Street in Manayunk has revamped its menu for the spring. The highlights of the new menu are an asparagus salad, a salt cod croquette, and escargot as appetizers, and an arctic char, pork cheeks, and a barramundi-warm calamari salad. These lighter, more refreshing dishes are sure to please your spring taste buds. Chef Clark Gilbert‘s French Bistro also just got some new outside furniture so that you can enjoy the beautiful spring weather while enjoying the spring food.
You can see Bisou’s new menu here.