Two Bells For Ugly American

Nothing ugly in Craig LaBan’s write-up on Pennport’s Ugly American.

[Chef David] Gilberg has a few nice moves with seafood, too, like the garlicky head-on shrimp, and the seared dayboat scallops with chunky bacon-laced chowder and puffy popovers, and fried oysters with an addictive celery root-spinach salad.

But he has a special touch with beef, including possibly the best prime-grade steak deal in town. His ginger- and soy-marinated “Belvedere” – a wonderfully marbled chuck cut patented by Wells Meats – comes with a skillet-seared crust over a lavish smear of black truffle bearnaise. At $22 (and with a brilliant side of twice-baked potato stuffed with sweet creamy crab), this dish should draw surf ‘n’ turfers of all ilk, from the Pennsport neighbors to visitors from the no-man’s-land of the nearby Riverview complex.

Two Bells – Very Good

Ugly American [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Ugly American [Official Site]