Simply Splendid Pub & Kitchen
Trey Popp finds plenty to celebrate in the upscale makeover of Pub & Kitchen.
[Chef Jonathan] McDonald has shelved a lot of the hypercreative impulses that initially reigned at Snackbar during its first few challenging months, but that doesn’t mean he’s just painting by numbers now. Stellar homemade bacon elevates Pub & Kitchen’s Windsor burger into the ranks of Philadelphia’s best â€” even if the $12 price tag makes it one of the most expensive, as well. The fish and chips aren’t cheap, either, but when hake this moist comes in batter as crispy as what hit my plate, you won’t be aching for another version. And if there’s an award for the glummest-sounding side dish that ends up stealing the show, the “mushy peas” has got to clinch it.
A changing selection of somewhat more creative appetizers and entrÃ©es more than held its own. A filet of fluke came perfectly cooked atop a savory bed of mustard greens and French lentils whose earthy, slightly tangy profile provided a perfect foil for the sweet, flaky white fish. Skate also came out flawlessly, which is a good litmus test of a kitchen’s seafood chops. A tiny pyramid of razor-thin fennel shavings pumped up the anise notes of a lobster bisque daily special just enough to focus, but not dominate, my attention.