What to Eat This Weekend: Summer Squash

Five places to eat this versatile vegetable

The summer solstice came and went last weekend, bringing in temperatures above 90 degrees, the first trips to the shore, and summer squash season. The mild, tender vegetable — in zucchini, pattypan and crookneck variations — is now ubiquitous on local menus, thanks to its versatility. Philly-area chefs are roasting, baking, deep-frying, and stewing it. Click through to find out who’s serving it (and how) this weekend.

The menu at Old City’s longstanding, locally focused bistro is swimming in squash. For brunch, chef Terence Feury offers zucchini two ways: a three-egg omelet with local zucchini, summer squash, tomato, and goat cheese; and a Branch Creek Farms zucchini blossom with poached farm egg. Recent dinners have included seared sea scallops with tarragon pistou, crispy zucchini blossom, and Branch Creek pattypan squash. Fork’s summer grilling menu — which debuts Thursday, July 1 — will als0 feature grilled striped bass with tomato vinaigrette, grilled zucchini bread salad, basil, and parsley.
Fork, 306 Market Street, 215-625-9425

West Chester BYOB Avalon just updated its menu for summer; appropriately, zucchini studs several dishes. You can start with the summer salad — a mélange of beets, peaches, zucchini, and raspberry vinaigrette; move onto the risotto-style Lobster orzo with corn and zucchini; and finish off with the grilled fish of the day with a chickpea and zucchini salad.
Avalon, 312 South High Street, West Chester, 610-436-4100

Matyson — a New American BYOB in Center City — got inventive with its supply of squash sourced from Lancaster County and Blue Moon Acres Farm in Montgomery County. The different iterations of summer squash on the menu — squash blossom tempura appetizer with crab stuffing, cherry tomato confit and saffron-vanilla aioli; ratatouille with squash and zucchini accompanying the crispy-skinned bronzino entrée; stewed summer squash with herb roasted chicken breast — show its flexibility (and tastiness).
Matyson, 37 South 19th Street, 215-564-2925

Restaurant Alba
Summer squash is blooming all over this rustic BYOB’s menu. Alongside the wood-fire grilled hanger steak, Chef Sean Weinberg serves a gratin of local zucchini, crookneck, and pattypan squash, tossed in an onion-tomato-anchovy soffrito, and roasted with a farm egg cracked on top. There’s also handmade tagarin pasta with butter, parmesan, and roasted zucchini, finished with a chiffonade of squash blossom and rosemary.
Restaurant Alba, 7 West King Street, Malvern, 610-644-4009

Chef Jason Cichonski at Lacroix presents fine cuisine with a twist—he roasts Blue Moon Acres baby zucchini and baby pattypan squash and serves it with a sheet of goat cheese and warm vanilla vinaigrette for lunch.
Lacroix, The Rittenhouse Hotel, 210 West Rittenhouse Square, 215-546-9000