Taste: Where Were Eating: January 2008
Where the staffers of Philadelphia Magazine are eating this month.
It’s got all the makings of a BYOB that just happened to score a liquor license — a small, cheery dining room, the Missus at the tiny afterthought of a bar, relatives serving the tables — but South Street’s Las Bugambilias has been full-serve since day one. The margaritas need work, but you should dive right into the $14 cochinita pibil, a slow-cooked mountain of shredded pork, equally pleasant alone or on warm tortillas, and the extra-beefy enchiladas, which get crunch from romaine and radish. Salmon and grouper are lusty and treated with care. If the plating and flavors seem familiar, you’re more likely recalling your last trip to Tequila’s — where Bugambilias chef Carlos Molina cooked for 15 years — than your trip to Cancún.
148 South Street, 215-922-3190.
As the folksy name implies, Supper has a comfortable kiss-the-cook vibe — and people do. Chef Mitch Prensky and his wife Jen are well known to many of their early customers, clients of their Global Dish catering company whom they greet by name. The decor is casually eclectic — a twisting Warren Muller light fixture alongside an eBay collection of ceramic sheep — but the menu is meticulous. Each small plate — designed less for sharing than for assembling individual tasting menus (expect to pay $45 to $60 per person) — is carefully composed. The mâche salad is a winding path of greens, chanterelles, poached green apple and grassy Beaufort cheese; the autumn gnocchi, a well-balanced combination of soft, sweet squash and crisp, salty guanciale.
926 South Street, 215-592-8180, supperphilly.com.
Main Line Prime
What Derek Davis missed most about Kansas City Prime, the Main Street Manayunk steakhouse he ran for 10 years, was the meat. Nothing available near his Main Line home matched the quality he could source at the restaurant. Enter Main Line Prime. Davis’s surprisingly low-key Ardmore butcher shop — the offerings may be fancy, but the signs are handwritten, and the shelving is industrial — sates his craving for wet- and dry-aged prime beef (think $25.99 a pound for dry-aged rib eye), plus a shopping list of other national and local gourmet names: Jamison Farm lamb, heritage Duroc pork, Hendricks Farms cheeses, even Japanese Kobe beef, an intensely marbled meat, long unavailable in the United States, that retails for $199.99 a pound.
18 Greenfield Avenue, Ardmore, 610-645-9500.
The odd intersection of 6th, Passyunk and Catharine has been a recent restaurant hot spot. The latest addition: Golosa, which is picking up where the space’s former tenant, Dessert, left off. A menu of slightly more adventurous offerings now tempts the ever-larger after-dinner crowd. (Golosa doesn’t open until 4 most days, but serves until 11.) Settle into the crushed blue velvet chairs for a rich — but not-too-sweet — coffee concoction like the vanilla-and-spice Caffe Creolo, and taste your way from Madagascar to Venezuela with a global chocolate sampler. Or indulge in the homier torta alla carota — carrot cake with cream cheese icing.
806 South 6th Street, 215-925-1003.