Monday, October 25, 2010

Voila! A Delightful Philly Restaurant Discovery

It's not often that we make a new restaurant discovery in our own backyard -- especially one that's been around for decades.
But that's exactly what happened this past weekend when our dear friend (and legendary attorney and women's rights champion) Arline Lotman introduced us to FridaySaturdaySunday.
Just off tony Rittenhouse Square, this intimate dining spot at 261 S. 21st St.has been tempting and satisfying discriminating palates almost as long as anyone can remember. But we had never been there.
Now we know what we've been missing. And we're sorry we didn't get there sooner.
Anyway, from the moment we walked into this cozy corner enclave we were charmed.
No wonder Philadelphia Magazine has called this place one of Philadelphia's most romantic restaurants. With soft lighting, subdued frescoes, inviting corner booths and soft reflections, the whole atmosphere is captivating. It's all vaguely French but (thankfully!) thoroughly American. In fact, the dreamy wall murals reminded us of the renowned Cafe Caryle in Manhattan (long a favorite of yours).
The Inquirer's Craig LeBan has rightly called this place "a classic" and decreed it "one of the most vibrant spots in the city.
As is our custom with Arline (and with most of our most cherished friends) we began with icy Belvedere martinis.
Then we moved on to a celestial Kennett Square cream of mushroom soup. With chicken broth, cognac, cream and the freshest mushrooms, the soup was a real treat. We also tried the asparagus with chunky tomato vinaigrette consisting of  poached asparagus with tomatoes, scallions, capers, pearl onions & balsamic vinaigrette. Both of these appetizers were sheer perfection.
Our main courses: Jumbo lump crab cake (two cakes, large luscious and overflowing with rich crab meat); horseradish panko crusted tilapia (with cilantro lime and just as described, wonderful) and a superb petite filet mignon.
For dessert we enjoyed what was probably the most incredible Jewish apple cake we've ever tasted and a rich double chocolate layer cake. All of FridaySaturdaySunday's desserts are baked on premises by the restaurant's own pastry chef.
The convivial atmosphere at FridaySaturdaySunday encourages lively, intellectually stimulating conversation to go along with the great food and drink.
One cautionary note: Even with an upstairs bar and dining area, seating here is tight throughout. If you favor an expansive venue with high ceilings, big roomy chairs and drama to match, this place is not for you. Furthermore, it's always safe to have reservation as this restaurant rightly commands a very loyal following.
Appetizers run $9 - $14, small plates $15 - 19, entrees $23 - $30 and all desserts are $8. Trust us: It's all worth it!
It took us far to long to get there but now FridaySaturdaySunday is near the top of our list for exceptional dining experiences. And it should be at the top of your list as well. Enjoy!
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