June 15, 2011

Return to Supper

We don't typically like to make repeat reports on the same restaurant. However, there are a few places in Philly that are able to make each visit unique, calling us to return again and again. Supper falls into this category. A claims she's eaten there "a million times... or at least five", which to us might as well be a million. Since starting the blog, we've enjoyed a collaborative dinner, brunch, and a blogger meet-up. This past weekend, my boyfriend made a special request to eat dinner at Supper for our once-a-month date. As a former South Street resident, it has been garnering his attention for quite some time.

Fun and quirky "chandelier"

This is actually the first time I've eaten a "normal" dinner here- the other two evening meals were for Restaurant Week and the collab. Dinner at Supper starts out with your choice of bread... well, our waiter actually chose ours for us. I happened to receive a piece of delicate, pillowy, garlic tinted boule, as well as a denser, nuttier, whole-grain version. The third option was a plainer baguette with a thin, crispy crust. We were also offered bread in between the apps and the main course, perhaps to make up for their somewhat notoriously small portions.

We began the meal with an item off the "Hors D'oeurves" portion of the menu: the relish tray ($8). It seems like the options for these are constantly changing, allowing some creative liberties. The first of the trio was pickled sea beans with crystallized ginger and... some sort of white crunchy thing that has entirely slipped my mind. The pickly vinegar flavor in this was the most evident, and the crunchiness of the sea beans lent themselves to being pickled- reminded me a bit of okra. Our least favorite was the pickled chard with mint. The chard leaves were whole, stem intact, which made for a very fiber-y mouthful. A hint of rosewater was more like essence of potpourri. Crunchy, lightly pickled cauliflower with dried olives was certainly the most "normal," salty and satisfying.

Up next was a first course item, a "white pie" ($12). The plate started out with a crispy flatbread with a spread of creamy chevre, layered with thin cross-sections of cauliflower and shaved white asparagus, topped with a poached egg, and finished off with parmesan cheese and a generous drizzle of cream sauce. This little guy was absolutely delicious as well as super original. It prompted us to consider ingredient options for other colors- "black pie" had us stumped. The choices here came together for a great combination of savory flavors and texture.

As per usual, the boyfriend ordered the red meat for his entree- the flank steak ($28). Ordered medium rare, the meat was gorgeous- a well-seared crust on the outside surrounding a crimson interior. Flank steak is a little on the chewier side, which is offset by a burst of salty meaty flavor in every chew. A little smear of herbed butter didn't hurt either. The meat was served with a few soft yet crispy onion rings and a deconstructed Caesar salad- grilled romaine, hard-boiled egg, parmesan crisps, and a little pile of oily chopped anchovies and olives hidden beneath the rings. Not your standard steak house meal- and well-appreciated as such.

A slight change to the menu made my choice for me- the lamb shank was replaced by a merguez lamb sausage as well as a few hunks of lamb loin ($24). The two meats played off one another well- velvety loin vs. crispy ground sausage, with the lamb flavor standing alone in the loin as opposed to a spicy, nutty flavor in the sausage. Both were cooked perfectly according to their cut. Toasted farro was a new-to-me grain reminiscent of barley, though the toasted element added another dimension of flavor. Chewy and creamy, aided by crumbles of the creamiest mild feta I've had in recent memory. Grilled artichokes, olives, and whole garlic cloves provided the dish with a Mediterranean flavor profile, while a sage-y, chunky tomato sauce (or really more like a paste) on the sausage made for a meatball sandwich experience in the middle of the dish. Again, super interesting and extremely well executed. A five star dish for sure.

While we weren't particularly hungry coming in to the meal (thank you, delicious afternoon BBQ), we left perfectly content, already fondly looking back at the dinner we had just consumed. To me the true sign of a job well done is the discussion that follows, often continuing on over the next few days. Supper is one of those gems- while not EVERY component is necessarily perfect (in my own opinion, anyway) the thought process and ensuing construction of each of our menu choices really came together to produce an exciting and unique meal. I wish I had saved room for the strawberry rhubarb pie!

926 South Street

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