High Street on Market

308 Market Street

@HighStPhilly

(215) 625-0988

Price: $$

Don't MissSweet potato soup

Skip: Cannoli danish


High Street on Market makes things difficult. For a food critic, nothing comes together quicker than a train-wreck: the brakes screech at the appetizer, the wheels fall off during the entree and dessert induces stomach cramps. The rave review, however, is an arduous task to write––if an easy one to eat. At High Street, the only thing more difficult than deciding what to order is describing how damn good it tastes.

We walked into High Street on a Sunday morning to the smell of doughy artisanal breads and unfinished wood. The place is finished with bright overhead lights, stainless steel and an open kitchen displaying the day's freshly made appetizers and pastries––clean, modern and decidedly simple. It's also full. High Street doesn't take reservations and lacks the in-and-out atmosphere of other trendy spots. Thirty minutes later, the hostess sat us at a corner table among a crew of couples, twentysomethings and young families. Despite the wait, we still hadn't decided what to eat, so we opted for a little bit of everything.

I started with the sweet potato soup ($6), expecting a thick broth, but was surprised by the light and smooth texture which paired well with the crunch of the accompanying walnuts. Similarly the pizza of the day ($30), piled high with artichokes, spinach and other vegetables, proved crunchy but fresh, not weighed down by thick cheeses or heavy oils. A side of Sicilian cauliflower, currants and pistachios ($5) was the perfect compliment. The combination of steamed veggies was very flavorful and delicately flaked apart at the first stab of a fork. Though the food itself was light, the sheer volume of the dishes left us stuffed by dessert. No matter––we dove in for the red-eye danish ($3) and the cannoli danish ($2). The cannoli danish brimmed with ricotta cheese that served as a moat to the bittersweet chocolate filling and mustard cherry center. The red-eye danish, too, made for a curious but winning combination, throwing together espresso beans, ham and pastry.

High Street on Market does a difficult thing: it pairs simplicity with innovation. At this Old City restaurant, simple dishes become charmingly new.


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