A high-minded menu manages to keep it real.
The Fitler Dining Room, chef Robert Marzinsky’s most recent endeavor, will find itself among Philadelphia’s most prized corner bistros. Two full walls of windows let in the warm street lights of 22nd and Spruce streets, imparting invaluable openness to the dining room. Inside, gleaming white subway tiles, stainless steel from the exposed kitchen, dark wooden tables and vintage–style incandescent lighting gently fuse classical elegance with a tasteful hint of industrial–chic. This was the backdrop for my meal, an unforgettable four–course affair.
Potato gnocchi ($15) followed, plated with peekytoe crab, chanterelle mushrooms, corn, peach and shellfish–lime butter. The peppery flesh of the chanterelle and the starchy gnocchi formed a canvas for the natural sweetness of the crab, underpinned by the corn, butter and (my favorite) the diced peach. Despite lacking obvious textural contrast, the corn contributed surprising crunch and pop to the plate.
The Barnget scallops ($28) continued the seafood trend, served in a sweet corn chowder with marble potato, celery and mussels. The chowder felt somewhat redundant after the gnocchi and roux; however, these flavors pair for a reason, the chowder allowing the perfectly cooked scallops to realize their savory and delicately sweet potential.
Later, a beautifully cooked Moulard duck breast ($26) came served atop French lentils, a bright orange piquillo sauce, crushed almonds and saffron–infused dried apricots—a pretty plate. The rich duck meat retained its primacy faced with the smoky pepper sauce and lentils, and the dried apricots contributed a dimension of tartness so complementary in duck recipes.
Though already four plates in, I willingly went for one more. I selected the von Trapp Oma cheese ($3) for dessert—raw cow’s milk cheese, plated with warm bread, cherry jam, honey and green apple. Fitler’s Dining Room provided elegant, thoughtfully–prepared food the whole night through; this dish proved to be the goodnight kiss.
Fitler Dining Room 2201 Spruce St. @FitlerDiningRM (215) 732–3331
Don't Miss: von Trapp Oma cheese Skip: The oysters $$$$