When you see a window boasting a colorful butterfly amid a neighborhood with mostly pubs and apartment buildings, you’ll know you’re in the right place. You won’t be surprised when you walk inside to find every square foot covered in millennial–friendly flowers, plants, neon lights, and shades of blue, pink, and purple.
Blume’s vibrant decor makes great fodder for your Instagram feed, but the ambiance left me feeling a bit confused about the intended experience. On one hand, the restaurant was rather informal, with bar seating, paper menus and napkins, pitchers of water, employees dressed in jeans, and a sports bar where people watched football. But on the other hand, the ornate food displays, mid–range prices, cocktail and wine selection, and stylish fixtures took me out of the sports bar mindset. Regardless of the inconsistency, the restaurant had an energetic vibe when we went, with popular hip–hop throwbacks blasting and large groups snapchatting their nights away. No one in the restaurant seemed to be over 30, but everyone seemed to be having a good time.
The menu boasts a hodgepodge of items, ranging from kung pao calamari to falafel to gnocchi to New York strip steak. We just missed happy hour, but the deals include $4 beers, $5 wines, $6 cocktails, $4 bites, and $5 snacks from 4 p.m.–6 p.m. on Mondays–Fridays.
The waitress recommended getting large dishes to share, so we started out with the avocado sundae, blistered shishitos and beans, heirloom tomato salad, and fig flatbread. The avocado sundae was a crowd favorite—it was modeled like an ice cream sundae, with the avocado dip masquerading as a scoop of ice cream, crème fraîche as whipped cream, balsamic vinaigrette as syrup, spices as sprinkles, and tomato as a cherry on top.
The blistered shishitos and beans were also a hit—the waitress explained that one in ten of the peppers are spicy, which made for a tangy surprise. However, we probably could have gone without the heirloom tomato salad and fig flatbreads we ordered, as the salad came drenched in dressing and the flatbread was rather greasy.
For the main course, we got the cauliflower steak and salmon entrées. The steak had an impressive display with a knife stabbed vertically through the middle, and the salmon platter was also arranged artistically. The dishes themselves didn’t disappoint—they were both rather flavorful, and certainly not swimming in oil. Both paired nicely with their respective side dishes of tabbouleh and tahini for the cauliflower, and quinoa and beets for the salmon.
The Instagram–worthy “Cotton Candy” drink was temporarily unavailable because the cotton candy machine was broken, so we went with the next most popular drink, the Purple Rain. It came in a tall glass of an ombré blend of purples, tasty and sugary enough for us to forget that there was any gin in the drink.
While none of the dishes left me wanting to rush back for more, the loud, chic, and hip ambiance made for an overall positive experience at this new fusion spot in Philly.
TL;DR: Phone eats first at this Instagram–friendly new spot, and the ambiance makes for a good time, but the food is just okay.
Location: 1500 Locust St.
Hours: Monday – Thursday, 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 12 p.m. – 2 a.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.