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LaBan Touts Tipples at Lemon Hill; Erace Does Time

LaBan loves Lemon Hill.
LaBan loves Lemon Hill.
Photo: Fussing With Forks

Craig LaBan spends most of his Sunday column giving praise to Lemon Hill, highlighting a lot of great menu items in his two bell review (that reads like a three-beller). But, if you're going to Lemon Hill, LaBan suggests you spend most of your time throwing back their truly inspiring cocktails.

"I could practically taste the Blues Explosion simply by listening to our server Steve Rauscher's dramatic narration of the interplay between souring grapefruit, rounding maple syrup, an extra dose of Angostura spice, and the woody sweetness of Jack Daniel's. Even better, though, was bartender Michelle Curtis' off-menu riff on Penicillin, a lemony brew of citrus, Scotch, and honey jazzed with ginger and a peaty float of Laphroaig that beckoned my nose with Islay smoke. My new favorite cure-all."

LaBan gives a big thumbs up for Lemon Hill's philosophy of promoting brunch to gain a dedicated following in the neighborhood, and finds a handful of homeruns from executive chef Joel Mazigian. He even calls his BBQ chicken flatbread "borderline Dixie genius."

Adam Erace re-visits the scene of an almost criminally awful bunch of meals at Time, where the chef today, Sean Magee, is turning out some seriously adventurous dishes. Some are successful, some are not. The Kung Pao bone marrow is a winner.

"That creative spirit is what makes Time more relevant as a dining destination than it ought to be, best exemplified by the Kung Pao bone marrow, a long canoe of jellied beef fat brushed, while roasting, with soy sauce and brown sugar and fortified with Szechuan peppercorns and Chinese chilies. Crushed peanuts, chopped scallions and shards of crystallized ginger released their essential oils over the hot marrow's surface, creating another layer of flavor that drew me in bite after bite after bite."

Phyllis heads to Rittenhouse Tavern and takes on lunch. She praises just about every dish, and loves the burger mostly because she hates when restaurants use sweet brioche bread, which has happened way too often.

"Too much bread is usually the culprit. Some chefs use a sweet brioche roll for this savory dish. Elmi and his staff got it right. About 6 ounces of hand-ground, nicely seasoned organic beef was formed into a patty and grilled to medium-rare. Thank goodness the roll was not super-sized. A metal bucket filled with piping hot, golden French fries made us happy."

Three serious tips of the toque were bestowed upon Rittenhouse Tavern, and the service made Phyllis happy since no one referred to the table as "you guys." She hates that.

THE BLOGS: Foodzings finally gets to blogging about Stateside after eating there when it was the buzziest spot in Philly; 22nd and Philly announces that all Italian restaurants will be reviewed on the Nana Scale, which is all about her Nana; A Side of Ketchup gives props to the Betty Burger at Smokin' Betty's.

· All Week In Reviews Coverage [~EPHI~]

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