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Pennsylvania Dinner

A recent dinner at Pumpkin (17th and South)

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A recent dinner at Pumpkin (17th and South)

arifried | Aug 27, 2006 06:35 PM

This place is now without a doubt my favorite BYO in Philadelphia and one of the best places at which I have ever dined. I went with my girfriend and I got the fig appetizer, which was figs prepared three ways: First, there was a whole fig stewed in red wine, next a fig sliced and dressed with balsamic vinegar and chives, and third a flaky pastry baked with fig and goat cheese on top. All three dishes were spectacular. What stuck out about this dish was the execution - the ingredients were all fresh and the preparations simple, but the flavor combinations were bold and precise, enhancing the natural goodness of the in-season figs. Next, I had the braised veal breast, on a bed of rissotto ringed by a veal sauce. The meat was soft and flavorful and the risotto and sauce matched perfectly. Of particular note, however, was the fat on the meat, which melted in your mouth and became one with the rich sauce with which it was served. My girfriend ordered the whole grilled trout, which was simply dressed with olive oil and salt and pepper. It was served atop a mushroom-lentil cooked salad, whose earthiness highlighted the simple flavor of the minimally treated whole fish. For dessert we shared a pot of chocolate topped with hazelnut cream and served with a chocolate hazelnut biscotti. This was fantastic. It was easily as good as the last time I had this dish, in a great rustic-style place called Astier, in Paris.

I don't know why there isn't more of a buzz about Pumpkin - I often see it mentiond on the boards here as one of a handful of good BYO's, but the consistent quality of the ever-changing menu, and simplicity of the dishes along with their unerring execution marks it as a superior, not simply good, BYO. I'd love to hear from others who have been there recently and would like to share their experiences.

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