Restaurants & Bars 4

The Dandelion

Delucacheesemonger | Apr 1, 2011 05:28 PM

Let me preface this report with the statement that l am not a fan of Starr properties. Even the ones l like as both Morimoto in Philadelphia and Morimoto in New York along with those l do not seem too 'corporate' to me. With that said, went to The Dandelion tonight at 18th and Sansom St. You walk in through a wind curtain into a bar section that is long and narrow and then walk up a half flight of steps to the lounge area with the receptionist and a fireplace. When your table is ready, you then walk up another long flight of stairs to a room that looks very Beatrix Potter-esque with appropriate wall decorations and colors. Up another half flight is the dining room's service bar, Seems an odd setup but suspect with the space they have been given, they have done the best they possibly could. If you have trouble walking steps, you either can sit in the bar, where the music is very soul and very loud or, there is no or. The music was the same in the dining room, but was turned down immediately when asked and was unobtrusive the rest of the time. Asked about the odd music in an English Pub and was told there have many requests to change it, but Mr Starr likes it as is, thus it will stay. Now to the food and service which in all regards could not have been better. First our waitress named Caitlin was perfect, always checking and never rushing us and getting every thing done as it should have been. My GF started with a Caesar salad which came with little toast with an anchovy butter on them that made a perfectly dressed and perfect tasting Caesar. The bread that came with the meal was from the bakery at Parc and was a hard crust airy sourdough pain de compagne and a country whole grain that had honey in it as well. The breads were accompanied by excellent butter and a small jar of Maldon salt. The bread was among the best breads l have eaten in this city. Along with Vetri and Modo Mio, this made a great trio. Shame bakeries cannot bake bread this good, or at least what l like. Next course was Welsh Rarebit, not served in a dish fondue style with toast points, but sort of a melty cheese bread thing, not grainy and cheddary enough for me, but very well prepared. The other second course was their mac and cheese. This was a bit salty but served in a casserole with uncured ham in it that had the texture of duck and was very, very good. Third courses for my GF was fish and chips. A very large piece of cod was fried well and came with housemade tartar sauce and the best french fries l have had for a long long time. The fries were a half inch on a side, very hot and cooked to perfection, the fish was excellent as well. l ordered the pork belly. As it was only $14 l assumed it would be a small portion, oh no, it was gigantic and frankly the best rendition l have ever had of this dish, sorry Cochon and Fond. It came on a bed of long cooked Le Puy lentils that were over the top as well. Also came with mashed potatoes with mustard seed, that were almost untouched as compared to the other parts, somewhat unremarkable. We shared one dessert, the sticky toffee pudding and it was warm and wonderful as well. For drinks, GF had a chardonnay at $ 11/glass and l tried the three artisanal quinine tonic waters. l loved one, liked one, and left the third, all very interesting. They also include house bubbly or plain reverse osmosis water on them. l really do not gush often, but this was a wonderful meal from start to finish. $ 165/2 tip, tax included

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