To celebrate Jodi's graduation, we decided to go to Russet, a restaurant located in an old town house near the center of Philadelphia. There, Chef-owners Kristin and Andrew Wood crafted a menu inspired by French and Italian cuisine, using seasonal ingredients. You can check their menu on their website, but it may change on a daily basis, depending on the availability of ingredients. In fact, I even noticed that they mentioned some of their products purveyors on the menu.
I like the atmosphere of the place, rustic and relaxed., with a very good service.
Menu wise, it is à la carte and is limited, proposing a nice balance of dishes between classic and adventurous. After we ordered, they brought us some bread that I guess was homemade, as well as butter.
Then, a homemade blackberry soda that was delicious, not too sweet. I should mention that they do not have a liquor license, but is BYOB, so the soda was my best alternative for this celebration...
Then came the appetizers. Jodi ordered the asparagus vichyssoise, served cold. Normally, a vichyssoise is made with leeks, so it was their twist on it and worked well, being both refreshing and having a great taste.
On my side, I decided to try their strascinati alla sangue, a lamb ragu prepared with chocolate and orange. I love lamb, but what made me order this dish was definitely the chocolate and orange in the dish. I loved the texture of the lamb that was a bit chewy and carried through the thick sauce an amazing bold taste. But I could not really taste the chocolate there, getting more the taste of the orange that were sitting on top of the dish. It was a very good dish that I thought was perfect as an appetizer rather than an entrée.
For her main course, Jodi went for the Mycopolitan mushroom pie, a dish that takes its name from a mushroom farm near Philly. It was served with shaved asparagus, ricotta and aged balsamic vinegar. It was a good dish, perfect if you are vegetarian, but a bit pricey.
On my side, I went for the smoked Lancaster duck breast, served with black beans, broccolini and a rhubarb glaze that had a bit of a heat. This dish was sublime: the duck had a delightfully charred skin and a nice amount of fat, and was perfectly cooked, being pink. That was simply amazing. Pairing it with black beans was interesting as this is not a product you would find in a French dish.
For dessert, we decided to order their bittersweet chocolate crémeux tart, served with a black pepper crème fraiche and some preserved cherries. This was a great dessert that would satisfy chocolate lovers. It was not too sweet and I loved mixing in each spoon different ingredients, cherries with chocolate, crème fraiche with chocolate, with or without the tart crust that could have been made with Oreo cookies.
We left Russet full, but without the impression we over ate, glad that we found such a place. Russet is a wonderful restaurant that proposes unique dishes in what is an unusual decor for us, but not so much in Philadelphia. I highly recommend this place and would definitely go back.
Enjoy (I did)!
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