Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Farm and Fisherman

Chef Josh Lawler and wife-partner Colleen Lawler recently arrived from New York, where he cooked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. (Ed Hille / Staff Photographer)
Chef Josh Lawler and wife-partner Colleen Lawler recently arrived from New York, where he cooked at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. (Ed Hille / Staff Photographer)
About the restaurant
1120 Pine St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
267-687-1555
Rating:
Neighborhood: Center City Parking: On street.
Hours: Dinner Tuesday through Sunday, 5-10 p.m.
Prices: $$$
Payment methods:
MasterCard
Visa
Cuisine type: American
Style: Philly's next great BYOB has blossomed in Washington Square West, where former Blue Hill at Stone Barns chef de cuisine Josh Lawler and his wife, Colleen, are showing the pretenders how "farm to table" should be done. Artful food and personal service are the focus in this spare-but-pleasant 30-seat room, where the menu changes daily to showcase ultra-seasonal and often rare ingredients with a naturalist's touch. The constant menu flux brought some early inconsistency, but Lawler's many hits provided thrilling new takes on the local bounty of sea and land.
Specialties: Beet steak; hiramasa in rhubarb broth; carrot soup; asparagus-ramp soup; stuffed quail; sea robin with lobster and gnocchi; pullet eggs with spinach and fiddlehead ferns; farm egg; striped bass; pork loin with spaetzle; scallops with couscous; stuffed chicken; cheese platter; honey panna cotta.
Alcohol: The BYOB menu's focus on the delicacy of fresh produce calls for flavorful but middleweight wines that won't drown ingredients out. Think pinot noirs, tempranillo, or barbera for red, and aromatic whites that avoid too much buttery oak, either from Europe (Falanghina from Campania, crisp Burgundian Chablis) or an Oregon pinot gris (such as Elk Cove).
Weekend noise: The minimal decor stokes a noisy, nearly 90-decibel din. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)

This Washington Square West BYOB was one of the star debuts of 2011, with Josh Lawler, formerly of chef de cuisine at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and his wife, Colleen, showing the pretenders how farm-to-table is done.

Artful food and personal service are the focus in this spare but pleasant, 30-seat room, where the menu changes daily to showcase ultra-seasonal and often foraged ingredients with a naturalist’s touch that offer thrilling new takes on the local bounty of sea and land.

Full review

More coverage
  • Full review from June 19, 2011
  • Craig LaBan Inquirer Restaurant Critic
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