After a decade and two restaurants in Chicago, native Philadelphian Joncarl Lachman makes his homecoming count with an intimate Dutch-influenced bistro off East Passyunk’s Singing Fountain that captures the best of our BYO scene. Lachman’s “eetcafe” eschews trendy “new Nordic” cuisine for a more rustic take on Northern European cooking, from house-baked barley bread to rabbit smothered in zuurkool, and the soulful flavors trump any lack of flash in a simple corner room that exudes clean elegance and personal service.
Cauliflower vichyssoise; bitterballen (pork meatballs); chopped chicken and duck liver; scallop with mustard soup; prawns with North Sea citrus butter; smørrebrød; Amsterdam-style mussels; softshell crab special with watermelon salad; lamb burger; haddock with corn and pickled peaches; salmon Lohikeitto; pork chops; rabbit confit with zuurkool; boterkoek met advocaat (almond butter cake); fruit parfait.
BYOB: Bring a white for the seafood-centric menu, especially a richer white (from Burgundy, Alsace, Alto Adige, or Germany) that will complement some of the richer Northern European preparations.
The small space has few buffers to dampen the 93-decibel din, especially when cafe windows are closed. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Dinner Wednesday and Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, until 10:30 p.m.; Sunday until 9 p.m.