Celebrating Valentine’s day on a day other than well, Valentine’s Day, is something I suggest to everyone. The menu is back to normal, the dining room is empty, and the setting is much more romantic. This year, given my hectic studying schedule and L’s extraordinarily busy work and school schedule, we planned our date for the only open day of the week. Despite the fact that it was a Wednesday, all stops were pulled and we enjoyed a fabulous (overdue) evening.
The Setting: Adsum Restaurant at 5th & Bainbridge. A funky, eclectic bistro in the Queen Village neighborhood of Philadelphia. The bar is perhaps one of my favorites in Philly. Comfortable yet special atmosphere with wine, beer, and cocktails housed in science beakers.
The Drinks: Sunday-Thursday, 5-7 pm, Adsum hosts a happy hour offering two $4 wines and three $2 beers. I enjoyed the Garancha (red wine) while L indulged in a beer or two from the $2 list.
The Food: The happy hour doesn’t stop at drinks! During the same hours, there are about five items selected from the regular starter menu offered at 1/2 price. Tonight, I chose the Mushroom Pickles; essentially balsamic marinated mushrooms with and extremely addictive bacon mayonnaise on the side. L decided on the ever popular soy glazed wings.
After our jaunt at the bar, we moved to the dining room. Now, we had been studying the crazy menu that Chef Levin created since we arrived an hour before, but still had no idea what to order. Every single menu item sounded incredible making it extremely difficult to choose. But, since L declared this our new “spot” we both were calmed by the promise that we will be back as soon as possible and finally chose…
I indulged in the down home Shrimp and grits, dirty andouille. For lack of a more creative description, it was straightforward and perfect. The ‘dirty’ component was the chicken liver topping each shrimp. Trust me, even if you don’t think of yourself as a ‘liver lover’, try it and you will fall in love instantly.
L chose the homemade pierogies, burnt onions, thyme, smoked buttermilk (created into a foam). These were the best pierogies I’d ever had! The dough was had an incredible texture and the filling was smooth, savory and satisfying. I’d suggest ordering this for the table for a nice starter dish.
The Service: Absolutely wonderful; the bartender is awesome and the waitstaff is incredibly knowledgable, fun, and attentive without being overbearing.
In sum: Just as the website describes, “A refined neighborhood bistro”, indeed. Incredible comfort food with a twist in a fabulous yet unpretentious environment.
Cute story: I was doing work in CC today and wandered past this shop and thought “what a special treat! I’ll surprise Luke with some macaron and other treats.”Later, when he arrived home, I was so excited I told him immediately that I stopped buy and purchased some goodies. A big smile came over his face, he laughed, I asked why and he just shrugged me off. I got curious, and started looking in the fridge, even the top of his backpack, checking to see if he, too, had a surprise. I found nothing, the thought left my mind, and I continued to get ready. Right before we were set to walk out the door he opened the kitchen cabinet, pulled out an all too familiar brown box, opened it and smiled… a big box of macarons for us to enjoy. Great minds think alike, huh?
A fabulous evening of good food, the best company, and love in the air.
update: this restaurant is now closed