Sunday, May 02, 2010

Tinto, Philadelphia


I spent most of Labor Day weekend in New York, but because of the holiday and airline tickets being as jacked up as they were, I flew into Philadelphia for a day trip before taking the train to NY. For dinner, we went to Tinto, a wine bar/Basque restaurant near Rittenhouse Square.

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The restaurant and its tables are very small, but it makes for a very cozy and romantic dinner date. (Extra points for the scallop-patterned tables, wall to wall horizontal mirror behind me and wall of wines in front of me).
Their menu changes constantly, so go to their website for the latest version. Below are cheese crisps as an amuse-bouche, with a roasted red pepper sauce for dipping.
Frisee salad with a very hard dry goat cheese - very nice contrast in character between the richness of the cheese flavor and the lightness of the greens.
Arugula salad with figs and fried cheese balls - the fried cheese balls are as good as they sound.
Tinto's version of moules frites - mussels and herb encrusted fries. The fries alone are amazing, and even more amazing dipped in the tomato based moules sauce.
We didn't order the pork belly, but somebody was looking down on us and they delivered these to the wrong table. Marinated pork belly with cucumber garnish:
What we did order was the duck confit - the duck flavor highlighted by the sweetness of black cherry at the end of the bread.
Herb roasted chicken with truffle mashed potatoes - AMAZING. I don't know what the little green pea-like things are, but they are more sturdy than peas, and definitely more delicious than peas. The skin of the chicken was crusty and crispy. Truffle mashed potatoes are simply the most delicious thing ever. I wanted the aftertaste to last in my mouth forever.
I would have voted the seared scallops on creamy corn puree the best dish of the night, except for the truffled mashed potatoes above blowing everything else out of the water. The creamy corn puree was not mindblowing, but the scallops were pretty great - slightly crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Best eaten with the lardons scattered on the corn puree.
I don't have any pictures of dessert because there simply was not time. All these dishes were delivered as soon as they were made, one at a time, and it took quite a few hours because of the sheer number of dishes eaten. There was also a slight snafu with the pork belly that came that we did not order, and them forgetting to deliver our last two dishes - the scallops and the chicken. All the food paired with wine, I was happily tipsy and distended to the max after this delicious meal.

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