New Philadelphia Restaurant's Menu Features Only Fresh, Local Ingredients
But the offerings at Mémé are anything but ordinary.
Editor's note: Warren resident Frank DeVico has been following his son, Teddy, 15, as Teddy learns about gourmet cooking and fine restaurants. Teddy launched his own blog at teenchefteddy.blogspot.com, and he and Frank will be sharing their experiences in this column.
Readers with questions about cooking, restaurants and new flavors for Frank and Teddy to explore are welcome to email them to email@example.com, then check back every Friday for the DeVico's Culinary Quest.
Teddy learned about a restaurant in Philadelphia he wanted to visit, called Mémé, at 2201 Spring St. He said the executive chef David Katz decided that he opened a new restaurant,
he wanted it to be the type of place where he would like to eat in—a
casual spot where the food speaks for itself.
"Katz uses locally sourced produce to create rustic, yet contemporary food," Teddy said. "The menu is small and is dictated by what is available in the market that day."
When Teddy went, the menu included mussels and several pork entrees, and a strip steak. Here are his notes on the "Sizzling Mussels with Lemon, Olive Oil, Herbs":
"Mussels arrive at the table singing and dancing with joy; sizzling in
a cast iron skillet the aroma is redolent. These plump beauties are
devoid of their shell and suprisingly crispy. The flavors are strong
and come from lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs. Can I get some more?"
He ordered "Pig's Head Agnolotti." I asked how that was.
"Agnolotti were expertly crafted into little pillows. Instead of being
stuffed with feathers these pillows were stuffed with a farce made of
pig's face. I don't know if I would want to sleep with these, but I
definately loved eating them. If I had a small complaint it would be
that the dish was slightly underseasoned."
Next was the "Roasted Bone Marrow with Toasted Baguette and Caramelized Onions":
"Roasted bone marrow was stunning. The fatty goodness of the marrow
played of well with the sweet onions. Scooped on a toasted baguette
this was a morsel of food that will be remembered."
"Garganelli with Broccolini, Chilies, Parmesan":
The only dish that failed to wow my palate was the garganelli. The
dish was crying for acid and just didn't leave me craving for more.
"Roasted Strip Steak with Grilled Asparagus, Roasted Potatoes, and
The safe dish on the menu of "meat and potatoes" was shockingly
exciting. The strip was cooked perfectly and seasoned well. Every
garnish on the plate was so flavorful and complemented the beef.
"Pork T-Bone with Sweet Potato Puree and Caramelized Onions":
A massive Pork T-Bone was well marbled and opulent. The meat near the
bone was divine and the fat was super crispy, almost like a "pork foie
gras." The sweet potato puree was comforting and incredibly smooth.
This dish was a perfect example of how cooking on the bone greatly
enhances the final product.
"Chocolate Ganache Cake with Vanilla Gelato":
A moist chocolate cake was gooey and warm, served with an intense
vanilla gelato it was sublime. How can that not make your mouth water?
I also tried a pound cake, studded with lemon zest, which was refreshing and rich at the same time. The kumquats had a nice acidity and an interesting chew.
Fresh whipped cream brought the whole dish together.
Service was amiable and very down to earth. Our server was joking
around a lot and having tons of fun with us. The only mistake was a
forgotten dessert, but that was fixed upon notice.
Mémé is a restaurant where there is no pretense in sight. You can go
and eat great food while feeling welcomed. If you are in Philadelphia
and are craving exciting food in a cosy atmosphere this is the place.