Supper is served, every night!
Is it possible that Philadelphia Magazine’s #42 actually left me speechless… or shall I say it is a self-diagnosed case of chef got my tongue, seriously? I don’t think my taste buds have yet to walk out of the beautiful glass vestibule of this gorgeous, but understated eatery.
Chef Mitch and Jennifer Prensky’s South Philly, Supper Restaurant, literally glows as it sits on the corner of South and Dehli streets in the city’s Bella Vista neighborhood. It is exactly where it belongs, well, in a neighborhood I mean. Opening the big doors and entering into the restaurant, you might be confused. Are you in your dream house or are you here to order yourself a three course meal? The atmosphere relaxes you, it entices you, and above all things it makes you smile. What else would your reaction be to the fact that the bread sits on a beautiful farm house style side board in the center of the room, cut in front of you as it is needed? Or the fact that when you order their cheese plate, your waiter handcrafts it in plain view at the same station so that it is impossible to not take note of the way they attend to each detail meticulously.
Let me speak about the former, the bread. It is due to the bread that I was able to have a wonderful conversation with owner Jennifer, as yes, she was the one that brought over the basket of freshly cut selections to the table where my guest and I were seated. See, I told you, you feel this sense of closeness and care that makes it seem as if you are at a dinner party with your 30 closest friends and Mitch and Jennifer are serving you. Forget what I learned about the bread, although it tasted beyond spectacular, parbaked and sent from New York City to be the baked in house in varieties like whole grain, garlic italian, and ciabatta. Jennifer just spoke passion. As I told her my story, she told hers back, demonstrating her love for the industry and of course her dedication, telling me fondly that she practically lives at the restaurant.
This is the kind of restaurant you want to dine in. Depending on in what capacity, you could actually dine at Supper every day of the week, including an actual Sunday Supper held on the first Sunday of each month. How awesome is that? If brunch is more your style, call me up and we will go one day because, what do my eyes zero in with their offerings…. Just a selection of RED VELVET WAFFLES.
If you can’t tell why the chef got my tongue yet, all you really need to do is gaze over the dinner menu. My guest and I were like giddy little girls in a toy store squealing over each creatively crafted dish… One order of everything would have been nice, but overindulging is really no fun. Whether you are in the mood for healthy or hearty, small bites, or plates big enough to share, there is something for everyone. Need I also mention that the Prenskys are even more perfect, boasting a very admirable partnership with Blue Elephant Farm? Yes, 75 acres in Newtown Square, where most all of their fresh produce is grown. They have a vegetarian menu that is strictly formulated based on the day’s pickings. Talk about one of the freshest salads I have ever had … topped off with a well blended, albeit small serving, of buttermilk dressing.
For those that are in the mood for finger licking good, give one of their appetizers a run for its money. Small bites, but shareable. There is no sense in not ordering at least two or three of their dishes.
One bite into these pillowey pretzels doused in housemade beer mustard and you remember what it is you love so much about Philadelphia. Forget that soft pretzels are one of the most fabulous comfort foods out there, because that gut sensation definitely kicks in, but what goes better together than salty dough and absurdly perfect tangy mustard. Yea, get back to me when you come up with that answer.
The finger licking isn’t complete until you also taste Supper’s smoked chicken wings. Anytime buttermilk and chicken are thrown together, the end result is guaranteed to be juicy. Double the juicy by being able to enjoy that amazing and unavoidable caramelization magic that the sugar from the birch beer makes to glaze each bite you take. You are going to wish there were more of these sweet sensations when the last bone is strewn aside.
If you are going to forgo the appetizers, the smoked sweet potato soup might be something that you want to start your meal off with instead. It is a great palette prepper, and the presentation is beyond genius. I won’t give away the theatrics of it all, but it really is a must see!
These are all just the starters, the choices for the bigger plates are as spectacular, and possibly even more difficult to choose just one of! A nice variety of meat and fish, be prepared for some great flavor combinations. How about slow cooked pork belly with pineapple mustard? Or their super decadent Supper Burger. It is comprised of house ground brisket, served with duck fat fried potatoes. It is so moist and delicious it literally falls apart to the touch.
I must admit that I was a little overwhelmed by the flavors of the lamb meatballs. Heavy on the garlic, and definitely a dish that could be filling in and of itself, I am afraid it is not something I would order again. That is not to say that a combination of lamb and feta is not a great one.
Although I am sure it is intentional, there is nothing more wonderful than when a restaurant offers all of their desserts with some sort of palette cleanser, may that be a sorbet or an ice cream. Cranberry ice cream was the final step in our Supper adventure that night, and along with it came a small Apple cobbler covered with a blanket of biscuit crumbs.
These sweets seemed to stand alone from each better than they did when a spoon of ice cream met a spoon of cobbler but either way, there was no question that this was an excellent way to finish off the meal.
Mitch and Jennifer, you have officially served the best Supper on South Street. I can’t say it is the best supper in Philly, yet. I will get back to you in December once my journey is complete. However, I have a feeling that no one will make me feel more at home than I did after an evening in your home. [ A A A A 1/2]
Any night of the week meal, Happy Hour, Small bites, Girl’s night, Date night, Casual dinner, Important event, Small group dining, Variety!