Dining in Philadelphia- Part 1

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | August 24th, 2022 | Restaurant Reviews

With a multi-month stay in Philly planned, I was looking forward to exploring a new food scene. A friend of ours recommended staying in the Rittenhouse neighborhood. I don’t know if he could have named a better location.

On our first afternoon there, my husband and I took a short walk around Rittenhouse Square. We hadn’t walked more than half a mile, yet we discovered dozens (DOZENS!) of restaurants that looked appealing.

I made reservations for our first night in Philadelphia, ensuring a spot at an interesting restaurant. Little did I know that with the number of options, there always is another interesting place to try. Regardless, our first night’s dinner did not disappoint.

We arrived at The Love just a few minutes before our 7:30 reservation. We were pointed to the bar, where we could wait while until our table was ready. The bar was on the smaller side, but there was plenty of room around the edges to sip a drink and wait. I ordered the Dreamweaver, which was a combination of elderflower, grapefruit, and Champagne. My husband opted for the Blind Melon- bourbon, watermelon juice, fresh lime, and mint. Both of us found our drinks to be flavorful and refreshing.

Once seated at our table we started with an order of fried green tomatoes. This appetizer is a favorite of my husband’s, less so for me. However, knowing there were more courses to come, I was glad to start with a snack that was less desirable to me. The tomatoes were covered in jerk spiced breadcrumbs and served with pimento cheese and bread and butter pickles. For me, the pickles were the highlight of the dish. I could have eaten an entire bowl of them. My husband adored the entire dish.

Being an evening of indulgence, rather than moving to a salad course, we chose bread. There were two options on the menu, and we settled on the garlic cornbread. Brushed with butter and served warm, this cornbread was absolutely amazing. I personally could make a meal of the pickles and cornbread. However, I didn’t do that at this visit.

With so many options, deciding wasn’t easy, but I chose to order an item off the specials menu: five spice duck stir fry. It isn’t often that I see duck stir fry, so I figured this was my opportunity. Sugar peas, frisee, peanuts, and more were combined with a generous portion of duck to create a wonderful blend of textures and flavors. There was a hint of sweet, a solid amount of spice, as well as crunchy and tender bites. I definitely would advocate for it becoming a regular item.

My husband ordered the Lovebird. This buttermilk fried chicken did not disappoint. Corn grits and collard greens came as sides. For dipping, there was a serving of comeback sauce. All combined it was a meal my husband enjoyed very much.

It should come as no surprise, but by the end of this course, we had zero appetite left for dessert. That means, in addition to a fabulous menu we’ve tried, we have a reason to return to The Love.

To read about another dining experience in Philly over ten years ago, please click here.

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