Porcini Restaurant, Philadelphia PA
The minute I step foot into Porcini in Philadelphia, PA I immediately became very close friends with twenty-five people. This is not because of my magnetic personality or being such a social butterfly that everyone automatically loves the Bluejeanfoodcritic, but because Porcini is literally that small of a restaurant. I believe owners and brothers Steven and David Sansome may have been voted one of Philadelphia’s most romantic restaurants only by default. As one will experience when you go, the space is so tiny and your mouth so close to whoever comes with you, that you can not help but kiss them whenever your lips move.
So what does Porcini mean? The Italian Food Guide writer Kyle Phillips described Porcini as one of God’s great gifts to humanity; a rich, heady, meaty mushroom that is amazingly versatile and delicate enough to give grace to an elegant stew or sauce.
That should tell you at least one item on the menu Porcini Restaurant in Philadelphia should be able to do right. With precision, they treat the mushroom with just as much elegance as described by Kyle Phillips. I started out with the Funghi Nere. It was prepared with exotic mushrooms topped with Asiago cheese and white wine. The first bite created a taste one would assume could only come from meticulous tinkering in the kitchen until Chef Steven Sansome yelled out with his Frankenstein creation “It’s alive”. Chef Sansome all I can say is your vision on this dish works and not having this dish, one would do themselves a disservice. I apologize for not getting a picture of this dish, but unfortunately the Bluejeanfoodcritic was temporarily overwhelmed with technical difficulties and had to consume the dish before the food got cold and technical issue was resolved.
The main dish was called Capasante. It was Seared diver scallops with crispy leeks in white lemon and organic thyme. I almost went back into the kitchen myself to see if Chef Sansome has a tank filled with fresh mollusks as I can not remember the last time I have had scallops so fresh and tasty. I almost thought the dish was mounds of butter sculpted to look like scallops as they just melted in my mouth. The dish was accompanied by mashed potatoes and fresh herb seasoned string beans which fit it perfectly.
Porcini Philadelphia is a byob with very reasonable prices and excellent personalized service which is energized by Maitre d’ David Sansome. Upon entering, he welcomes you like family coming into is home for a dinner party, all the while zig zagging his way around tight spaces like a cruise missile. Without David the experience would be nowhere near as enjoyable. This is a great place for a night out as the intimate nature really comes out due to the size of the restaurant as it truly does create a special atmosphere. The Bluejeanfoodcritic was very pleased. The only gripe would be the portion size of the Funghi Nere and the small serving of sides accompanying my Capasante should have been larger as this restaurant is billed as serving entrees, not a tasting menu. A small infraction, but it was accounted into the rating. Go here and enjoy yourself a lovely evening.