Friday, January 31, 2014

Marigold Kitchen (Philadelphia) 01/2014

Marigold does not look much like a restaurant. It is housed in a Federation style old house and has only about ten tables. There did not seem to be much signage outside and it is a bit isolated in a domiciliary area well out of the centre of town.

Food means different things to different people. The way it is prepared and the circumstances under which it is eaten are all important. We are not going to venture into the mammoth subject of the sociology of gastronomy except to say that, apart from all the profound considerations, eating can be FUN.
That is one of the driving forces behind the quirky menu at Marigolds.  It varies, to some extent, most days but has some regular favourites. 
This was our menu:
Liquid Nitro Popcorn
This frozen popcorn was just a little too warm when it got to the table diminishing the effectiveness of the sudden release of flavour although the potential was obvious.

Frozen Citrus Salad
Tiny little gems of citrus sorbet, barely a teaspoon full but full of flavour.

House Cured Everything Swordfish 
Caramelized Onion, Pumpernickel, Pear Blossom Honey

The small bit at the 12 o'clock was the swordfish. It was indistinguishable from 1000 other fish but it provided good contrast to the rest of the dish. This one did not really work for me.

2 Year Aged Cabot Clothbound Cheddar
Sorry, I ate it before I thought to take a picture! It was a crunchy little packet to be eaten in one mouthful and released and beaut moderately sharp cheddar taste as it opened in the mouth.
Lobster Bisque
Thyme Bubbles
A small cup full of delicious taste.
Foie Gras Chocolate Tuille
A total taste contrast, creamy delicate foie gras and crisp sweet tuille
Chestnut Ravioli
Mushroom Dust
  It was just what it was reported to be!

Beef Tartare
Too many Garnishes to List
 Everything was fine until I tasted the fiery red pepper sauce. A shock after the mild tastes of the other garnished which included the quail egg, a cube of meat jelly, a cube of beetroot jelly, a dob of cheese, a little coleslaw and a cold sweet which could have been ice cream.
Moonstone Oyster
Pine Nut Tempura, Radishes, Winter Fruits
 From Rhode Island area we loved these oysters, raw or cooked. Another weird combination. I would have happily had more.
Diver Scallop
Foie Gras Soup, Mushroom Forrest,Candied Pineapple
We both gave this one top marks. The scallop was deliciously sweet qnd the mushrooms outstanding.
 A palate Cleansing Sorbet
Red Grouper
Lamb Tagine,Cauliflower-Vanilla Puree, Poached Pear
 The tagine here was chickpeas

Cheese Plate
Birchrun Hill Blue, Old Chatham Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert, Valley Shepherd Red Goat
 Lovely American cheeses accompanied by quince jelly, candied pecans and grapes with super house made bread
 Pineapple Cake
Frozen Spice Foam Caramel, Carrot, Chocolate Soup
More fun


A lovely end to the dinner.
It took eight chef's and a washing up person to look after the 14 or so patrons that night. If the place is full they have a couple more in the kitchen. They no what they are doing so in part it becomes like a production line in there. Keith, the head chef on the night we were there spent some time speaking to us about how the place works and how they develop new dishes. They seem to enjoy and we certainly did! This was an exceptionally interesting meal but it is not for everyone.
Score: 16.5/20


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