Sunday, April 6, 2014

Miss Rachel's Pantry - Philadelphia, PA

While taking the bus back to New York City from dinner at Miss Rachel's Pantry last week, I kept thinking about the lovely dining experience I had at this cozy spot in South Philadelphia.  Upon arrival, we were greeted with warm service, which continued throughout the evening. MRP is a much-talked-about place serving a communal farmhouse table dinner with simple, but beautiful decor, specializing in local vegan fare.

Chef Rachel Klein began in her small kitchen back in 2007 .  Since then, Rachel has been making homestyle meals for pick up or for delivery to many areas around the city.  MRP has grown to include, not only the meals at home, but full service catering for special events, the weekly farmtable  dinner, and now cooking classes!  Visit the website for more detailed information. 

Dinner at the Pantry begins at 7:00 pm.  Rachel serves a 4-course pre-fixe vegan tasting menu.  The menu changes weekly, with two options for each course.  There were six of us in our party and we decided to get three of each course.  This way we could sample the entire menu!

I began with the Walnut-Tempeh Slider Trio.  The dish had a bottom layer of sweet BBQ sauce, then topped with three small sliders, finished with homemade pickles and fresh sprouts.  A nice start to the evening.

Walnut-Tempeh Slider Trio
 (homemade pickles & sweet BBQ)

 Next, I couldn't wait to try the empanadas.  I've made empanadas from scratch at home before and totally understand the labor of love that goes into making these little scrumptious pockets.   When the dish arrived, I could smell the savory aroma coming from the filling.  The empanadas were filled with grilled seitan and topped with a house-made chipotle cream.  A nice crunchy cabbage slaw accompanies the dish to give it the perfect balance of texture.  One of my favorite dishes of the evening!
Grilled Seitan Empanadas
(Chipotle cream sauce and cabbage slaw)

Our second course included both a salad and a soup. This wasn't your ordinary soup and salad.  Let me start with the lemony Caesar.  Just the right amount of dressing to coat the greens, this dish was simple, but tasty.  Served with seared tofu croutons and a sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper. 

Lemony Caesar Salad
(Green leaf and tofu croutons)

Then came the bisque. OOOOHHHHHHH the best bowl of goodness I've had in a while!  To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of celery, but Rachel did some magic in her kitchen.  The celery-yukon gold bisque was definitely my favorite dish of the night. The velvety creamy soup was smooth and delicious.  The bisque also had griddled apples, which gave a touch of sweetness and finished with toasted coconut.

Celery-Yukon Gold Bisque
(Griddled apple & smoked coconut)

After our second course came the Grilled Tempeh and Macadamia Ravioli.  I enjoyed the smoked brussels sprouts and the creativity of the crispy carrots.  The tempeh was seared nicely and had a wonderful nutty flavor.

Grilled Tempeh: Mustard-maple gravy
(Smoked brussels sprouts, black garlic aioli, & crispy carrots)

Another dish that intrigued me was the ravioli.  The maiitake mushrooms, sunflower shoots, served in caramelized onion butter sauce had me coming back for seconds and thirds.

Macadamia Ricotta Ravioli
(Seared maiitake, sunflower shoots, and caramelized onion butter)

To finish a selection of two sweets from the menu including a fabulous chocolate cake with avocado-cocoa frosting, chocolate covered espresso, and fresh berries.  From the luscious chocolate to the sweet berries, this dessert was spot on.  (Fair trade coffee with non-dairy milk in the background)

Flourless Chocolate Cake
(avocado-cocoa frosting & chocolate covered espresso)

I also really loved the tiramisu layered cake with coconut-cashew cream.  Soft, moist, yet rich and oh so satisfying.

(coconut-cashew cream, chocolate-covered espresso)

Dinner Menu

House Bread with Rosemary Butter

Table Setting 1

Table Setting 2

Wall Decor 1

Wall decor 2

If you ever have the chance, make a reservation in advance to dine with Rachel and her wonderful staff.  We will be back for sure!  

The lovely Chef Rachel 

1732 W. Passyunk Ave. 
Philadelphia, PA.

1 comment:

  1. i've never been there! i'll have to go on my next philly trip. everything sounds really good