thoughts on eating in and dining out in the Delaware Valley
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The devil is in the details. Stephen Starr knows this, much in the way Walt Disney knew this. Dandelion masters the details of an English pub, albeit a bit of an Epcot version of an English pub, with little pretense of calculation. Surrounded by wood paneling, cask beers, and mounted animal heads, I got the pub vibe, minus the heavy smoke or drunken regulars.
And the details. From the precious salt shaker (and accompanying miniature pepper mill) to the actual flavor of butter in my eggs benedict, Dandelion is paying attention.
I've been on a brunch kick. I love a lazy morning in the city, walking around, enjoying great food while people watching. This weekend, with spring weather peeking out, was no exception. And so I found myself around Rittenhouse Square, across from Tria, at the three-month-old Dandelion. Of course, another perk of brunch is the interesting drink selections. Dandelion, like most Starr restaurants, offers some interesting ones. I opted for its take on my fave Pimm's cup - this one made with Pimm's, gin, lemon and muddled cucumber, allowing one to actually taste the cucumber. Refreshing.
A better reviewer may have gone with the server's recommendation of the English Breakfast (blood pudding, baked beans, the whole nine yards) or maybe the Lamb Shepherd's pie, offerings more indicative of the pub experience. I am not that reviewer and I enjoy my eggs benedict.
I'm going out on a limb here to say this was one of the best eggs benedict I've ever had. I could taste the butter on the English muffin; the hollandaise was rich and flavorful while still conveying a hint of lemon; and the proportions were perfect. But no potatoes! We quickly remedied.
Catch the details here of the perfect tin cup, the charming saucer. The chips were more of the steak frites variety and less likely to perfectly sop up extra hollandaise, but would be perfect as a burger accompaniment. My dining companion opted for the aged cheddar and smoked ham omelet, which he reported was "perfect." It looks fairly perfectly done, doesn't it?
Goes nicely with his beer, a great pub brunch.
Dandelion offers only a small placard over its door with a "dandy lion" character. Easy to miss in cold weather, when the windows remain closed. It's worth finding, however, whether it's to stop at the bar for a beer (especially if you like the under-carbonated cask beers they offer, in addition to more of a wide selection), brunch, or dinner.