Somewhere someone is doing the right thing. And for the culinary tapestry of Philadelphia, that’s Supper’s chef/owner Mitch Prensky. First, it must be noted that he has successfully taken all the aspects of fine dining and transformed them into a cozy, relaxed atmosphere.
Forget the cuff links and high-heels, diners. This venue breathes of a form of tranquility most chefs and owners would dare to dream of as “upscale comfort-food” artists. Now, that’s not to say you should head there in your Winnie the Pooh-themed pajamas.
However, the bright, open atmosphere will settle in around each patron, encompassing them with a sensational, refreshing air. The light, complementary shades of beige, brown and copper throughout the restaurant soak up the zany city streets just beyond the long, tall panes of glass bordering the storefront.
Though it is popping up all over, the idea of eating a sparkling, timeless dish inside a casual restaurant is still an adjustment for most. Supper, located on 926 South Street, has stripped tradition down to its core and rebuilt it using the sharpened edge of Prensky’s genius.
Using fresh farm ingredients grown specifically for him, courtesy of Blue Elephant Farms, Prensky introduces his diners to a glimpse of the transition from the earth to the kitchen to the plate in front of you. It’s a secure chain of events, ripe with flavor and the comfort in knowing the source of the food you’re eating.
As far as the menu goes, Supper serves snacks and sides, along with selections from the Garden and the Mill. The first adventure every Supper newbie has to experience is the duck fat French fries. The name may be alarming at first, but the taste buds will disagree. The tender duck fat is absorbed by the fried, slightly crispy exterior, creating a burst with every chomp.
For diners wanting to experience the fresh influence of Blue Elephant Farms, should order the simple, yet elegant BE farms greens and herbs salad. Also, the BE farm succotash is a perfect sample of the some of the finest local produce around.
Other can’t miss options on the starter courses are the buckwheat risotto, cradled in a gruyere melt, leeks and bacon, as well as buffalo grits. Yes, buffalo grits. The Anson mills grits, which happen to be cooked to perfection, bring out the harmony of the tingly, creamy combination of buttermilk blue cheese and hot sauce. The pickled celery and smoked chicken cracklings add a crunch factor.
Where some diners find themselves hitting a road block is when deciding upon what to choose for the main dish. There are so many powerful statements on the menu; yet, nothing stands out more than the duck and waffles. This is where Prensky pulls the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. The combination of duck and waffles sounds like something a character in a David Lynch movie would be eating.
In this case, the crispy confit duck leg leans against a small, decadent stack of pecan sage waffles, absorbing every darkened, amber drop of maple bourbon jus. The other end of the dish is held up by the tasty appeal of BE farm cabbage.
Dessert holds many options, not to mention the coffee blend that goes by the name: Hair Bender. It’s the ideal accompaniment for the pie a la mode of the week. However, first-time Supper’s should definitely experience the heavenly butterfinger torte (salted peanut ice cream).
More likely than not, most of the diners that walk through the doors, passing under the giant white letters atop the venue’s entrance, are subjected to something beyond what taste buds can pick up on. That is because Supper isn’t just a meal. It’s an expression.