Last night, the wife and I had a phenomenal meal at Fond (1617 Passyunk Ave) and enjoyed a great bottle of wine as well; it’s a byob and we broke out the 2006 Del Dotto 887 F15 Vineyard Cher which will have a post all its own. Fond is run by some real professionals: 2 ex-le-bec and 1 ex-lacroix helm the kitchen and front of the house with a judicious take on high-end service in a more casual atmosphere. The food stands on its own.
To start, I enjoyed the seared foie gras which was served with homemade ricotta and sliced mangos. For those afraid of delicacies like foie and find it unapproachable, this is the place to try it. The sear takes the ‘pain’ out of the consistency and provides a contrast to the pudding-like feel while also providing a bed for the salt to stick to it as well. We also enjoyed the corn-risotto with pancetta and avocado cream. Again, well paired flavors with sweet corn comes the salty balance of the pancetta and smoothness of the avocado.
For our mains, I thoroughly enjoyed the octopus stew which had the most tender cephalopod mollusc I’ve ever had. It was prepared with fresh fennel in a fennel broth and also included chorizo which provided a bit of heat. The large beaded cous-cous rounded out the texture perfectly. The wife enjoyed the hangar steak, prepared simply and served with a creamy, but seared on the outside polenta.
Since we didn’t have anything really sweet, we felt the need to try 2 desserts. We had the malted milk chocolate ice cream (peanut brittle, chocolate crumble, peanut butter ganache) and the Dark Chocolate cake (whipped ganache, Earl Grey ice cream, orange sauce). The whipped ganache on the dark chocolate cake is more like a mousse, but changed the way I look at mousse. The earl grey ice cream was like a cup of tea, but in an ice cream format! On the topic of ice cream, the malted milk chocolate was smooth and creamy, but still chocolaty; I generally don’t like milk chocolate as it can taste ‘watered down’, but not this one.
Go to Fond. Go now and go hungry. Just tell me when you go so I have an excuse to go back.