My wife and I went to the Farm and the Fisherman (1120 Pine Street, Philadelphia) for dinner a couple weeks ago for a special dinner. Josh Lawler, the chef/owner is a disciple of Dan Barber and the fame of Blue Hill Farm. This is widely known as one of the best and first farm to table restaurants in the US.
We started our meal with two wonderful starters: the chilled carrot soup and a salad of strawberries, beets and a mysterious nutty paste. The soup was indicated to have chocolate mint in it, which I didn’t get, but it was wonderful nonetheless. The salad was a perfect balance of sweet and savory with a painted ‘nutty’ paste that I couldn’t quite pinpoint. Suffice to say that it was yummy either way.
The second course offered stuffed quail and a tempura soft shell crab. The quail was stuffed with stinging nettles, purple komatsuna, pine nuts – prepared perfectly and tender. The crab reminded me about how much I love soft shells: no work, all meat. This was fried, just barely and sitting up on a plate, ready to eat. I had to pace myself to make sure I didn’t rifle through it.
Now, the main course…was a bit of an adventure. When we ordered, I selected a special that night: braised baby lamb shoulder. The server came back a few minutes after we ordered and told me that the chef was also offering the lamb brain with the shoulder if I was interested. I asked the server for a better description and was told (after a chef consultation) that it’s like “sweetbreads on steroids.” How could I say no?