Supper at Supper

Nothing thawed the bitter extremities on my body more than my first moments inside Supper, a new restaurant that just opened on 9th and South Street in Philadelphia.

The setup of the restaurant is remarkably warm and intimate. The lighting is low with candles glowing all around, an open kitchen, and two floors with glass windows that overlook the beautiful Whole Food Market. Oh well, you can’t have it all.

Upon our arrival, we were very kindly welcomed by the host and brought to the 2nd floor of the restaurant where we were seated. The ambiance has positives on both floors (although I did prefer the quieter top floor to the more cramped open kitchen set up on the first).

Promptly, the waiter came over to explain the meaning behind Supper’s menu and why it was constructed as such. The dishes listed on the menu were split into starters and entrees. The starters are just to provide a mere taste of what’s to come and were of lighter fare, (we chose the grilled calamari marinated in lemongrass). He then went on to explain that the entrees were listed from lightest to richest, top to bottom, and are all the same size. What was the size you ask? Well, each Supper entr�e is about � the size of a normal entr�e and the idea is for each person to choose three so that they can experience all the different tastes the restaurant has to offer. “Three dishes make supper," the waiter revealed as their motto. Perhaps they should have re-titled the establishment "Snack."

The set-up is great in theory, but I must indicate how impractical it is for anyone on any kind of budget. The interesting thing is that even though the entr�es are all the same size, the price continues to climb from $15-$23 a plate. I point this only because looking at the menu, without knowing how it’s meant to be read, makes it unclear that the restaurant is not set up in a traditional fashion. The large plate option, which we did not explore, may have been a more accommodating choice price-wise. Unfortunately, it is limited to only one item, Lamb Shank.

So, what was Supper’s saving grace? The food was so delicious! The soup was a subtly sweet carrot tangerine with an actual tangerine piece at the bottom of the dish and a fluffy melted marshmallow garnish brushed across the side of the plate. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. For entrees, we had a succulent plate of jumbo shrimp stuffed with black mission figs and lemon. There was also the Golden Tilefish, which is a whitefish marinated in a coconut bath topped with passionfruit. Both dishes were a feast for the tongue, rich in spices and tropical flavors.

It’s a shame that the portions are so small at Supper, because the food is so tasty. However, $60 (a piece) later, we both found ourselves running down to Whole Foods to satiate our growling stomachs. Unfortunately for me, the expense did not justify the result. Nonetheless, if it’s a special occasion or you have the income to spare, give Supper a try. It won’t let your taste buds down.

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