Saturday, February 23, 2008

Audrey Claire

On a cold night, my gf and I ventured south to try out Audrey Claire, a small, cozy and clean-lined byob restaurant on Spruce and 20th.

As they don't take reservations on Friday or Saturday nights, we ended up having to wait for about 45 minutes, but the hostess was friendly, opening our bottle of wine for us to enjoy while waiting.

I think the best way to describe the food is that the dishes could very easily be made at home; they all have readily found ingredients and their preparations, seasoning and cooking aren't that time-consuming. The reason that one would come to a restaurant for these dishes is that you know that the ingredients will be very fresh and that the dishes will be cooked right. In this light, I think I understand why Audrey Claire is so popular and seems like a local favorite.

Below is what we ordered, all of which were cooked well and nicely portioned. My only small complaint would be that our two entrees relied slightly too much on salt for their flavoring (esp the trout).

Spicy Hummus, smoked salmon and mesclun w/ herb vinaigrette
The flat bread was very light, soft and fresh and the smoked salmon was quite delish.

Grilled chicken with pomengranite molasses
The grilled chicken was moist and the sauce was tart and fruity.

Rainbow trout with risotto and greens
The trout was nicely pan-fried, moist and delicate, as a white fish should be. It was little bit too salty, but otherwise quite well done.

Poached Pear dessert
I'm not usually a fan of pears in general, but this poached pear dessert was a pleasant way to end the meal. It was light and not overly sweet. The funny thing about this was that its flavorings tasted like the potpourri/woody smell in a Pier-1 store. I'm still trying to decide whether that's a good thing or not.

With such a long list of restaurants to try in Philadelphia, I don't think I would specifically pinpoint Audrey Claire as a must-try-again place, but I sure would have no qualms about returning.

One important note: Audrey Claire does not accept credit cards. Fortunately, we spotted this early on and went to the nearby Wawa's, which has a no-surcharge ATM.

Audrey Claire
20th & Spruce St
Philadelphia PA 19103 (map)

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