Fare Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA – A Review

by artfuldiner on July 24, 2015

in Artful Diner Review, Pennsylvania, Review, Wining and Dining

Fare Restaurant

2028 Fairmount Avenue

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(215) 763-5500


 Fare Restaurant Philly - ExteriorIf you happen to be visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art, or paying a call at the Barnes Foundation or the Rodin, you will find Fare Restaurant the perfect spot for lunch or dinner.

Ensconced on Fairmount Avenue just across the street from Eastern Penitentiary and a scant two blocks from a convenient pay parking facility, Fare offers diners a dash of New York City vibe to go with their local, sustainable, organic New American cuisine.

Fare Restaurant Philly - Dining RoomBut the restaurant’s eco-friendly stance goes beyond the food. Their wood tables and veneers are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Ceiling tiles are made from recycled materials and the red pendant lights adorning the bar are repurposed from old traffic signals. Soothing shades of red & gray, comfortable banquettes, personable service, and moderate prices make Fare a friendly, welcoming space that appeals to neighborhood folk and visitors alike. The bustling bistro also offers al fresco dining in warmer weather.

In the matter of restaurant ethics, Fare has obviously staked out the high moral ground… Fortunately the gastronomy more than lives up to its good intentions. The menu merely lists ingredients in a straightforward manner, giving little hint of the joys to follow. But, trust me, in matters of preparation and presentation, each dish works its own unique magic on both the eye and the palate.

Fare Restaurant Philly - Leeks & FennelTake the starter of leeks & fennel, for example. Both constituents are gently braised with black olives. A foundation of goat cheese adds a delightfully creamy contrast to the slightly crunchy fennel/leeks combo, while crispy pillars of multigrain crostini provide an eye-catching and even more pronounced textural antithesis. A relatively simple dish, but one that hits all the right notes.

Fare Restaurant Philly - Gingered Beets… As does the appetizer of gingered beets. Here the diner discovers an attractive tangle of baby arugula splashed with tangy red wine vinaigrette. Surrounding this epicenter are diminutive dunes of roasted diced red and golden beets embellished with grated ginger. Supporting players include delicious dollops of walnut chutney and ricotta cheese, each bringing its own complementary gifts to the party.

Fare Restaurant Philly - Farmhouse FlatbreadOther starter possibilities include: a daily selection of oysters on the half shell; crispy calamari & shrimp; tuna tartare with crushed avocado and tamari marinade; Greek and Caesar salads; and a personal fave, farmhouse flatbread with bacon, sharp cheddar, and Granny Smith apple (pictured).

Fare Restaurant Philly - Hummus PlatterOn the other hand, if you’re just stopping by for an afternoon munchie, you really can’t go wrong with the addictive hand-cut truffle fries dusted with parmesan and accompanied by a zippy chipotle aioli. Also highly recommended is the incomparably fresh house-made hummus platter (pictured). Served up with a tiara of roasted red peppers, green olives, celery, carrots, and pita triangles, it’s perfect for sharing. Whichever dish you choose (both, perhaps!), be sure to wash it down with either the refreshing Spanish Condes de Albarei Albariño or silky smooth Montoya Pinot Noir from the Golden State.

Main courses offer a variety of options, with matters piscatorial occupying a prominent place. You may, for example, have a go at the whole branzino (European seabass) served up with healthy brown rice & spinach and finished with a parsley-lemon sauce or the avocado crab cakes garnished with sweet chili sauce and seasonal vegetables.

Fare Restaurant Philly - SalmonBut even more to my liking is the organic Scottish salmon (pictured), a uniquely delicious combo of colors, tastes, and textures. The pan seared filet luxuriates on the kitchen’s novel interpretation of panzanella (Tuscan bread & tomato) salad, sporting not only cherry tomatoes and grilled multigrain baguette croutons, but also slices of avocado and fresh corn kernels tossed with a fabulous cumin-cilantro vinaigrette. The pièce de résistance? A sumptuous sea of ricotta cheese.

Fare Restaurant Philly - Seafood PastaEqually recommendable is the seafood pasta, an appetizing amalgam of shrimp, crab, scallops, calamari and clams set on a seabed of linguini and bathed in a savory white wine sauce. All constituents are at the very peak of good health, and the wine sauce very nearly qualifies as a significant food group on its own individual merit. If you’re a seafood lover, this dish is not to be missed.

Fare Restaurant Philly - Bison BurgerConfirmed carnivores need not despair, however, as Fare also offers up a first-rate flank steak with chimichurri (a green sauce comprised of finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and white or red wine vinegar), a New York strip with goat cheese potato croquette and shallot demi-glace, and a bison burger stuffed with spinach & feta cheese crowned with lemon-dill yogurt (pictured). Vegetarians, on the other hand, can dig into the wild mushroom cakes or the tofu ricotta lasagna with house-made marinara.

Fare Restaurant Philly - Blueberry Pie ala ModeBut be sure to leave room for one of homemade desserts, which change frequently. Recently sampled was an excellent downhome blueberry pie spruced up with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. The perfect ending to a perfect evening.

In addition to serving lunch Monday-Friday and dinner seven days, Fare also offers diners a fabulous weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Bon Appétit!


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