Creed’s Seafood & Steaks, King of Prussia, PA – A Review

by artfuldiner on July 20, 2020

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

Creed’s Seafood & Steaks

499 North Gulph Road

King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

(610) 265-2550

Having been gastronomically deprived since March, I was more than a little anxious to sample restaurant cuisine in a setting more appealing than opening a paper bag. So, having received a green light from Pennsylvania’s powers-that-be, my permanent dining partner and I decided to celebrate her birthday at Creed’s Seafood and Steaks… And even though it would have been possible to dine indoors, we still opted for al fresco (more on that later).

Just keep in mind that, when entering and exiting a restaurant, whether dining inside or out, patrons are required to wear a mask. Once seated at table, masks may be removed to eat and drink. However, when moving around inside the restaurant (to visit the restroom, for example), masks must be put on once again. Hopefully, this ritual will not last two years, as the title of this article seems to suggest; however, from what I’ve observed and read recently, I think it extremely likely that masks will remain part of our restaurant attire for some time to come. ☹ But on to more pleasant pursuits…

Creed's Outdoor TentCreed’s, as you will note from the photograph, set up a large tent adjacent to their entrance with tables properly spaced to ensure social distancing. The hum of traffic on nearby Route 422 notwithstanding, the setting was absolutely perfect for our romantic celebratory evening at table… And the kitchen, as usual, was at the very top of its game, sending out an enticing array of comestibles that were as pleasing to the eye as they were to the palate.

The menu is gently tweaked on a seasonal basis supplemented by nightly specials. The list of appetizers, for instance, currently features two soups (Lobster Bisque with snipped chives and Wild Mushroom Soup with truffle croutons & fines herbes) and two salads (Traditional Caesar and Classic Iceberg Wedge), as well as several old favorites like Filet Mignon Tartare and Colossal Shrimp Cocktail… My dining partner and I, however, decided on two more recently offered starters.

Creed's - CalamariShe chose one of her favorite dishes, Flash Fried Calamari, which was accompanied by a serrano crema. The serrano pepper is a type of chili pepper that originated in the mountainous regions of the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo. And serrano peppers are hot, quite literally. With a ranking of 5,000 to 15,000 Scoville units on the chili heat scale, serranos are up to five times hotter than their cousin, the jalapeño… No worries, however, as the crema – a Mexican dairy product prepared with heavy cream and buttermilk that is similar in taste and texture to crème fraiche – is totally beguiling. There’s just enough subtle afterburn to tantalize the palate without causing irreparable damage to your delicate nether regions.

The quality of the dipping sauce notwithstanding, the key to calamari is how it is prepared. Calamari’s rubbery reputation is certainly not undeserved; when overcooked it is about as appetizing as chewing on rubber bands. The key is to cook it quickly over high heat or slowly over low heat. In Creed’s kitchen, the former holds court. It is flash fried, a high-heat deep frying technique at an oil temperature of at least 400 degrees… The result is a soft supple texture – combined with that fabulous crema – that kept us coming back for more.

Creed's - BurrataMy Burrata was equally up to the mark. Burrata is an Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the interior contains stracciatella, mozzarella strings that are obtained by shredding a mozzarella orb. These are then mixed with cream, yielding a unique soft and creamy cheese with incredible flavor.

Burrata, of course, may be served with a variety of accompaniments. In this case, it is placed on a bed of heirloom tomatoes presented carpaccio, in wafer-thin slices, splashed with extra virgin olive oil and a bracing sweet-tart balsamic reduction. In combination with the creamy burrata, the interplay of colors, tastes, and textures is truly a sensual delight.

When it comes to entrées, in typical steakhouse fashion, Creed’s serves up a variety of steaks & chops that may be mixed and matched with a number of à la carte sauces and sides. There is also a very nice list of “Chef’s Specialities,” which, for my money, is where the action is. A personal favorite here – which I first sampled as a New Year’s Eve special and was obviously so popular it made its way onto the regular menu – is the Pan Seared Surf and Turf, a delightful combo of sliced filet mignon and three grilled shrimp accompanied by roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, asparagus, and a dynamite Chianti demi-glace.

… And while I do enjoy an excellent filet mignon upon occasion – and the Surf & Turf was quite tempting – since this was a particularly warm summer’s evening, matters piscatorial seemed infinitely more apropos. I opted for the Pan Seared Tilefish, a nightly special; my dining partner for the Blackened Barramundi & Sea Scallops.

Creed's TilefishTilefish is sometimes called “Rainbow Tilefish” because of its beautiful blue, green, rose, and yellow coloration. It yields thick pinkish-white fillets that cook up pure white with a firm, flaky texture. The flavor is mild but distinctive, faintly reminiscent of lobster or crab, which is not surprising, as its diet is largely crustaceans.

Because of its firm texture, tilefish offers chefs numerous options with regard to its preparation. Here it was beautifully pan seared, which sealed in the juices, keeping the filet moist and flavorful. It then arrived at table pillowed on a seabed of baby zucchini squash and squiggle of nicely seasoned white bean purée. The presentation was sublime in its simplicity.

Creed's - Blackened Barramundi & Sea ScallopsMy dining partner’s Blacked Barramundi and Sea Scallops was a bit more complex but just as delicious. A member of the sea bass family, barramundi is native to Australia’s northern tropical waters and parts of Southeast Asia. A relative newcomer to the U.S. seafood market, it has appeared on menus seemingly at the speed of light. Because of its firm moist texture and sweet, buttery flavor, somewhat akin to halibut and grouper, it has quickly become the darling of seafood lovers and confirmed carnivores alike. Even people who don’t like seafood like barramundi.

As mentioned above, there’s a lot going on here, but all the elements work together in perfect harmony. The barramundi is moist and flaky, the scallops delightfully meaty. They are then placed on a seabed of haricots verts and wild rice pilaf. The pièce de résistance, however, is courtesy of an incomparably flavorful cioppino-tomato coulis that also provides a welcome splash of color.

When it comes to dessert, I was always of the opinion that nothing quite measured up to Creed’s Classic Cheesecake with its revolving toppings. Recently added to the menu, however, is an extraordinary Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse garnished with house-made whipped cream and touch of mint. If you’re a peanut butter/chocolate fan – as I am – you will find this sweet ending positively irresistible.

As I mentioned at the outset of this review, at the time of our visit, restaurant dining rooms had just reopened and it would have been possible for us to dine inside. However, even though the evening was quite warm, we chose to remain outside rather than dine in the restaurant proper… Quite frankly, everything that we had read or heard recently gave us serious doubts about dining inside. The chances of contracting the virus seemed far greater, even with the social distancing of tables… And an article by the Texas Medical Association sealed the deal.

Dining during the VirusTheir panel of physicians rated the risk of contracting the virus while engaged in certain activities on a scale from 1 – 10 (1 being the lowest risk; 10 the highest). For example, the risk of opening the mail was rated at 1, the lowest risk possible, while going to a bar was rated at 9 an extremely high risk. Eating in a restaurant outside was rated at 4 (moderately low risk); whereas dining inside a restaurant was rated at 7 (moderately high risk). The same as traveling by plane, by the way.

Perhaps we are being overly cautious… but given what we consider the significant amount of risk involved, my dining partner and I have decided to avoid indoor dining, at least for the time being. Hopefully, by the time the cold weather prohibits al fresco dining, the situation will have changed for the better…But, once again, it’s your call.

Bon Appétit!

Be Safe


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