Flights and Bites at Square Peg (Philly Beer Week)

Our mini foray into Philly Beer Week this year was a tasting event at our new foodie crush, Square Peg.  We tested them out on brunch a while back, and it was delicious, so when they decided to team up with Dogfish Head to do a tasting menu for $25, we were all over it.

Dinner Course

Three beers, three bites, triple tasty! First, the menu paired Dogfish Head’s Namaste with Fluke Ceviche.  The ceviche wasn’t as acidic as they are many times as it was cut with orange juice and basil for a light summery taste.  Namaste was a perfect choice for this–a witbeer brewed with orange and lemongrass that could easily become a session beer for me.  This whole combo was super delicious, and I even went for the “Tiger’s Milk” and drank the ceviche juice because it was so irresistibly fresh.

Next, one of our favorites, Midas Touch, was paired with roasted beets.  Midas Touch is one of the Ancient Ales from Dogfish head, and is brewed with ingredients that archeologists found in 2700 year old vessels from the Tomb of King Midas!  It’s rich, dark, and somewhat sweet, which paired perfectly with earthy beets (both in color and flavor).

The last part of dinner was Carne Asada, paired with Raison d’Etre, which isn’t one of my favorite beers, but it went really well with the steak.  The Steak was the BOMB, however.  I could eat spoonfulls of the accompanying paprika aioli all day.  Yum!

Dessert Course

It’s pretty rare, I would say, for the dessert course on a beer tasting menu to be the best part of the meal.  This accomplished that feat.  Dogfish Head’s Black and Blue was served with a super simple ice cream sundae, topped with pickled blueberries and Minus 8 vinegar.  The beer was one of the only fruit beers I have ever enjoyed, but it was far out-shined by this simplest of sundaes.  The blueberries in vinegar sauce perfectly coordinated with super sweet vanilla to produce a flavor that could be compared to a shrub cocktail, if a shrub were a milkshake.

In conclusion, pretty much everything was perfect.  We even got to schmooze with one of the reps from Dogfish head , who gave us a sweet trucker hat! (shhhh–Wendy said it was a secret!).  We also scored some Pint Glasses with the Dogfish Head logo out of the whole deal.  Pretty much every experience at Square Peg has been super enjoyable, and their Beer Week event only brings us closer to what is sure to be the pièce de résistance: DINNER!  Look back soon for that!  It’s sure to happen soon.

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Lemon Hill

Remember our difficulty in choosing a place when we ended up at Supper?  Well, we finally made it to our original destination, Lemon Hill!  Lemon Hill is the new venture by the proprietors of Franklin Mortgage and Investment and Supper in the Fairmount neighborhood of the city.  Fairmount is (in)famous for bar hopping and generally cheap eats, so this adorable palette-challenging spot is a great addition to the area.

The Drinks

Franklin Mortgage is (obviously) responsible for the tasty cocktail offered at Lemon Hill, which was the original reason that we wanted to try the place out.  We were not disappointed (so not disappointed, in fact, that we each partook in two drinks).

Holly:Clover Club

The clover club is a twist on the Pink Lady, which is one of may favorite drinks.  I liked the sweet and sour flavors, and the smoothness that egg whites add to a drink is always appealing to me.  This drink tasted a bit summer-y to me, due to the fruitiness of the raspberry syrup.  Super tasty, and a great starter drink.

Holly: Fairmount Project

My second beverage was a play on an Aviation, which is known for the inclusion of maraschino syrup.  The Fairmount Project is more complex than the clover club, and was a great complement to dinner.  I really enjoyed how sour it was–like an adult sour candy.

Josh: Blues Explosion:

I’m not one for Tennessee whiskey on most days (actually everyday), but the ingredients caught my eye. Fresh grapefruit juice with maple syrup & Angostura bitters made for an exception when I would otherwise order something with bourbon or rye.

Current Drinks Menu

The Food

Appetizers

Holly: Smoked Tomato Soup with Bleu Cheese Popovers

How could I say no?  This soup was smooth, rich, and creamy. The popovers were adorable little semi-fried blobs of bleu cheese that slowly melted into the soup, adding a touch of funk that made the whole thing that much more interesting.  I really enjoyed this (and it inspired me to start adding bleu cheese to tomato soup all the time!)

Josh: Hot Spiced Pecans

These were more than I ever hoped they could be. I like pecan pie, and that’s about it for me and pecans; but smoked nuts with bacon sounded interesting and a nice snack to have with the first drink while waiting on our food. These were the perfect blend of smokey and salty and the cuts of thick bacon and red cherry peppers went great with the flavors.

Dinner

Holly: Roasted Mushroom French Dip

I was feeling like I hadn’t eaten nearly enough vegetables that day, and I love how the earthy flavor of mushrooms in a sandwich act like a protein.  Goat cheese was a great addition as well, because like the popovers, the slight funkiness was a great addition to the mushrooms.  This sandwich was fun to eat, also, because like a classic french dip, it came with a small bowl of jus for dipping.  Who doesn’t like to play with their food a little bit?

Josh: Fish Special of the Day: Scallops with charred escarole, potatoes, and “salsa” verde

I wasn’t sure what I was going to get and made one of those last second menu decisions. I was worried I’d have regrets and that the patty melt (Need to go back and try) would be infinitely better. My doubts were assuaged by some of the best cooked scallops I’ve ever had.

Dessert: Mississippi Mud Pie

There was a much more exciting option on the menu (key lime pie if I remember), but they were out of it at the time. I went with the Mississippi Mud Pie out of a sense of needing to have some kind of desert to gauge the restaurant on for the review. It was well made, but there wasn’t anything that was standout about it.

Current Dinner Menu

The Design

Lemon Hill is barely designed at all. It almost feels like walking into someone’s classy Philly row home (which it basically is).  The exposed brick wall may be a little overdone in restaurants around here, but at least this one is original to the building, and it serves a purpose by separating the bar from the quieter dinner area.The copper-y tin ceiling (which is probably actually a acoustic panel tile) is a beautiful element in this pretty bare-bones space.   If it is acoustical tile, it was a smart choice for a restaurant that invites cozy dinners with friends or a date: many restaurants forget that although hard surfaces usually look pretty great, they are horrible at dimming the sound that will inevitably be a problem.  My one real complaint is that the faux finish on the wall was pretty ugly, and I would have much preferred simple paint (or at least losing the textured “sandy” grit that they used).  Overall, Lemon Hill felt warm and homey, just like the food.

The Service

The staff was kind and helpful. At the beginning we did have that long wait when you aren’t ready to order so they really give you a lot of time to order. This was annoying but also understandable to a degree.

The Receipt

Closer to the 20 dollar side of a 10-20 dollar range for meals, I definitely felt we got good values. The cocktails lived up to my expectations and the prices along the lines of being just below Franklin Mortgage prices with a taste level that was equally just below it.

Our Ratings

Drinks: 5/5

Food: 5/5

Design: 3/5

Service: 5/5

Budget: 4/5

Overall Experience: 5/5

Will We Visit Again?

Definitely.  How could we not?  We love Supper.  We Love the Franklin.  This is the best of both worlds, and pretty close to where we live, as well!

Restaurant Website