With so many wine bars in Philly, how does one choose? While I have been to a handful, I have not been to all. Eager to try more, I took a recent article in the Philadelphia Weekly that featured wine bars, nixed those I had been to, then chose what seemed to be the least pretentious establishment and closest wine bar to my Philly digs – ‘cause walking is the only way to travel when drinking.
We chose Chick’s, a small bar on the corner of
I started with the roasted beets, goat cheese, and mache listed under the vegetable small plates section of the menu. I’m rarely disappointed with beets, and this dish was no exception. The beets were perfectly tangy from vinegar and complimented by the creamy, mild goat cheese. This small plate was not minuscule like some small plates at wine and tapas bars, but perfectly portioned.
The Gorgonzola and fig flat bread was the star of the table. You just can’t beat the classic pairing of fig and Gorgonzola cheese. Again, the portions were substantial, and thank goodness, because we wanted all of it.
The brie, pear, and onion marmalade panini had my name on it, as one of my favorite sandwich spreads in onion jelly or onion chutney. I was disappointed with the panini. The sandwich could have used a little more brie and pear to balance out all that bread, which was the most perfectly crisp panini I’ve ever had. Mostly I was disappointed with the onion marmalade. The sandwich contained what appeared to be caramelized red onions that were slightly bitter, not a sweet onion marmalade. Again, this sandwich was another example of sauce (or absence of sauce) making or breaking a sandwich. The panini came on top of a stack of skinny fries which were the crunchiest, happiest skinny fries I’ve ever had, unlike the floppy, sad skinny fries I usually run into.
We were stuffed, but had to try dessert. The attentive, but unobtrusive server recommended the dark chocolate crème brulee. The crème brulee was not as rich and thick as some crème brulees I’ve had, but that was not a concern. The dessert was fabulous, and the caramelized bananas on top were the pièce de rèsistance.
The price and pretension at Chick's is low, and the quality and service is high. I can get behind that.
Chick’s Café and Wine Bar,