Philly’s Greatest Caviar Dishes for When You’re Feeling Extra Bougie
Caviar french toast, caviar seven-layer dip, and old-school caviar service. Here's how to have a good time with caviar in Philly.
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Caviar service at Friday Saturday Sunday | Photo by Bondfire Media
There’s nothing quite like caviar to mark a special occasion — or just make a regular meal extra-extra special. It’s a luxury food. Fish eggs gets dressed up and dressed downfor grand occasions. And while we certainly enjoy a caviar garnish here and there, this guide is all about dishes and service. You know, for those nights when you’re feeling royal.
Caviar french toast at Vernick Fish
Vernick Fish, Center City
A whole page of the menu at Vernick Fish is devoted to the restaurant’s bountiful raw bar, which includes a slate of shellfish, tartares, crudos, and other bites. Caviar is featured, too — a stripe of it sitting on a pillow of uni.
Friday Saturday Sunday, Rittenhouse
Chad Williams presents caviar service with “nontraditional accompaniments” at the Rittenhouse institution. Order your Ossetra caviar by the half-ounce or ounce, and the kitchen will dress it up with a bounty of accessories: smoked crème fraîche, potato and tarragon purée, sunchoke chips, potato crumble, grapefruit and mezcal gelée, and buttermilk biscuits.
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The tony restaurant at the Rittenhouse Hotel has a whole menu devoted to caviar service, with lots of options for different budgets. You can order up a half-dozen or dozen freshly shucked oysters with an optional domestic caviar add-on, or pick from a suite of “caviar snacks” — like deviled eggs, cannoli, or brown butter leeks — to enjoy as a tasting or à la carte. When you’re ready to splurge, choose from 30-gram tins of Royal Siberian, Crown Ossetra, or Royal Imperial caviars served with traditional accompaniments.
Jean-Georges, Center City
One of Jean-George Vongerichten’s most famous dishes has landed in Philly. Have it on the new 59th-floor restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel. Caviar served with egg and toast, with a Meyer lemon gelée and crème fraîche, or atop a soft egg with a dollop of vodka whipped cream.
Photo courtesy of Laurel
Laurel, East Passyunk
Nick Elmi’s flagship jewel box in South Philly offers two tasting menus, a seasonal option featuring six courses and an epic nine-course chef’s tasting menu — the latter of which features a second course of American bowfin caviar with potato and Philadelphia-style ice cream in a play on the traditional Eastern European potato pancake-sour cream-caviar combo.
Serpico, South Street
Rather than offering a specific caviar course, Serpico offers the delicacy as an add-on to their savory donuts (genius). The bite comes accessorized with smoked white fish cream, olive, and nori.
ITV, East Passyunk
Best of Philly winner: Paddlefish or Ossetra served with a seven layer dip of avocado, crème fraîche, capers, shallots, vodka gelée and herbs.
Barclay Prime, Rittenhouse
Stephen Starr’s luxe downtown steakhouse keep tins of not one but two kinds of imported caviar on hand for when you’re feeling flush: classic Royal Ossetra as well as Royal Kaluga, sometimes called River Beluga caviar, a more sustainable option that’s harvested from a hybrid species rather than the endangered wild beluga.
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