Friday Saturday Sunday, 261 South 21st Street.
Wow. Kris took me out for a romantic dinner here about a month ago, and I've been meaning and meaning and meaning to review it (as reviewing Philly restaurants we try is something I'd like to do with this blog o'mine). So here goes... Friday Saturday Sunday (hereafter: FSS) is known for three things around these parts: romance, reasonable markups on wine, and mushroom bisque. Kris and I enjoyed two of those three together at FSS. Only I tried the bisque, as mushrooms are high up on Kris' "stinky foods" list.
FSS is cozy. The atmosphere reminded me of what I imagine romantic, contemporary-yet-somehow-timeless 1980s New York City restaurants must have been like. In a good way. Whatever that means. Bright, flourescent, black-lit accents stood out in a world of warm, dark blues (especially on the prominent dry-erase board announcing the evening's specials).
We shared a bottle of Clos du Val Merlot for about $30. Kris and I both liked it. There are very few merlots we don't like - this despite the bafflingly popular hatred for merlot inspired by the movie Sideways, in which the main character refuses to associate with two beautiful women unless they're drinking ABM ("Anything But Merlot"). Kris and I like to actually taste what we drink, so we like Merlot. Fuck all y'all - y'all be bullshit.
Anyhoo, for starters, I had the bisque, which retained just enough mushroominess to be extremely pleasing, and Kris had some pate - which I generally don't hate, but don't go out of my way to eat. This partcicular pate was pretty tasty.
For our main courses, Kris had the crab cakes, while I had the chili-rubbed angus steak special. Both were pretty tasty; it's been my experience that there aren't too many steaks that turn out well outside of a steakhouse, but this particular cut of meat wasn't too chewy or tough (the usual pitfalls of ordering steak in strange, new places).
Besides the mushroom bisque, I really got the sense that FSS was selling atmosphere and mood at least as much as the food (probably more so). There are several restaurants in and around Philly where you can get better, more interesting food; rather, it was in our immediate company where one could see the unique appeal of the establishment.
We sat next to a middle-aged couple that has apparently been coming to FSS for dinner every Saturday night for years. They had their choice of wine waiting for them in their corner booth, and the hyperfriendly wait staff feted upon them as soon as they arrived. They were extremely cozy as they looked out upon the restaurant, and they knew exactly what they wanted to eat; I got the sense they felt they were home. They just seemed so comfortable.
And that's what FSS is - it's comfort food. Especially if you're in love.