After our trip to Long Beach, CA, where we spent a few days leisurely eating, drinking, and relaxing, we were inspired to do something similar back home in Philadelphia. We have been here for under a year and have quite a list of places we want to try, so we decided to have a staycation and focus on experiences places we hadn’t been before. We didn’t make any hard and fast plans but prioritized some things on our list. We took three days off from work and created a long Friday through Tuesday weekend.
Tasso Ham Terrine and the Spinach Salad at Rex 1516
Steelbach at Rex 1516
Although we wanted to focus on trying new places, Thursday is the night we usually go to one of our favorite places, Rex 1516. We figured there was no reason to change that, so staycation started off with something familiar and reliable. Luckily (although not surprisingly), they had a couple of really good specials that we shared. We got the tasso ham terrine and the spinach with mint pickled strawberries and goat cheese croutons. Both were delicious. My only complaint about Rex is that it’s dark and my pictures never do the food justice!
As usual, our favorite bartender had a couple of new cocktails in mind for us. I tried the Seelbach and Holly, The Grandfather.
Grandfather at Rex 1516
Friday started with omelets at home. This time with Asiago fresco, tomatoes, peppers.
Asiago fresco, tomatoes, and peppers omelet at home
Rosenbach Museum and Library
We decided that Friday was going to be museum day. I made reservations for the new Barnes Foundation for that evening and opted to go to the Rosenbach Museum & Library in the afternoon. I had been to the Rosenbach one time when I lived in Philadelphia before, but Holly had never been, so it was something new for at least one of us. The Rosenbach is a small museum and library located in the middle of a block of row houses. Among many, many other things, it is the repository for the works of Maurice Sendak, and they have a small exhibit of his works. The Rosenbach might be best know for its collection of James Joyce, including a hand-written draft of Ulysses. A couple of exhibits are self-guided, but I highly advise taking the once an hour on the hour guided tour. Because the museum is small, the tour takes only about half an hour or so, but it is time well spent.
After the Rosenbach, we went for an early dinner at Tinto and all I can say is wow. Tinto is chef Jose Garces’s wine bar that serves tapas. We were both very pleased with both our wine selections and our food. We shared the cheese mixto, the jamon wrapped figs, the chestnut soup with duck confit and quail egg, the duck confit montaditos and the lamb brochettes. Everything was excellent, but the standout was the chestnut soup.
Chestnut Soup with Duck Confit and Quail Egg at Tinto
Although we were both satisfied with our dinner, we probably could have kept eating and were intrigued by their dessert menu. However, we had our reservation at the Barnes, so had to wrap up dinner a little sooner than we would have liked. Needless to say, we will return!
After dinner, we walked over to the new Barnes Foundation. Neither of us had been to the original Barnes. Holly, being from California, has a built in excuse, but I’m embarassed–having previously lived in Philadelphia for 39 years–to say I had never been there. The new Barnes is an amazing building and an excellent addition to the museums along Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The building presents the art according to the layout used by Barnes (which is both good and bad and too long a discussion to be included in a food blog) and includes a grand hall, which, on the night we were there, had a rather good jazz band and an open bar. The art collection is absolutely magnificent.
After the Barnes, we took a leisurely walk home and finished the night with a glass of wine at a.kitchen, one of our favorite wine spots. All in all, it was a fantastic start to what turned out to be a fantastic first day of staycation.