It was opening night for Whetstone and I had excited myself into a frenzy about going to try the new spot opened by Jermy Nolen, the chef of Brauhaus Schmit. So I justified to myself not cooking the chicken breast in my fridge and instead ventured down to 5th and Bainbridge. The interior design of the building is very classy, it reminded me of a Tavern where you would have seen Nucky Thompson indulging. I sat at the bar and ordered up a Radeberger Pilsner which is a refreshing beer for a hot summer day, it has an ice cold water taste at first with a slight bitter aftertaste. These are the type of beers you can drink all day.
After a few Radebergers, I decided to ask the bartender for a half-dozen oysters, the Cape May Salts were the Oyster for the night. These plump salty oysters tasted so fresh that I might have well just been eating them out of the Delaware Bay. But then again I am a little biased because Pale Ales and Oysters is one of my favorite summer treats.
After the oysters and Radebergers, I ordered a glass of the Petit Chablis, this is a very dry wine with citrus flavors. I also ordered a plate of the Burratina. Burratina is a smaller version of Burrata and has a very milky, stringy inside once you cut through the soft skin of the cheese. The Burratina came with yellow heirloom tomatoes, black olives, caperberries, basil on top of garlic toast. This dish is a must have, as soon as I cut into the Burratina the juices of the inside started to ooze out and I could not wait to taste it. The rich cheese with fresh basil goes along perfectly with the sweet heirloom tomatoes and the sourness of the caperberries. My favorite part of this dish was the rich cheese with the sour aftertaste of the caperberries. The flavors really go well together and leaves you wishing for more, even though the dish is very filling.
Up next I decided to switch over to the house red, which was a Shiraz from California, which had a nice dry peppery flavor to it. Whetstone also has a great special on the menu for people like me who like to try as many dishes as possible, with any entree you can add a half soup or salad for just $4. I ordered the pan seared Icelandic Cod that came with littlneck clams, fingerling potatoes and braised celery in a little clam broth. I also added a half of the Philadelphia Pepper Pot soup. Because it was opening night I will give Whetstone a pass that both the soup and the entree came out at the same time, but I hope that is not their intention and in the future they will split them up.
The soup will be a go to for me, especially come Fall and Winter time, it’s recipe includes braised brisket, tripe, mustard greens, potatoes, red peppers all spice and paprika broth. This recipe soup which is rumored to have sustained General Washington’s troops in Valley Forge over the cold winter during the Revolutionary War is absolutely delicious. The tender brisket and chewy tripe allows for a great contrast in texture while the sweetness and spiciness of the of red peppers all spice combined with the paprika broth really does the soup a great service. The soup embodies a huge flavor and packs a punch and is a must try, especially during the cold hibernating months.
After slurping up the last bits of the Pepperpot soup, I dove right into the Cod. This dish was a little much for me, it was good but there were some parts that I do not think meshed. The clams that came on top and the saltiness of the clam broth were a little too much for my liking, even though they tasted good their strong flavors overpowered the flavor of the cod which was what I really wanted to stand out. The Icelandic Cod along with the flavor of the braised celery went great together and was delicious and what is I wanted to taste more of in this dish.
After finishing my meal I ordered a nip to end the night. I went with the white on rye, which consisted of rye whiskey, white vermouth, kümmel caraway liqueur and hop bitters. This was solid but I most likely should have not ordered it because I am not a huge vermouth fan and it had a little too much vermouth in it for my liking.
All together this was a great meal and experience, even though some of the patrons sitting at the bar were a little rude, nothing Whetstone can do about that though. In the end this was a 3.5 Tizzle experience and I only see it getting better from here.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry!!!!